Palm trees provide attractive foliage for indoor environments and need little care. Slow growers, palms can last decades without growing too large. While they cost more than other houseplants, a good palm that's watered well and kept free of disease can provide enjoyment for years to come.
Parlor palm or tabletop palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is the most shade-tolerant palm, making it a good choice for rooms with little natural light. Excess sunlight will turn the plant's leaves yellow. This palm grows slowly, with starter plants running 8 to 10 inches tall. It's a good tabletop or desktop palm. Parlor palms can grow up to 6 feet, though this takes many years.
Reed palm (Chamaedorea Seifrizii) also performs well in low-light environments, though it grows taller than parlor palm, reaching 7 feet in height. Reed palm has long, thin stems with dark green blades or leaflets. When grown in moderate light, the plant produces both fruit and flowers. However, the fruit is toxic, warns Floridata.
Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa) prefers medium to low light and can grow quite bushy, expanding outward rather than up. A type of fan palm, lady palm leaves look like small fans or hands with many fingers. The fronds shoot off from a thin stem that reach 12 to 18 inches in length.
Kentia palm (Howea forsterana) is a slow-growing, slender palm tree with long fronds. The palm remains upright; its branches don't leaf out. Kentia palms grow better in medium light and can withstand drafty rooms better than most indoor palms, making them a strong houseplant. These palms range in size from 5 to 12 feet.