How to Care for Kentia Palms


Palm trees are a well-known symbol of tropical latitudes. They provide islanders with food, water and shelter while protecting beaches from erosion. Whether you are growing a palm tree from a seed or a young plant, potted palms allow you to enjoy the tropics in your very own home. Kentia palms do well indoors and are known to tolerate low light and small pots. Though outdoors they can reach 40 feet in height, kentia palms are slow growing and take many years to reach full potential.

Step 1

Choose a container. When choosing the right size pot, consider the height you would like your kentia palm to reach and its very slow growth rate. They can tolerate small containers but prefer larger size pots. Be sure your pot is heavy enough to hold a tree upright.

Step 2

Fill the pot with a sand and soil mixture. Palms need good drainage and are susceptible to root rot when potted. Use a mixture of 25 percent sand, 25 percent peat moss and the rest potting soil to support your plant's growth.

Step 3

Plant your young kentia palm. Be sure the root ball is covered with at least 3 inches of soil. Spread light mulch around the base of the plant to keep the soil moist and protected.

Step 4

Mist your palm daily. Potted kentia palms like high humidity and need moisture to grow. Misting your plant not only keeps dust and insects away but keeps your tree happy. If you do not have a mister, place a shallow pan of water near your palm to allow for evaporation and high air humidity.

Step 5

Keep in indirect sunlight. Kentia palms may grow in low indirect light but put out twice as many fronds when placed near a window with bright morning light.

Step 6

Water regularly. Water your kentia palm every couple of days, fully wetting the interior root ball. Allow half the soil to dry before watering again. Kentia palms need even less water during the winter time.

Step 7

Fertilize your kentia palm twice a year. Choose a slow release formula, and follow the exact directions on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Puncture wounds in palm trees never heal. Do not nail signs or lights to the trunks of palms.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Spray Bottle
  • Fertilizer
  • Young Kentia Palm


  • Plant Care: Kentia Palm
  • Jungle Music: Palms as House Plants
Keywords: kentia palm, potted palm tree, tropical landscaping

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. Her work has appeared in various newspapers, magazines and journals. Shipman has also authored three collections of poetry: "Cold Days," "Bastante" and "Short Poems." She earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southwestern University.