Indoor Care of Palm Trees

Overview

Palm trees are popular for indoor growth. There are numerous species available that come in a variety of sizes and varying looks. Palms can add the feel and look of an indoor tropical paradise to any home. Palms also help purify the air and raise the humidity level. They require minimal care to flourish. Most palm trees are slow growing, which makes them ideal when grown in an indoor environment.

Step 1

Place the palm tree in bright light inside the home. The tree will flourish in a south-facing window or under a skylight. If natural light is not available, the tree can be grown under a fluorescent grow light.

Step 2

Plant a palm tree in well-draining soil. The soil should be rich in organic matter with approximately 10 percent sand mixed in. Palms only require re-potting every few years. Most species enjoy being root bound.

Step 3

Place palms away from direct heat sources such as heater vents. Palms enjoy a warm environment but direct heat blowing on the foliage or pot can damage the palm.

Step 4

Water palms often. Palms enjoy moist soil conditions but they do not like to be waterlogged or to sit in a saucer of water. Place the palm in a shower and let the water beat down on the plant for optimal water or take it outside and hose it off. Allowing the soil to drain freely will help prevent mineral and salt buildup in the pot that can slow or stunt the palm's growth over time. Palms enjoy having their foliage lightly misted every few days.

Step 5

Wipe the palm leaves regularly using a soft, moist cloth. The palm's leaves often pick up dust and debris so regular cleaning of the foliage will keep the plant looking good and healthy. Leaf shine oils should be avoided because they tend to attract even more dust.

Step 6

Move the palm outside during nice weather to allow it to enjoy the light and airflow. All palms enjoy being placed outside for short periods of time during the summer months. A warm, light summer rain will benefit the plant.

Step 7

Fertilize palms grown indoors once per month in the spring and summer. Choose an all-purpose general fertilizer and follow the directions on the label for application. Outdoor palms often require extensive fertilization but indoor palms do not need an abundance of fertilizer to thrive.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Potting soil with organic matter
  • Sand
  • Soft cloth
  • Hand-held mister

References

  • Mother Earth News: Growing Palms
  • Avian Web: Date Palm Trees
  • Indoor Palm Trees

Who Can Help

  • Heirloom Palms: Indoor Palm Tree Care
Keywords: indoor palms, indoor palm care, palms grown inside, palms as houseplants

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.