How to Care for Inside Palm Trees


Few plants can give your home a tropical feel like a palm tree. Members of the Arecaceae family consisting of approximately 200 genera and 3,000 species, palms generally grow in the world's warmer climates, making many of these trees good specimens for growing in warm, temperature-controlled indoor environments. If you select the right palm and give the tree simple routine care, you're likely to have a beautiful, full green palm tree that you can enjoy in your home for years.

Step 1

Purchase a palm tree suitable for growing inside your home. Local nurseries or home and garden centers sell species like the reed, bamboo, parlor or areca palm that grow well indoors. Select a palm tree species that will not outgrow its desired growing location.

Step 2

Place the palm tree in a location that receives at least six hours of daily sunlight. Some palm tree species require bright direct sunlight to remain healthy, while others may require lower levels of indirect light. Check the specifications on the tag that comes with your potted palm for adequate light levels, or ask a nursery or garden center specialist.

Step 3

Water the palm tree as soon as the soil begins to feel dry just below the surface in the spring and summer. Allow the soil to dry a bit more in the winter when the days are shorter and less warm.

Step 4

Clean the palm fronds weekly with a duster or damp cloth. Certain insects like spider mites are drawn to the dusty, divided leaves of palm trees growing inside, and will become serious pests if steps are not taken to prevent them.

Tips and Warnings

  • Palms that do not receive adequate daily light can lose all of their lower fronds, leaving a spindly, unattractive plant. Keep palm trees away from drafty areas, leaky windows or entryways where they may be exposed to excessive amounts of cold air.

Things You'll Need

  • Indoor growing location with bright light
  • Duster or damp cloth


  • University of Hawaii Botany Department
  • Brown, Deborah L. University of Minnesota Extension Service: Growing Palms Indoors

Who Can Help

  • Advice and Tips on Maintaining Healthy Palm Trees
Keywords: care for inside palms, indoor palm tree care, palm tree care

About this Author

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for and eHow, as well as online specialty courses for She has a B.A. in English from the University of Central Florida, and over 15 years experience in business development, sales, and marketing. An avid gardener, cook, and voracious reader, Barbara resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.