If you want to give your home a lush, tropical appearance, one of the most popular indoor plants is the palm tree, or Arecaceae. Aside from its lovely appearance, which can go well with any design, it can grow in dimly lit areas, requires little care, and is hard to kill. The only drawback of this plant, I suppose, is that some of its varieties can be rather expensive. If you decide to purchase one, you should try your hardest to maintain it.
Fun fact: Because of the palm tree’s adaptability to indoor settings, it has been a common houseplant since the Victorian era.
The Madagascar-born Areca palm, commonly referred to as bamboo plants, is one of the greatest indoor palm tree varieties. It enjoys a warm climate and can reach heights of 6 to 8 feet. There are currently over 2,600 different species of palm trees, each of which has unique maintenance needs. However, indoor palm trees typically enjoy strong, indirect light, a humid climate, and up to once or twice a week of watering.
Indoor Palm Plant Care Tips
You must conduct thorough research because each type of indoor palm tree necessitates a distinct type of care in order to keep it alive and healthy. Some plants favor the shadow and a darker, more humid climate. Fertilizer may be required for some plants. Additionally, it’s preferable to put your indoor palm tree in a location where there won’t be a lot of traffic that will rub against or pull on the fronds and damage the plant. Remember that trimming the top of a palm tree will cause it to die.
Here is everything else you need to know about caring for your indoor palm tree, from the amount of sunshine it needs to typical issues and how to fix them.
Place your indoor palm tree in a location where it can get bright, indirect light as the first step in caring for it. It can, however, survive dim lighting, particularly in the winter. Avoid placing your indoor palm tree in the sun since too much direct light may cause your plant to die.
The leaves of your indoor palm tree are turning yellow, which is a sign that it isn’t getting enough light, a common problem.
Yes, your indoor palm tree can survive in lower light levels, but if the environment is too gloomy, it will stop growing and its leaves will start to turn yellow because there isn’t enough light to sustain photosynthesis. The optimal location for it is somewhere that can receive medium to bright, indirect light.
Watering your indoor palm tree when the top 1-2 inches of the soil are fully dry is the next item on our list of ways to take care of it. Typically, this occurs two to three times per week. Additionally, remember that your indoor palm tree needs proper drainage. Never allow the root ball of your plant to sit in water as this could result in its demise.
The leaves on your indoor palm tree are becoming brown or yellow, which indicates irregular watering or tap water that hasn’t been filtered.
Solution: Your indoor palm tree may become stressed from irregular watering, especially if the soil is too dry. It’s ideal if you can plan out when to water your plants. Make sure the earth feels dry as well. If so, water your plant appropriately.
Your water’s quality could be another contributing factor. Because tap water contains salts, chlorine, minerals, and fluoride, the tips of the leaves burn, curl, and turn brown, making it unsuitable for use with plants. Use a water filtration device or overnight storage in an open container to filter the water.
Humidity & Temperature
Placing your indoor palm tree in an area with typical room temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is another tip we have for caring for them. Although your indoor palm tree may survive remarkably well in conditions of ordinary humidity, it is advised to water it frequently, set it close to a humidifier, or use a pebble tray to keep insects away.
Common Issue: If the leaves on your indoor palm tree are turning yellow, the soil around the plant is completely dry, and the humidity level is low.
Purchase a humidifier if at all possible for your plant. The experts concur that this is the finest option. A few times a week of routine misting will also work. To keep your indoor palm tree happy and healthy, stay away from cold drafts, air conditioning vents, doors, and abrupt temperature fluctuations.
Feeding your indoor palm tree with a water-soluble fertilizer on a regular basis during the growing season is another tip we have for you. Additionally, since palm plants are prone to potassium deficiencies, give your plant extra potassium and manganese. If the fronds of your plant are turning brown or yellow, that is the biggest indication that it has this illness.
Common Issue: Excessive fertilization may be to blame for the leaves becoming brown.
Solution: Applying too much fertilizer to your indoor palm tree will cause fertilizer burn, also known as plant burn. Salts used in fertilizer wick moisture away from plants. Keep in mind that anything in excess is unhealthy for your plant. It’s best to apply fertilizer according to the suggested time and amount to prevent plant burn.
Pests & Other Problems
Mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites are just a few of the typical pests that might harm your indoor palm tree. Make use of an insecticidal soap to get rid of these pests.
Expand your knowledge of plants. For additional information on various houseplants and advice on how to keep your plants alive and healthy, visit our blog on plant care.
Can you overwater a palm tree indoors?
Root rot is a serious problem for palm palms. Overwatering these plants is NOT safe, especially if they are potted. In between waterings, always allow the soil to dry out. Yellowing leaves are one of the undesirable signs of an overwatered palm. If the plant is not treated in a timely manner, it may not survive.
You must understand how to water palms during the summer and winter seasons because they can thrive in both of these climates. Additionally, you must water them at specified times each day.
For the first two weeks after purchasing a new palm tree, you will need to water it every day. After that, depending on the season, you can cut back on watering to one to three times each week.
To keep the soil moist even during the hottest hours, you should water early in the morning. By watering it in the late afternoon, you can guarantee that the plants will be healthy the next day as well.
You must water your palm for it to grow. Overwatering, though, can cause your palm to die.
How should indoor palm plants be watered?
The Goldilocks of plants, palms prefer soil that is exactly the right amount of damp and dry. When indoor palms are established, water them when the top inch of soil is dry. The leaf tips will start to turn brown if the soil is allowed to totally dry up, and they won’t turn green again. But be in mind that leaving palms to remain in saucers of water will cause root rot.
In general, water the plants more regularly if the tips of the palm leaves are becoming brown. Reduce watering if the leaves are starting to turn yellow.
Are palm trees water-intensive?
Depending on how dry your environment is, indoor palms may need watering up to twice a week. The palms can require less frequent irrigation in humid climates. To determine how frequently to water your plant, feel the soil every three to five days.
How are indoor palm plants cared for?
Low-light palm species may survive lower light levels, particularly in the winter, but they prefer bright indirect light.
- Soil. A loose, porous mixture, such as one made of peat moss, leaf mold, and shredded bark, works best as soil for palm plants.
- Humidity and temperature.
Should my palm plant be misted?
1. Start with healthy ground. Utilize a high-quality potting mix to give your palm a successful start. Use a mixture that allows for free drainage while maintaining fertile, wet soil. You’ll have to water your palm more frequently and run the risk of drowning it if the soil mixture releases too much water. Don’t add too much soil to your container. The dirt should have at least an inch between it and the pot’s top.
2. Let plenty of light shine on your palm. Locate a bright area close to a window, glass door, or just below a skylight. Additionally, palms will absorb artificial light that is 40–50 cm above the surrounding vegetation. Brown frond tips and leaf loss are telltale signs that your palm isn’t getting enough light. Your palms will be more prone to illness if there is not enough light.
3. Provide your hand with the ideal amount of dampness. Despite the fact that palms enjoy heat, they dislike spaces with heaters and air conditioners since they remove moisture from the air. Keep your palm at room temperature as a good general rule. In winter, you might wish to relocate it to a room that is warmer, and if the room is being heated, put a bowl of water close to the palm to maintain the humidity in the space. Low humidity is also indicated by brown tipping and loss of leaves.
4. Regularly moisten your palm. Because they are tropical plants, palms can withstand strong storms and deluges of rain. Having said that, prevent them from drowning in water since otherwise they would decay. It should be damp but not soggy in the soil. Sticking your finger into the top inch of soil is a good technique to check its quality. When in doubt, use water. Because wet feet are bad for palms, empty the drainage saucer under the plant after each time the water is drained through. In the spring and summer, water your palm frequently; in the fall and winter, water it less. Mist-spraying the foliage several times per day is advised when the climate is dry and hot. This will help keep it cool and keep pests away.
5. Maintain a spotless palm. Put your palm in the shower once or twice a year. By doing this, you can maintain your palm fronds looking lush and green and remove dust. Use milk and water to clean your palm to give the fronds a glossy appearance.
6. Guard your hand. The three pests that are most frequently drawn to indoor palms are mealy bugs, scale, and spider mites. Mealy bugs, which resemble small cottony dots, are found on the underside of the fronds. Small speckles are an indication of spider mites, while light-colored dots on top of the fronds indicate scale. Use natural neem oil to get rid of spider mites and mealy bugs. Scale can be removed with white oil. Scale that is not too large can be manually removed. For more difficult scaling, you can also try spraying your palm with soapy water or scraping it with a toothbrush. Make sure to apply pesticides to your hand outside whenever possible.
7. Feed, but not excessively, your palm. Burning the roots of palm trees as a result of using too much fertilizer is one of the most frequent mistakes individuals make while feeding palm trees. An outdoor-grown palm requires extra fertilizer. However, it requires much less when its roots are restrained and it is not as exposed to heat and light. Feed your palm three to four times a year with a water-soluble fertilizer or pellets that release nutrients slowly or under controlled conditions.
8. Take a vacation from your palm. Palms enjoy going outside. Like humans, palms benefit from a yearly month-long vacation. It promotes healthy photosynthesis and aids in the prevention of pests and illnesses.
Do I need to remove the yellow palm leaves?
- Don’t remove the frond when there is a potassium deficiency because it is actually giving the new growth the necessary nutrient. The nutrient shortage will actually be pushed up into the next growth if yellow fronds are removed. The palm can die as a result of this. As a result, only completely brown fronds should be removed.
- Because the nutrient shortages that palms face are comparable to those that grasses experience, the fertilizer used around palm trees will also be good for the turf.
- Spread the fertilizer out all around the trunk while fertilizing. Apply the fertilizer 50 feet away from the trunk all around to ensure that the palm’s complete root system is covered.
Do I need to remove the brown palm leaves?
Both too much and not enough water will harm palm trees and cause leaf browning and yellowing.
The majority of palms prefer to have 50% of their soil dry before being irrigated. Always be sure the soil needs water before applying it. Wash the saucer thoroughly, then drain any extra water. Overwatering can cause yellowing and eventually root damage.
When the leaf tips dry out and turn brown, this is a typical issue known as “tipping.” The most frequent culprit is tap water, which has salts, chlorine, fluoride, and other potentially dangerous substances in excess. Use distilled water or rainfall to avoid this.
If you start to see salt buildup as a white crust-like coating on the soil’s surface, you can flush the soil a few times a year. To accomplish this, remove the top layer of dirt and water your palm slowly but liberally with a volume of water that is roughly four times that of your pot. Before repositioning your Palm, allow the water in the pot to completely drain and remove any extra water from the saucer.
Nutrients in the potting soil are replenished by fertilizer, but too much fertilizer can cause leaf tips to become brown and compromise plant health. Only fertilize palm trees in the spring and summer when they are actively growing. Palms that are dormant don’t require more fertilizer. Use palm tree fertilizer at the rate suggested on the box. Keep in mind that more fertilizer is not always better. Never fertilize dry soil because doing so can cause the roots to burn.
Warm temperatures are necessary for palms to thrive. Despite being often kept warm, indoor plants are nonetheless susceptible to cold harm. Plants should be kept away from windows and doors that draft because the cold air can brown the tips of the leaves. In the winter, keep plants away from windows because leaves contacting the glass might freeze and become brown. Avoid placing items directly in an air conditioning vent during the heat.
Throughout the growing season, palms grow new leaves. A palm tree leaf gets dark as it nears the end of its natural life, starting at the tip and continuing until the leaf is entirely brown and falls off. The brown tips are normal and not cause for alarm if only one or two leaves are browning and new foliage is still coming in.
The right way to remove any brown tips from your plant is as follows:
- Amass your resources. Paper towel, some rubbing alcohol, and a pair of well-kept scissors or pruning shears are all required. (The alcohol wipes included in first-aid kits are excellent!)
- Before starting and after each cut, wipe the sharp scissors or pruning shears’ blades with rubbing alcohol. The blades should be wetted with water before cutting if you are simply removing brown, crispy leaves that have become that way due to aging, a lack of moisture, or sunburn patches. This will help to avoid damaging vital tissue.
- At the base, close to the stem, or at the soil, remove any leaves that are completely brown or yellow. Make sure not to tug on the leaves as this could harm the plant’s vital components. Remove only the afflicted section of the leaf if only a portion of it is brown or yellow.
Important: When pruning, take care not to take more than 30% of the entire plant. To avoid removing an excessive amount of leaves at once, you might need to prune in phases.