How to care for Indoor Palm Plants?

Indoor Palm plants (also called the areca palm plant) are a gorgeous addition for homes and perfect for creating an indoor jungle.

The tropical plants are instant mood lifters and are one of the most popular houseplants in the world. 

If you are looking to grow an areca palm plant, we have good news- caring for Indoor Palms is quite easy. 

There are many varieties of Palm that can be grown indoors and all require the same basic care. Under the right conditions, indoor Palm plants can flourish indoors for many years. 

Let us see the advantages of growing indoor Palms before moving on to their care

Advantages of growing indoor Palm plants

Areca Palms are air-filtering houseplants and adapt well to living indoors. 

They do not require a lot of attention and are tolerant of neglect. 

When given the right conditions, they can live for a lot of years. Some of their varieties can get huge indoors spreading majestically.

Palms are perfect as corner plants or foyer plants. They grow amazingly well in groups and with other potted plants nearby. 

Also read: Areca Plant Benefits

Different species of Indoor Palm 

There are many species of Palm plants that grow quite well indoors. 

They do have similar basic fronds although certain varieties of Palms like fishtail palms have broad leaves.

Areca Palm

It is also called as ‘Butterfly Palm’ due to feathery arched fronds that resemble a butterfly. It has thin long stems somewhat similar to bamboo.

The green foliage grows in clumps and the thin leaves look like palm grass. They need bright indirect light. 

Majesty Palm

This variety of indoor Palm can grow quite big in shady areas of your home.

It is, however, a slow grower and can take years to reach a massive height. It has long beautiful arching fronds that make it a cherished houseplant.

Parlor Palm

This is one of the easiest palms to grow indoors and is one of the reasons why it is the world’s popular house plant.

It is a slow-growing tropical palm having crescent-shaped leaves. They thrive in average light indoors. 

Kentia Palm

This species of Palm has long arching stems and large fronds. They are quite popular as indoor plants because of their ability to tolerate low light and shade. 

Some other popular varieties of indoor Palm include Chinese fan Palm, Ponytail Palm, and Bamboo Palm. 

 Let me now guide you to caring for these houseplants 

Care Guide for Indoor Palm Plant 

As I have said before, although there are lots of varieties to choose from, all of them require the same basic conditions. 

Indoor Palms are not fussy and certain Palms like parlor and kentia are much easier to handle when compared to other palms. 

Watering 

Palms like to be watered regularly. They prefer their soil to be evenly moist. Overwatering, however, can cause suffocation to their roots and create root rot. They should be watered when ¼ or half-inch of the top layer of the soil dries up. 

The potting soil should not be completely dry. It should always have some amount of moisture. Brown tips of the plant indicate the plant is drying and needs water.

Pour water until it drains out from the bottom of the pot. This will make sure that the palms get nourished at the roots with good moisture.

If you are using tap water, leave it open for 24 hours. This is because tap water contains salt that can affect Palm’s health.

Being tropical, they love a humid atmosphere and so misting them daily with a spray bottle makes them happy. It is a good idea in summers to keep a pebble tree with water to counter the low humidity and prevent the plant from drying out.

Light 

Indoor Palm plants like indirect or filtered right and some species can even do well in low light. Parlour and Butterfly Palms are more tolerant of shadier locations. Fishtail Palm and Mexican Palm can tolerate bright light. 

None of them do well in direct sunlight. All the plants require some amount of natural light and will not survive in a windowless room. 

 Know your Palm species to understand their light requirements.  

Soil

All the species of Palm require well-draining, porous soil. Waterlogged soil can deprive the roots of oxygen and eventually kill them. The best potting mix is a mixture of soil peat moss and polite or shredded bark. 

These are all organic-rich material that holds moisture and also provide a good amount of nutrients. Perlite or bark pieces assist in aerating the soil and allow water to drain quickly.

You can also purchase a general-purpose potting soil and mix some peat moss or vermiculite.

Palm plants do not like to be repotted. They can be grown in the same pot for several years. Sometimes Palms are left rootbound to prevent growth. 

Temperature 

For Palm plants to grow well the temperature of the room should be between 65 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. (16-24C).

Average room temperatures are fine for Parlor Palms, Majesty Palms, and Ponytail Palms.

Since they are tropical, they do not like cold air. Kentia Palm can withstand slightly cold temperatures. 

Humidity 

Indoor air can get a bit dry due to a lack of airflow. The Palm plants thrive in humidity which is lacking indoors. Air conditioners and heaters also dry the air out.  

To make sure Palm plants thrive, keep a humidity pebble tray or a room humidifier. The cheapest option is to mist all the leaves daily.  A humidity tray can be made easily by taking a tray larger than the pot.

 One inch layer of pebbles is placed on the tray. Next water is filled up to the pebbles.

The Palm pot is placed on the humidifier tray making sure there is no contact of the container with water. The water evaporates and helps to keep the Palm leaves moist.

Fertilizer

Indoor house plants do not need a lot of fertilizing as they are susceptible to mineral salt build-up. Their growth is also slower as compared to outdoor tropical palms and so is their nutrition requirement. 

Palms require fertilization during spring and summer. Do not fertilize them in winter. Choose a fertilizer that is rich in potassium and magnesium. 

Potassium deficiency is common in Palms and results in yellowing or brownish fronds. Fertilize them one to three times a year and use a slow-release fertilizer. 

Pruning 

Palm plants are sensitive and need to be pruned correctly. over-pruning can stress the plant causing harm and may also kill the Palm.

This is because palms draw nutrients from the leaves.  Removing healthy green fronds may damage your plant’s health.

Prune your Palm plants if you see dead or unhealthy fronds to keep it healthy. Fronds that are yellow or brown with age can be trimmed. If the plant has only brown tips, avoid trimming the whole frond.

Problems encountered in growing indoor Palm plants

The most common indoor palms like Parlor Palms, Areca Palms, and Majestic Palms are quite hardy. They are a little safer from pests than outdoor Palms. 

The most common problem indoor Palm plants have is the leaves and tips turning brown. The reasons for this being lack of water, overuse of fertilizers, or direct sunlight.

Once the tips turn brown, they cannot be green again. These tips may be removed or left as such.

If you noticed the fronds turning yellow or wilting, the Palm may have acquired pests. The most common pests on Indoor Palms are spider mites and mealybugs.

Maintaining high humidity, washing the fronds with warm soapy water, and using organic neem oil helps to get rid of them. 

Use one spoon of soap in one gallon of warm water. you can use an ordinary dishwasher soap or insecticidal soap.

Another alternative is to use a strong jet of water from a hose or shower on your plants. This will wash away the pests without using an insecticide. The pressure of the water dislodges the bugs and washes them away. 

Do not use chemical pesticides or alcohol as they can damage or even kill your Palm.

Too much moisture in the soil can cause fungal and bacterial diseases in the palm. The apparent signs are withering or drooping fronds. 

When growing indoor Palms, make sure there is a good amount of air circulation. Stagnant air makes the palm grow weak. 

Conclusion 

Indoor Palm trees require very little maintenance and can thrive for years when given proper care. To grow them indoors, you need an area with bright indirect or filtered light. Make sure there is a good amount of air circulation. 

Keep the soil moist but not overly moist. Let it dry about half an inch from the top before watering. Remember to fertilize it less as overfeeding can kill the plants. Keep dusting the fronds and checking for signs of pest infestation.

Following all the above care techniques, you can have your paradise of Palms with the bonus of air filtration right in your own home!

Other articles you may like: