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Care for Majestic Palm

Palm Tree image by Olivo from

Majestic palms, also know as majesty palms or Ravenea glauca and R. rivularis, are often sold as houseplants, though they are common in landscapes in USDA zones 10 and 11. A fast-growing, elegant palm tree, the majestic palm usually will only survive as a houseplant for three to four years, as it will either soon outgrow its indoor environment, or die from not enough light or an invasion of pests. With attention and proper care, both indoors or outdoors, your majestic palm can thrive.

As a Houseplant

Select the appropriate majestic palm for your living space. The "true" majestic palm, Ravenea rivularis, is a fast-growing palm, sometimes growing 2 to 3 feet per year and reaching a height of 40 feet. For a houseplant, the dwarf majestic palm, Ravenea hildebrandtii, may be more suitable to your needs, as it grows much slower to a 10-foot height.

Place your potted majestic palm tree where it can receive strong light, usually within 5 feet of a sunny window. Placing your majestic palm in a spot that is not bright enough is a common reason why your palm is not thriving. Majestic palms need to grow in strong light, more so than other palm trees.

Allow your majestic palm soil to slightly dry out between watering. Your tropical majestic palm enjoys growing in a moist soil, not soggy and not dry. Poke your finger into the soil of your majestic palm about 1/2 inch. If the soil feels dry, it is time to water it. Do not let the palm stand in water, though. Elevate your palm pot in the water saucer by placing a layer of pebbles in the saucer under your pot. This way you can have water within the pebbles, which will help give your majestic palm extra humidity, without creating soggy soil in the pot.

Fertilize your majestic palm with a specialty fertilizer formulated for palm trees every month, or per the directions on the package. Majestic palms require additional food, particularly when grown in a pot.

Mist or spray your majestic palm daily to keep the humidity higher. Remember, your majestic palm is a tropical plant and needs to grow in a humid environment.

Check your majestic palm frequently for spider mites and mealy bugs, the two most common pests. As soon as you notice the pests, treat your majestic palm with an insecticide formulated to eliminate these pests.

In Your Landscape

Select an area in your landscape for your majestic palm that will receive full sun, though your palm will do well in partial shade, too. Remember, your majestic palm may grow to 40 feet, so it is not advisable to place it under utility lines or overhanging roofs.

Keep the soil your majestic palm grows in consistently moist and water regularly. Your soil needs to be well-draining so your majestic palm is in evenly moist, not waterlogged, soil. Majestic palms are not drought tolerant.

Fertilize your majestic palm tree every two to three months with a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for palm trees. Majestic palms are heavy feeders; if you notice your palm fronds turning yellow, it may be it is not receiving enough food.

Prune dead fronds from your majestic palm using pruners. Dead fronds should be trimmed at 3 inches from the trunk of your tree.

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