Indoor Palm Plant Care

Indoor Palm Tree Care

These simple-to-follow indoor palm plant care instructions will aid you in caring for many different types of indoor palm trees. Turn your home into a tropical paradise by growing potted palm trees.

Indoor palm culture tips.

Care: Indoor Palm Trees

Picture of a potted Areca palm tree.

Areca Palm Tree Indoor Plant

Caring for indoor palm plants is easy as long as you understand a few facts about palm tree care:

  • Nearly all palm trees require a “complete” fertilizer. That means one containing all the micro nutrients. Just about any food labeled as palm fertilizer will contain everything your indoor palms need for healthy growth. Of course, certain types of palm trees are pickier about their food than others.
  • Unlike their in-ground cousins, potted palm trees are completely dependent on you. They can’t send roots out in search of food and water. They have to survive on whatever you provide.Feed your indoor palm plants every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. Stop feeding them in late fall. Resume fertilizing in the spring.
  • Most palms come from balmy tropical islands. They are used to high levels of humidity. Dry air can cause palm fronds to turn brown and attract spider mites. This is why it’s a good idea to give your indoor potted palm plants a summer vacation outdoors.If you can’t move them out, keep the windows open in the staging area as much as possible. Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioning.In the winter, keep the staging area cool. Or move the palms to an unheated garage or sun room. I know this seems counter intuitive. They’re tropical. They should enjoy the warmth.But artificial heat makes the air too dry for good indoor palm plant care and attracts insects. Most indoor palm species benefit most from winter temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees F.

  • Indoor Palm Plant ProblemsIndoor palm plant care at Kew Garden in London.(Indoor Palms at Kew Garden in London)The most frequent problem people have with the care of indoor palms is mites.The red mite appears on the undersides of the palm fronds as tiny red dots. You may not even be able to see them until the infestation is severe. Check the leaves on a weekly basis. If you don’t see any, try shaking a leaf over a sheet of white paper. Any mite present will fall onto the paper where they can be easily seen.If you see webbing between the fingers of the palm fronds, the bugs have gotten a foothold.If allowed to, they will suck the life out of the leaflets and cause them to turn an unsightly yellow.On fan palms, you can wipe the mites off with a damp cloth. On feather palms, this may not be possible. If you can, place the plant into the shower or take it outdoors and spray it with the hose. This will knock most of the mites off and wet the fronds.Mites don’t like wetness.If it’s too cold to take the palms out, run a humidifier in the staging area for a few hours each day. Also, make sure to water indoor plants palms enough to keep the soil from ever completely drying out.The warmer the staging area, the moister the soil can be. If you are keeping the palm in a cool room, give it less water.

    Brown Leaves on Indoor Palm Trees

    Either the soil or the air is too dry. Water the plant more regularly and use a humidifier.Another reason leaves may turn brown would be if you’ve got the tree too near a radiator in the winter or an air conditioning vent in the summer. They don’t like to be in a hot or cold draft.
    Trunk Broken
    Indoor Palm TreesPygmy date palm growing in a planter.Pygmy Date PalmPalm trunks are very sensitive. Indoor palm plant care involves protecting the trunk of your palm tree from harm.Trunk wounds are slow to heal.Some never do.If something breaks the trunk of your indoor palm plant, you have lost the plant. A palm’s growing tip is at the top of the trunk. Anything that kills this growing tip kills the palm house plant.

    Winter Indoor Palm Plant CareChristmas palms in a shopping mall.Christmas Palm Trees
  • Withhold food.
  • Keep the soil in the pot on the dry side, but don’t let it become bone dry.
  • Keep the indoor palm tree in a cool room.
  • Run a humidifier if the air becomes too dry.
  • Run a fan on low to provide good air circulation.
  • Follow these indoor palm plant care instructions for indoor palm tree maintenance and you can grow potted palms without any problems.

    Buy a Life-Like Artificial Palm TreeYou can’t get lower maintenance than these realistic silk palm trees. They are great to use in rooms that are too dimly lit to support a live plant and you won’t have to worry about getting someone to water them when you are away.

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