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Indoor Plants

Palms

Palms are almost certainly the most elegant of pot plants, they come in all sizes and give a satisfying tropical feel. They make very versatile houseplants and, if you read the information below, you will see that there is a palm suitable for most situations within the home. Some of these large indoor plants are easy to care for and others can be a little more difficult, but all are rewarding.

The Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) is perhaps the most popular, it is simple to grow and will fit into most living rooms and is reasonably light tolerant. A good choice if you are thinking of a houseplant to give a palm as a gift. Please note, the plant height is the overall height and includes pot.

See also our plant care range of products to keep your plants looking great.


How to care for your palms

Plant care for palms varies depending on the type of plant. Some palms are easy to look after, while others take a bit more care and attention. If looked after properly palms can grow to a great height, so it’s a good idea to check the matured height before buying. Indoor palms with proper repotting will grow to approximately 3ft-8ft. Here are our top tips for keeping your palm plant looking gloriously tropical.

  1. Most palms don’t like overexposure to sunlight. Naturally shade loving species wouldn’t appreciate a sunny conservatory without filtered light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. Palms generally prefer shade, or partial shade with some sunlight. The kentia and parlour palms in particular are more than happy in low-light conditions.
  1. All palms benefit from some humidity in the air. For this reason, bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens are good places to keep them.
  1. Keep away from direct sources of heat. Don’t place palms near to fireplaces or next to a radiator.

  1. Indoor palms aren’t too fussy about which soil they are in, so any general purpose compost is more than adequate.
  1. Water very sparingly in the winter, whereas in the summer palms will probably need to be watered twice weekly. As with most house plants, palms don’t like to be overwatered. Soil should be moist but not saturated.
  1. 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.
  1. Only repot when absolutely necessary as most palms don’t like to be disturbed too often

Potential problems you may encounter with your palm are:

  • Brown leaves, spots or tips – due to dry air, cold air and either under or over-watering. Lower leaves will turn brown naturally over time and can be trimmed to allow for new growth.
  • Yellow leaves – most likely due to under-watering.
  • Root rot – nearly always as a result of over-watering and needs urgent attention. Repot in fresh compost after trimming away damaged roots.
  • Pests such as spider mites, mealy bugs and scale can be problematic. Treat with neem oil. Mix with water (make a 0.5% solution) and spray leaves, including undersides and stems, as well as the surface of the soil.
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