How to Grow a Palm Tree at Your House (Indoors): Planting, Caring, Maintaining, Propagating and More

How to Grow a Palm Tree at Your House (Indoors): Planting, Caring, Maintaining, Propagating and More

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Indoor palm trees have been decorating houses and homes since ancient times and were most popular in the 20th century until the end of World War II. Even today, indoor palm trees are common decorations because they are easily adapted to room temperatures and most can thrive in darker places.

If you are growing house palm trees, you need to meet some basic conditions of care and maintenance to grow and thrive them properly. Indoor palm trees should be provided with sufficient light, but not sun, fertilizer and water, and the correct temperature. Plant them in deep pots so that the root can grow properly. Namely, room palm trees usually develop a large root over time.

What can you find about Palm trees at your house in this article:

  • Types of room palm trees
    • Parlor palm (Neanthe Bella palm)
    • Coconut palm tree
    • European fan palm (Mediterranean dwarf palm)
    • Kentia palm (Thatch palm)
  • Planting a palm tree
    • Soil
    • Fertilization
    • Temperature
    • Water
  • Propagation of house palm
  • Growing and maintaining a palm tree

Indoor palm trees originate from tropical and subtropical regions, with just over 1000 species. Some of them are quite resistant and will not be disturbed by dry warm air in the winter months, you can also place them in a place where there is no direct light and where you cannot grow some other plants that need the sun to grow.

They grow very slowly, and they can bloom only if you bring them out to nature, and even then only when they reach old age.

Types of room palm trees

There are several types of palm trees:

  • Parlor palm (Neanthe Bella palm)
  • Coconut palm tree
  • European fan palm (Mediterranean dwarf palm)
  • Kentia palm (Thatch palm)

Parlor palm (Neanthe Bella palm)

Parlor palm (Neanthe Bella palm) or Chamaedorea elegans Mart. originates from the tropical forests of Latin America. It usually grows in Guatemala and southern Mexico and has thrived in our areas as a houseplant. Its stem is upright and grows up to 120 inches. The flowers are a bit unobtrusive and the fruit is orange-shaped, about 0.4 inches wide.

It grows best in indirect light, and it will thrive in darker rooms as it adapts well to the lack of light. It also likes a high percentage of moisture and dry air, and although it doesn’t require much care, it will grow better if you take care of it properly and regularly.

It likes permeable and humus soil with a small percentage of sharp sand.

In the summer, water and replenish it with mild liquid fertilizer once a month. Keep it in a light place in the shade and protected it from drafts.

The ideal temperature for the growth of a Parlor palm is from 55 to 65 °F, and when it rests it will suit those from 50 to 55 °F.

It is propagated at slightly higher temperatures from 77 to 80 °F, and transplant it only as needed, in the spring months, so that the root is not overloaded.

Coconut palm tree

The Coconut palm or Cocos nucifera is a house palm that requires a little more effort to care for and maintain. It is important to note that we are not talking about the type of palm that produces fruit in the form of coconuts. Because of its fragile appearance, it is often called the Queen of palm trees. It grows very slowly and can reach a maximum height of 120 inches.

It is not recommended for beginners because the first two to three years are crucial to its survival, and even after that one never knows how much longer it will live.

It should be kept in the room throughout the year and provided with sufficient light, but at the same time, sun protection. You can briefly take her outside in the summer to ensure she is well ventilated.

It requires plenty of water, ie regular and extensive watering, and frequent spraying. It needs a lot of humidity and a constant temperature of about 68 °F, with a minimum of 65 °F in winter. The coconut palm is planted in a pot without holes because the main root can quickly pass through them.

During cultivation, it is important to keep in mind that with this palm, the soil should never be dried and the soil must be kept moist. Otherwise, the tips of the leaves could turn yellow, which could ruin the beauty of the coconut palm.

From March to August, it should be fertilized every two weeks, and transplanted only after the root has filled the entire pot.

It is propagated from coconut or seed, but it is a complicated and time-consuming process that is not recommended at home because it requires constant high temperature and high moisture content.

European fan palm (Mediterranean dwarf palm)

European fan palm (Mediterranean dwarf palm) or Chamaerops humilis grows in southern Europe and northern Africa. There are three varieties of plants, and they differ in leaves and habitat. This palm tree in our area is grown as an ornamental houseplant. It grows like a bush and can grow up to 200 inches in its natural habitat.

It looks for a place with a lot of suns and can tolerate relatively low temperatures up to 10 °F for short. Propagation is done by young shoots at temperatures of 50 to 55 °F.

It likes a well-drained soil that needs some sand and more abundant watering in the growth phase. In winter, only the soil needs to be kept moist, and older plants tolerate drought.

The feeding is done once a month with liquid fertilizer and replanted when the root completely fills the pot.

Kentia palm (Thatch palm)

It is one of the most magnificent palm trees in the Latin name Kentia forsteriana. It needs a lot of light for growth, and although it may grow in the semi-shade, it will affect its growth. In order to grow well, it needs good drainage and a large container. The substrate must be moist but not soaked in water and the leaves should be sprayed regularly.

It is not recommended to keep it under 60 °F in winter. And to get a lush look, plant several plants in the same pot.

This house palm tree can live for more than 80 years.

Planting a palm tree

If you are growing house or indoor palm trees, you need to meet some basic conditions of care and maintenance to grow and thrive them properly. Indoor palm trees should be provided with sufficient light, but not sun, fertilizer, water, and the correct temperature.

Plant them in deep pots so that the root can grow properly. Namely, house palm trees usually develop a large root over time.

Soil for house palm tree

Soil in which you will plant your palm tree should be made from one-third of the peat, one-third of the sand, and one-third of the soil from the garden. Pure humus is not recommended for planting palm trees.

Fertilization of house palm tree

Like irregular and excessive watering, too much fertilization can harm palm trees. It will also cause brown tips to appear on the leaves and die-off of the plant. Make sure that the fertilizer never builds up in one place and dries as it may cause burns on the leaves.

They will be best suited with dilute liquid fertilizer in the active growth phase. The active palm period is from the end of winter to fall.

If you are not sure how much your palm needs fertilizer, always feed it less.

Temperature for growing indoor palm tree

Because these are tropical plants, they need a warm temperature. The best temperature for growing palm trees is between 60 and 70 °F during the day, while at night it should go down to only 60 °F.

In winter, when the plants are inactive, they can tolerate slightly lower temperatures between 53 and 60 °F.

When exposed to lower temperatures, the leaves are damaged, or they become brown. Keep them as far away from wind and draft as possible, and not near doors and windows.

Indoor palm trees need to be provided with adequate light. It will not suit them if there is too little light but also not too much light. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to gray and brown in color, after which the palm can dry and die off.

Water for growing house palm tree

If the palm tree does not get enough water, its leaves may dry and turn brown at the edges. Their soil should always be moist, but by no means overly soaked in water.

Propagation of house palm

The propagation of the palm tree is done with seeds, but for that, you will need warm greenhouse air. If you have enough patience and willpower, you can also try it at home. Specifically, it may sometimes take more than a year for the seed to germinate.

The palm grows very slowly, so for this reason, the shoots are usually bought at two to three. In addition, to grow slowly, being so young, they are very fragile and sensitive to changing conditions and sometimes take more than two years to continue growing.

Growing, caring and maintaining a palm tree

Remove dead leaves regularly, and damaged or dried leaves should be removed in early spring or every other year.

It is recommended that you bring them to the garden in summer or place them on the balcony. It is important that the place is protected from the wind and not in direct sunlight so that the leaves do not dry and fall off. They should be watered abundantly, twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. If they are not in places where it is raining, periodically spray leaves to refresh them.

In the fall months, the palm should be brought indoors. While some may survive the winter in a basement where there is enough light, some species still need to be kept in a room where it is not heated. There are also species that will not be disturbed by warm and dry air in the room in which it is heated.

In winter, the room palm tree should be watered, and it will depend on the room in which we keep it. If the room is not too warm, it should be watered once a week, more abundantly, while in heated rooms, it should be watered more often, two to three times a week. Also, do not forget the leaves that need to be wiped with a damp cloth to keep them free from pests and dust. However, be careful not to overdo it with watering as root rot may occur.

Some more water will be needed in the phase of more intensive growth, while fertilization is recommended once a month with liquid fertilizer.

If you keep the palm tree in too warm a place during the winter, there may be an attack by aphids or scale insects. Check the leaves regularly, and if scales develop, look for a remedy at the store to remove them. It is necessary to respond as soon as you see it, as too many scale insects can be fatal for your house palm. In that case, it can be dried and the attacked leaves must be cut off.

Young room palm trees are transplanted into the soil suitable for them in the spring months. A mixture of sand and old clay will suit them. Plant them in pots where water can drain freely at their bottom. When planting a palm tree, wrap the soil well around the roots. After planting, carefully water the palm tree. The palm trees are slowly rooting so they need only a little fertilization at first until they release a firm root.

Older palm trees are enough to be replanted every five years, and those even older, every 10 years. In their case, it is only necessary to clear the soil on the surface of the container and replenish it with new soil if necessary. In older palm trees, transplanting does not require feeding. The palm trees are fed in the summer with a fertilizer solution every two weeks.