How to Take Care of Palm House Plants


There are many palms that grow very well as houseplants. Slow growing, small or dwarf palms can be grown in containers year-round. Check the mature height of the plant before purchasing it for a houseplant, as palms cannot be pruned. There is very little care needed for indoor palms when they have the proper space and lighting. Indoor palms can give a tropical look or add to a tropical décor in any home.

Step 1

Place the palm near a south or southeast window or glass door if possible.

Step 2

Keep the palm warm and clear of any drafts from doors, windows and heat and air vents. Maintain daytime temperatures for the plam of 70 to 80 degrees F and nighttime temperatures of about 60 degrees F.

Step 3

Water the palm to keep the soil moist and when the soil is dry on the surface. Never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Step 4

Apply a palm specific fertilizer in the late winter, spring and summer. Follow manufacturer's directions on the amount to use per size and age of the tree.

Step 5

Clean the fronds with a damp, soft cloth once a month during the spring and summer, and twice a month during the fall and winter. Dampen the cloth with distilled water, as some tap water contains chemicals that can damage the fronds.

Step 6

Take the palm outdoors in the summer. Place the palm in the shade and gradually acclimate it to stronger light levels but not in direct sun.

Tips and Warnings

  • Over-watering a plam will cause root rot. Never allow the soil to be soggy or the container to sit in standing water. If white salts appear on the top of the palm's soil, this is fertilizer build up and can be remedied by cutting back fertilizer and watering until the water run through the drainage holes several times. Discard the water in the tray. Dust build-up on the fronds can cause them to turn yellow and attract spider mites.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm fertilizer
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled water


  • Clemson University Extension: Indoor Palms
  • University of Minnesota Extension: GROWING PALMS INDOORS
  • North Dakota State University: Interior Plantscaping with Large Houseplants
Keywords: indoor palm care, potted palms, palm tree houseplants

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.