Most indoor palm trees are slow-growing species. Check your palm plant's roots only once annually to see if it needs re-potting. Simply lift it out of its pot and check its roots. If the roots are growing in a thick mass in the soil or coiling around the bottom, it's time to re-pot. Increase the pot 1 or 2 inches in size when you purchase a new container. Containers that are too large for you palm hold excess water and may cause the development of fungi or bacteria. The best time to re-pot a palm is in spring or early summer.
Remove the palm tree from its current container. Lay the container on its side. Grasp the palm by its trunk and gently pull on the trunk. Do not force it. You may have to tap on the side of the container to loosen the soil. If the palm tree still will not come out easily, run a knife around the inside wall of the pot, then pull the palm tree out. If it is still stuck, you may have to cut the container away or break it with a hammer.
Examine the roots. Loosen them by gently pulling them away from the root ball with your fingers. Brush away any excess soil. Prune any roots that are broken, withered, black or mushy. Also prune any roots that are excessively long and have coiled around the inside of the pot.
Re-pot your palm in its new container. Use moistened, fresh potting soil suited to your species of palm. Plant the palm so it sits at the same height in the soil as it did in its previous container. Do not cover the top of the roots with more than 1 inch of soil.
Water with a watering can until water pours out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Avoid wetting the foliage.