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How to care for your palm plants
The Kentia palm (Howea Forsteriana) is perhaps the most popular of the species as it is simple to grow and will fit into most living spaces. Of all the indoor palms this one doesn’t need a great amount of light and is tolerant to lower temperatures, which makes it a perfect office plant as well. The Kentia palm is a lovely choice if you are thinking of giving a houseplant as a gift. Please note when ordering that the plant height is the overall height and includes the pot.
Beautifully kept palms are a wonderful addition to any home. They not only look great, they naturally reduce air pollution and increase oxygen levels, so they provide health benefits as well.
The care regime for indoor palms varies depending on the type of plant. Some palms are really easy to look after, while others require a bit more care and attention. With proper care, indoor palms can grow to a great height, so it’s a good idea to check the matured height before you buy. With appropriate repotting, palms will reach a height of between 3 and 8 feet.
Here are 7 top tips for keeping your indoor palm plant looking gloriously tropical.
- Most palms don’t like overexposure to sunlight. Palms are a naturally shade-loving species, so wouldn’t appreciate a sunny conservatory without filtered light. Direct sunlight will actually scorch the leaves. Indoor palms prefer shade or partial shade with some sunlight. The kentia and parlour palms in particular are more than happy in low-light conditions.
- All palms benefit from some humidity in the air. For this reason, bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens are good places to keep them.
- Keep palms away from direct sources of heat. Don’t place palms near to fireplaces or next to a radiator.
- Indoor palms aren’t too fussy about which soil they are in, so any general-purpose compost is more than adequate.
- Water very sparingly in the winter. In the summer, palms will probably need to be watered twice weekly. As with most houseplants, palms don’t like to be overwatered. Soil should be moist but not saturated.
- Don’t allow dust to build up on leaves as this restricts the amount of light getting through to the plant. Wipe leaves with a damp cloth or stand outside in a summer shower. Don’t be tempted to use leaf-shine products.
- Only repot when absolutely necessary. Most palms don’t like to be disturbed too often.
Potential problems you may encounter with your palm are:
- Brown leaves, spots or tips – this is normally due to dry air, or cold air, and can also be as a result of either under or over-watering. Lower leaves will turn brown naturally over time and can be trimmed to allow for new growth.
- Yellow leaves – the most likely cause is from under-watering.
- Root rot – this is nearly always a result of over-watering and needs urgent attention. Repot your palm in fresh compost after trimming away the damaged roots.
- Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs and scale can be problematic. Treat with neem oil. Mix the neem oil with water (make a 0.5% solution) and spray leaves, including undersides and stems, as well as the surface of the soil.