Majesty palms (Ravenea rivularis) are attractive, slow-growing palm trees desirable for their graceful form. In fact, they are often sold as houseplants and their common name, "Majesty," is actually trademarked, according to Floridata. Although hardy when planted outdoors in subtropical or tropical climates, this tree is not the best houseplant. It suffers from spider mites and needs heavy feeding. Still, indoor home gardeners who are diligent about plant care will find this palm rewarding to grow.
Majesty palms have large, graceful, feather-like fronds. The fronds are light green, although they can quickly turn yellow if they are not getting enough nutrients. Majesty palms have a trunk that flares outward and is covered with smooth bark. In the wild, these trees can grow up to 40 feet. When planted in containers, they remain much smaller, although they can get up to 10 feet tall even when grown indoors.
Majesty palms are native to Madagascar. Unfortunately, they are quickly disappearing from the wild, according to Floridata. These understory palms grow along streams and rivers in Madagascar. It is not known when they were brought to the United States, but today they can be commonly found being sold in garden centers and nurseries.
Place your Majesty palm where it will receive plenty of bright but indirect sunlight. These are not indoor plants that can survive low-light conditions. Morning sunlight followed by a couple of hours of afternoon shade is good. Keep the tree away from hot and cold drafts. Find a location where your Majesty palm can remain for a long time, as these trees can grow quite large and heavy and be difficult to move.
Majesty palm trees need regular watering, according to the University of Oklahoma. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy. Overly wet soil can cause root rot. Test the top layer of the soil with your finger. If it is dry down to about an inch, water the plant until the water drains freely from the bottom of the container. Empty the water catch tray immediately after the plant is done draining. Feed your palm tree at least every three months with a fertilizer formulated for indoor tropical foliage plants, or use palm spikes, which are made especially for palms. Follow the directions for application according to the instructions on the label.
Majesty palms do not make great houseplants, according to Plant Care. They require a lot of water, bright sunlight, and regular feedings to grow well. In addition, they are plagued by spider mites. Keeping the fronds free of dust can help reduce the incidence of spider mites and other common houseplant insect pests. Give your palm a good bath once in a while with a hose when the weather is warm enough.