To most people, the ubiquitous image of a palm tree is one of a giant tree perched on a beach, fronds gently rustling in the ocean breezes. There are several species of palm trees, however, that are much smaller and are slow-growing, making them ideal for cultivating in a container. Parlor palms (chamaedorea spp.), for example, make excellent houseplants, according to information published by Clemson University. These and other interior palm trees add beauty and a touch of the tropics to almost any location, and will thrive indoors if given proper care.
Set your palm in a location where it will be exposed to bright but indirect or filtered light, such as near a south-facing window or a window that is covered by a sheer curtain.
Keep your interior palm tree relatively warm, as they grow best in warm conditions, according to Clemson University. Do not place it near cold or warm drafts. Daytime temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F, with a drop of around 10 degrees at night, is ideal.
Water your interior palm when the first inch or two of the soil feels dry to the touch. Soil that is slightly moist at all times below the surface is best for indoor palm trees, according to information published by the University of Minnesota. When you do water, water thoroughly until the water runs out the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Empty the water-catch tray immediately after the plant stops draining.
Fertilize during the growing period, which for houseplants is late winter through early fall, according to information published by the University of Minnesota. Use a slow-release, water-soluble palm plant fertilizer. Stop fertilizing when the plant goes dormant in the winter.
Keep the fronds clean. Wipe them with a damp cloth, but do not use any leaf-shining products on them. Dusty fronds will attract spider mites, which can become a serious problem.