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Wisconsin's Tropical Gardens


Plant Profile Series

 
 

 

PALMS

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There is a plethora of different Palms available on the market that will do well in an indoor environment. Growth habits range from tall and graceful to short and bushy. Textures range from thin, delicate fronds to thick and stiff, almost plastic-like fronds. Some palms are very very slow growing while others are relatively faster growers.

One of the easiest palms to care for is the Bamboo Palm. They have upright stems which grow 4 - 6 feet tall. They will tolerate lower light and rarely need transplanting, just add more soil as needed. These palms have sensitive foliage so they need to be fed and cleaned carefully.

WATER: Palms only need water when they are dry, then water throroughly. If the Palm has brown tips it means the roots are slightly dry, but when lower fronds turn yellow the roots are far too dry, although some fronds will yellow during acclimation. A Palm that's overwatered will have yellow tips; when yellow is half or more the length of the frond it is seriously too wet. Palms use very little water for their size.

Palm fronds will curl under if you use too much leaf shine.

Use a standard houseplant fertilizer. Do not overfertilize, it will cause black spots on the leaves or burnt tips.

LIGHT: Palms like bright light but very few can tolerate direct sunshine. Parlor Palm (neanthe bella), Bamboo (sieffritzii) and Kentia Palms can tolerate low light.

TEMPERATURE: They can tolerate temperatures down to 50 degrees but do not on the other hand like to be kept too hot. Ideal temperature is 75 to 80 degrees.

Neantha bella palms are readily available in 3", 4", 6" and 8" pots. Bamboo, Sieffrizii palms are usually available in 10" or larger pots. Other palms are available in 6" or larger pot sizes usually.