Indoor Palm Tree Care Instructions


Palm trees grow naturally in many areas of the world. These attractive plants add a touch of the tropics when grown as houseplants in homes and businesses. Some palm trees produce flowers and fruit during their life spans. Palms vary in size and characteristics, offering numerous choices when planting indoors. Proper palm care begins with careful plant selection. Indoor palm trees require special care to thrive and grow in an artificial, indoors location.

Step 1

Select an indoor palm suited to your home. Since most palms grow for many years, select one based on the anticipated size of the mature plant. Avoid purchasing tall varieties that grow 50 or more feet in height. These tall palms fit well in hotels and businesses with open foyers or lofted ceilings, but seldom work in average homes. If you live in an arid climate, avoid choosing an Areca palm or a lady palm, which both require high levels of humidity. Look for a healthy palm tree that displays shiny leaves and uniform growth.

Step 2

Transplant your palm into a pot that has many drainage holes. Use a well-drained potting soil to provide water and oxygen to the roots of your palm tree. Set the pot in a deep tray to catch water that flows out the drainage holes.

Step 3

Set your indoor palm in a sunny location. Unless the instructions included with your plant specify a shady location, place these sun-loving plants in an area that receives a majority of daytime sunlight.

Step 4

Water your palm regularly to ensure good health. Palms require more water in spring and summer and during unexpected hot spells. Keep the soil slightly moist by watering whenever the upper surface begins to show signs of dryness. Water until you see overflow coming out the drainage holes in the tray beneath the pot. Empty this standing water within an hour after watering to avoid bugs and mold.

Step 5

Fertilize your indoor palms between late winter and early autumn. Purchase a fertilizer formulated for use on palm plants. Follow all directions on the label. Cut back on fertilizing if you notice brown tips on the edges of your palm leaves. Do not fertilize during the winter months.

Step 6

Wipe the leaves of your palm tree every now and then to remove dust. Spider mites live on dusty foliage. Avoid these damaging pests by gently wiping any dust off the leaves with a moist cloth.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot with drainage holes
  • Deep drainage tray
  • Fertilizer
  • Damp cloth


  • University of Georgia: Growing Indoor Plants with Success
  • University of Minnesota: Growing Palms Indoors
  • University of Florida: Palm Seed Germination
Keywords: potted palm, indoor palm tree, palm plants

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.