With their large green fronds, palm trees are not only wonderful green companions in the home and office, but they are also filigreeing interior designers and lively air fresheners. You have to pay attention to this when you bring a house palm into your house.
Indoor palms are the ideal plants when it comes to bringing the South Sea atmosphere into the apartment or the winter garden. Many of the exotic plants thrive in pots and can develop their natural charm for many years in light or partially shaded places in the living room, bedroom, or bathroom. The care of the evergreens is usually associated with little effort and most of the specimens available in stores remain small enough not to take up too much space in the apartment. If placed in palm soil or good potted plant soil, most palms then only need regular water and naturally, stretch their fronds.
The best indoor palms
The mountain palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is one of the smallest representatives of its guild and does not grow taller than a meter even in a larger pot. The dainty small tree is mostly used to decorate east or west windows and bright desks. You should avoid direct sun. Unlike most palm trees, the mountain palm tolerates calcareous tap water very well.
One of the most popular indoor palms is the Kentia (Howea forsteriana). It stretches out its feathers on long stalks, elegantly overhanging. In pot culture, it can grow up to three meters high. But since it grows very slowly, it rarely reaches this height. The Kentia palm likes to stand in a slightly acidic substrate, half of which should be mixed with sand. Temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius and high humidity are best for her.
Botanically, the stick palm (Rhapis excelsa) belongs to the umbrella palm and can grow up to five meters high in nature. It stays much smaller in the pot. Its deeply incised umbrella leaves are dark green and arise from the trunk at any height, which gives it a dense appearance. The stick palm is suitable for shady locations at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. It yellows when it is too bright.
Unlike Areca or Kentia, the stick palm has large umbrella leaves
The bottle palm and the spindle palm (hydrophobe) are good for warm and sunny places in the apartment. On the other hand, these indoor palms do not tolerate cold at all, so temperatures should not fall below 18 degrees Celsius even in winter. With their curious bulbous trunks, they look particularly exotic. However, these palms are not suitable for beginners, as a certain amount of tact is required when watering and both plants need to be refreshed daily with a spray of water.
A welcome guest in the room is the golden fruit palm (Dypsis lutescens), also called areca. It grows bushy upwards from several tube-like trunks. The golden fruit palm can become quite large in the winter garden, but it grows extremely slowly and is therefore also a good choice for a bright room. This type of palm is particularly suitable for hydroponics, but once it is rooted it is difficult to transfer it to another substrate. The soil mixture should be slightly acidic and well-drained. Permanently high temperatures of over 18 degrees Celsius are ideal for the Areca palm. If the air is too dry, the leaf tips turn brown.
The areca palm should always be kept moist
How do you properly care for indoor palms?
When choosing your indoor palm, make sure that it gets enough light. Although some species can tolerate somewhat shady locations, dark room corners or stairwells are poorly suited for palm trees. You shouldn’t expect every palm tree to be in full sun, otherwise, the leaves will dry up quickly. Many indoor palms have a high demand for water, so regular watering is important. Here you should rather waterless, but then thoroughly. Spray the indoor palms at short intervals with water that is low in lime. This increases the humidity and prevents pest infestation.
Brown leaf tips on young fronds indicate dryness, but on older fronds they are normal. Tip: If you want to cut off the tips, leave a small edge so that the drying zone does not eat any further. If the leaf fronds are dusty, indoor palms look forward to a lukewarm shower. To maintain vitality, it is good to repot the palm trees in spring and supply them with a fresh, acidic substrate. So you start with enough energy in the next growth phase. Older specimens, which cannot be repotted so easily, should be provided with low-dose green plant fertilizer every 14 days over the summer months.
Indoor palms suffer from dry air and should be sprayed regularly
What to do with pests
Palms are unfortunately very susceptible to pest infestation, especially in dry indoor air. Mealybugs, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites like to spread on the trunk and in the leaf axes. Due to the bushy growth, the little pests are not always easy to spot. It is best to check your indoor palm every week and check the trunk as well as the upper and lower sides of the leaves for animals or webs. Regular spraying or showering helps to avoid pest infestation. Daily ventilation also keeps lice and mites away.