There are lots of palm plants that will grow indoors. Most of them will grow in the medium to low light typically found in homes. This segments shows several types that are available, and includes tips on the best one to buy for your space.
Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.kansasgreenyards.org
The first of the palms for indoor use is this small dwarf Neanthe Bella Palm. This is the palm you typically see in terrariums or in small dish gardens from the florist. It’s a very slow growing, very small palm. This is a palm that will grow well in an office with no windows.
This Areca Palm is the number one selling palm for indoor use in the United States. In a matter of a year or so, we can have it from seed up to almost three feet tall. But, the thing to know about palms is that the slower they grow, the higher the quality for indoor use. And, the faster they grow, the lower the quality for indoor use.
The Areca Palm grows too fast. It’s not adaptable to lower light levels indoors, especially in the winter. What happens if you buy this, after six to eight weeks in your home a frond turns yellow, and then brown. You cut if off. Another one goes from yellow to brown, and you cut it off. Until there is one left, and you say, “Gosh, this is ugly.”
This is the best value palm. It’s called a Bamboo Palm. It’s characterized by the bamboo-type stems. It also tends to grow tall and not wide.
Going up in quality is this one called a Raphis, or Lady Finger Palm. It’s very slow growing indoors. Because of that, it’s a little higher priced than the other ones so far. One of the distinguishing characteristics, besides the palmate lady finger-like leaves, is the rough looking burlap-type wrap on the stem of the plant.
This next palm, the Kentia, is the highest quality of all indoor palms. It’s extremely slow growing. It has these very graceful, arching branches that spread out wide. The ambiance it creates is just wonderful, except that you do need a large space for it.
This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, retired Kansas State University Research and Extension State Leader, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.