How to Care for an Indoor Palm

Overview

Bring the rustling sound of palm fronds indoors with a palm houseplant. You can grow palms anywhere as an indoor tree, even in climates where the outdoor temperature is too cold for these tropical plants. Though specific care requirements vary by species, several general care principles can help keep all palm species growing vigorously to ensure a lush, tropical forest in your living room or bedroom.

Step 1

Place the palm tree near a south- or west-facing window. All palm species thrive in full sun, and only a few can handle low-light conditions. If you're unsure of what your specific palm species needs, err on the side of caution and give it full sun.

Step 2

Water the palm every three to four days, applying enough moisture so that water appears in the bottom drainage holes of the palm's pot. Wait to water again until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feel dry, according to the University of Minnesota.

Step 3

Fertilize the potted palm once a month with any liquid fertilizer labeled for use on houseplants. Use the fertilizer at the rate listed on its label, since potency varies widely by product. Clemson University recommends only fertilizing the palm during its active spring and summer growing season when its nutritional needs are highest.

Step 4

Spray the palm tree's foliage every four to six weeks with a jet of water from an outdoor water hose or from your shower. This cleans the palm fronds of dust and debris and helps control potential pest insects that may take up residence on the palm, like aphids and thrips.

Step 5

Keep the palm warm, as they're tropical plants and grow best in moderate to warm temperatures. Clemson University suggests maintaining a daily room temperature of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, though you can drop the temperature to 60 degrees in the evening.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Water hose or bathtub

References

  • "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual"; Barbara Pleasant; 2005
  • Clemson University: Indoor Palms
  • University of Minnesota: Growing Palms Indoors
Keywords: indoor palm care, growing palms indoors, indoor palm tree

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.