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How to Take Care of an Indoor Palm Tree

In cold climates, a hint of the tropics is always welcome, so it is no wonder that palm trees make some of the most popular indoor houseplants. Most palm trees are adapted to a warm tropical climate and cannot survive outside in harsh, cold places. However, palm trees make beautiful houseplants; with a little care and attention, you can keep your tropical potted tree beautiful and healthy all year round.

Place your indoor potted palm tree in an area that has plenty of light. Indirect light is best, such as a skylight or a room with plenty of windows where the light filters through green plants and trees.

Keep your palm tree in a warm, and preferably humid environment. Temperatures that drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can damage a tropical palm tree.

Water your indoor palm tree frequently. Test the soil by pressing down with two fingers—if the soil feels dry to the touch it is time to water. Make sure the pot has drainage holes in the bottom so water will run through the soil and drain away. If water sits around the roots it can damage the root system.

Fill a spray bottle with plain water and use it to mist the fronds every week. This will keep your palm looking fresh and clean and will impart moisture directly into the leaves. You can do this daily if you have time.

Take your palm tree outside every three to four months when the weather is good and rinse the root system. Using a hose, run water through the pot for several hours. This will remove salt buildup from watering with tap water. Gently hose down the leaves at the same time; this will wash off dust and freshen the tree.

Bring your palm tree outside whenever the weather is warm and sunny, but avoid placing it directly in bright sunlight. Fresh circulating air is good for the palm tree, but sudden bright sunlight can burn and damage the leaves.

Fertilize three to four times a year during the warmer months using a high nitrogen fish emollient fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing in the wintertime because even indoors, the tree will experience a necessary dormancy period triggered by diminished light and cooler temperatures.


Avoid areas close to heaters, dryer vents or air conditioners, as the air coming from these appliances is harsh and drying.

Plant an indoor palm tree in sandy well draining potting mix; this will prevent water from saturating the soil and waterlogging the root system.

Use distilled water when you water your palm tree to avoid sodium buildup in the soil. Distilled water does not have the heavy salt content that tap water does.

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