Bring the Tropics Home: How to Care for Indoor Palm Trees

Bring the Tropics Home: How to Care for Indoor Palm Trees

With their long flowing fronds and tropical vibe, palm trees make a striking addition to indoor plant collections. Certain varieties can also thrive with the right care and conditions inside your home.

Below we’ll look at some of the most popular palms suited to indoor growth and how to provide the light, water, humidity and space these statement plants need to reach their maximum potential.

Best Indoor Palm Varieties

While full-height coconut and date palms won’t work indoors, there are several small and moderate sized types ideal for bringing the tropics inside:

Parlor Palm - A hardy low light palm with feathery fronds. Max height around 4-8 feet.

Kentia Palm - An elegant palm tolerant of various light conditions. Slow growing to 10+ feet.

Lady Palm - A compact palm with delicate green-yellow fronds. Max height of 4-6 feet.

Bamboo Palm - A flexible upright palm with long leaves. Can reach 6 feet tall.

Ponytail Palm - A unique succulent-like palm. Slow growing to just 3-4 feet.

Parlor Palm

Providing the Right Light

Palms thrive in bright indirect sunlight. South or west facing windows are ideal. Avoid direct sun which can scorch their leaves.

Use sheer curtains to filter intense light. Rotate palms monthly so all sides get light exposure.

Low light palms like parlor palms can survive in less light but growth may be slower. Bright light keeps most varieties happiest.

Sheer curtains

Sheer curtains are great to diffuse direct light.

Watering Your Indoor Palm

Palms prefer slightly moist but not soggy soil. Water when the top few inches become dry. Most will need weekly watering.

Always provide good drainage. Yellow lower leaves often indicate overwatering. Let soil dry slightly between waterings.

Indoor humidity around 40-60% is ideal. Misting leaves, trays of pebbles, and humidifiers can all help recreate the tropics inside.

Allowing Enough Space

Palms grow wide spreading fronds and “pups” around their base. Give them room to reach full size potential.

Trim fronds or pups as needed for manageability. Transfer to larger planters as palms outgrow their space.

With the right variety, bright filtered light and air humidity, palm trees can bring an exotic bit of paradise to indoor spaces. Just be sure to give them room to grow!

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