How to Care for Palm Type Plants


Water your palm plants regularly to provide adequate amounts of moisture near the roots. Keep the soil slightly moist during the spring and summer months. Check the soil beneath the surface with your fingertip. Add water when the soil feels slightly dry just below the surface. Water a little less frequently during the winter months, but do not let the soil dry out near the roots of your palm plants.

Step 1

Provide adequate amounts of light for palm plants and plants that resemble palms. Contrary to popular belief, not all palms require direct sunlight. Some palms prefer partial shade or filtered light. If you are unsure of the required amount of light for your variety of palm plant, check its leaves for signs of incorrect placement. Look for yellowing leaves. This often signifies too little light. Notice spindly growth of the trunks or stems. Also, look for loss of lower leaves. Give these plants additional light. Plants in direct sunlight that droop and display shriveling leaves may require less light. Move these into a slightly shaded location.

Step 2

Fertilize your palms at regular intervals during the summer months when they grow the fastest. Use a slow release fertilizer formulated for use with palm type plants. Apply according to the label instructions. Sprinkling this type of fertilizer over the soil early in the summer provides the plants with a little fertilizer during each watering session. Avoid fertilizing your palms during the winter months.

Step 3

Create a humid environment for your tropical plants. Especially in indoor, arid climates, these plants require additional measures to increase the level of humidity. Place your potted palms on a tray of gravel. Dampen the gravel with water to increase humidity near the plant.

Step 4

Clean the leaves of your potted palms with a soft, damp cloth. Indoor plants often suffer from spider mites that feed on dusty leaves. Do not use dusting spray or oil to shine the leaves. For glossy leaves, use a leaf wax from a florist shop.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Tray
  • Gravel
  • Cloth
  • Leaf wax


  • University of Minnesota: Growing Palms Indoors
  • Purdue University: Indoor Plant Care
  • University of Florida: Normal "Abnormalities" in Palms
Keywords: palm plants, palm type plants, care of palms

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.