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Indoor Palm Trees

Updated on August 13, 2014

Real Palm Trees: Beautify the Inside of Your Home with a Tropical Touch

Indoor Palm Trees bring the feel of the tropics into your home and help purify the air. It might surprise you that many are slow growers and easy to care for. Most palms are also much more tolerant of shade than you might think. I'll go into the best indoor varieties and their preferences below.

How to best display a palm inside depends on its size and type. Indoor Palm Trees are perfect as corner specimen plants or foyer plants. Likewise, palms do very well in groups, with smaller potted plants clustered at their base.

Wherever you decide to locate your palm, try to avoid too much traffic brushing against or pulling on the fronds... as this will weaken the plant and possibly kill the frond. All in all, a real palm tree or trees can breath fresh life into any indoor environment and make it your own personal paradise! (Sago Palm pictured above)

Kentia Palm Tree

The #1 Selling Indoor Palm Of All Time!

The Kentia palm is a very popular indoor variety because it has the classic tropical palm appearance: pinnate leaves & arching and drooping leaflets. It is also known to tolerate small containers (being under potted) and will tolerate the soil drying out a bit.

It is an excellent choice due to its easy care nature and slow growing habit. They are best in rooms with tall ceilings as they can reach 8 feet in height.

It prefers some direct light through a window, but doesn't demand an extremely bright spot. Watering should be done when the top inch of soil starts to dry out on your palm plant ...

All palms of this species grow from single trunks, but sometimes commercial growers will plant several in a pot to make it appear more lush and full. Kentia palms benefit from spending the summer outdoors and from regular cleaning of their leaves during the winter.

Tips For Growing Indoor Palms - Follow These Pointers For Healthy, Happy Trees

* Good drainage is essential. Never let a palm's root ball sit in water.

* Feed your palm regularly during the growing season. Potassium deficiency is especially common in palms showing up as yellowing or brownish fronds.

* Trim your palm carefully. It's a very common mistake to overprune palm trees, which weakens the overall plant and robs it of valuable nutrients.

* Only repot when the palm is completely pot bound. Palms often have shallow root systems, and they don't appreciate being disturbed. Also, infrequent repotting slows the growth rate of palms that might rapidly outgrow your room.

* To keep your plants lush and green mist the leaves daily in the spring and summer, and less in the winter.

Lady Palm

Fresh, clean lines & likes light shade

Lady Palms are easy to grow indoors, adapting readily to limited light. Too much light, particularly direct sun, can cause the leaves to turn yellow-green.

They like a lean diet - too much fertilizer can cause the variegation patterns of the showiest varieties to fade.

The Lady Palms are an excellent choice for people who like a formal, easy-to-keep plant that evokes an Oriental mood. They especially enjoy an African violet mix soil amended with sand.

These elegant plants are traditionally grown in shallow bonsai pots or ceramic urns to limit their size.

Prized not only for their beauty, Lady Palms are ranked number two on the list of houseplants that improve indoor air quality. It disposes airborne ammonia and scours the air of formaldehyde. Now there is a beautiful and very useful plant!

(Source book: "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office" by Bill Wolverton)

Chinese Fan Palm
Chinese Fan Palm

Which Indoor Palm Trees Are Best?

Which Are Easiest To Grow?

This is a comment we receive quite a bit on our main indoor palm tree website...

There's a school of thought among palm tree specialists that just about any palm tree can be grown indoors. Well ... the truth is, they might grow well for a while, but they won't do well over the long haul ...

On our site, we recommend twelve varieties of palm trees that are proven to grow well and thrive indoors. Of course, each has their individual care requirement (we discuss these in detail at our main site), but here's a tip: Your choice of an appropriate indoor palm tree is the first, and best, path to success with these beautiful plants. Luckily, there are enough indoor hardy palm trees available, so you can choose from a wide variety and choose one that fits best in your home's d├ęcor ...

Top 12 Indoor Palm Trees

This is sort of a "Top 10 List" plus two ... here are twelve palm trees we recommend for indoor growing (not necessarily in order):

1). Kentia Palm

2). Lady Palm

3). Cat Palm

4). Areca Palm

5). Majesty Palm

6). Parlor Palm

7). Christmas Palm

8). Ponytail Palm

9). Sago Palm

10). Pygmy Date Palm

11). Metallica Palm

12). Chinese Fan Palm

By the way, the picture shown is a Chinese Fan Palm. We own one of these palms and absolutely love it! It's super easy care and really adds a peaceful, tropical ambiance to our living room ...

Palm Care Tip

Do not use any of the leaf shining products on indoor palms as they can severely injure the foliage.

Pygmy Date Palm

Flashy arching fronds with delicate-looking leaflets

These little date palms aren't so little when grown outdoors in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, where they mature into thick-trunked trees producing edible fruits.. Indoors they seldom flower and the plants stay much smaller, often growing to less than 3 feet high. The graceful fronds are delicate looking - but place out of high traffic areas since the bases of the leaflets are armed with sharp spines.

These plants have heavy roots that make for heavy containers. Best grown near an east window where they will get strong morning light, they seldom require moving. They prefer standard potting soil amended with compost, sand and a small amount of clay soil.

Pygmy date palms are sensitive to shortages of micro-nutrients. I've found they like a good rose time-release fertilizer in spring and summer. Do not feed in fall and winter.

Parlor Palm

Popular since Victorian times

Parlor Palms make excellent office plants. In the home, they look great filling in an empty corner behind a sofa or other large piece of furniture. They grow well in moderate natural light or fluorescent light. Fully mature parlor palms get to about 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.

Exposure to sun can cause the leaves to develop brown tips, so use caution if you shift the plant outdoors in the summer. They tolerate dry indoor air, but do best when misted regularly to increase humidity. This also helps prevents spider mite infestations.

Cleaning the leaves by hand from time to time makes for a happier plant. As far as soil goes, they prefer African violet soil amended with sand.

If so, please share your care tips! : )

Indoor Palm Tree
Indoor Palm Tree

Have you grown a palm indoors?

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Growing An Indoor Palm Tree From Seeds

Can It Be Done?

We're frequently asked whether or not it's viable to grow an indoor palm tree from seed. The answer is "yes"! Obviously it'll take a much longer time vs. buying a young (but already established) palm tree, and there is a greater chance of a sproutling not surviving, but indoor gardeners do have success growing palm trees indoors from seeds ...

Two Options For Growing Palm Trees From Seeds ...

You can grow a palm tree from seed via two approaches ...

The first is to buy palm seeds that are already germinated. Basically this means a sprout has already, well, "sprouted" from the seed. The sprout will just a few inches tall, and then it's just a matter of nurturing it into maturity ...

The second approach is to buy fresh palm seeds and go through the process of encouraging the seeds to germinate. You can buy fresh palm seeds rather inexpensively and then follow the directions to get the process moving. The process itself may differ ever so slightly depending on what type of palm seed you buy, but in general it works like this:

First, soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Then, mix them in with a seeding compost mix, which you can obtain at any garden center. Place the mixture (compost mix and seeds) into transparent plastic baggies that seal, like a ziplock baggie, and place it in a warm area with a temperature range of 80+ degrees. Then, wait for a sprout to hatch. When the sproutling is a couple inches long, plant it in a pot and you've started the process of growing an indoor palm tree from scratch!

Remember though, it's unlikely all of your seeds will actually sprout ... it's a bit of a numbers game. But if you like the challenge of growing a tree from seed, a palm tree is as good a choice as any!

Palm Care Tip

Prevent dust on leaves, salt accumulation in the soil, and spider mite infestations by taking the plant outdoors and treating it to a long, warm shower. Indoors, you can easily do this in a roomy bathtub or shower stall.

European Fan Palm

Perfect for a bright sunroom!

The European Fan Palm needs direct sun 4 hours daily with bright filtered light the rest of the day. Hardy enough to grow outdoors in Tucson and Texas, this plant's natural habitat is dry, rocky mountain slopes. Characterized by broad, stiff, fan-like fronds of up to 24 inches across.

When grown indoors, European fan palms slowly grow to about 4 feet tall. Their deep roots are fragile so repot only as necessary, about every three years. These palms prefer a peaty mix soil amended with compost and sand.

If you move them outdoors in the summer, clean them thoroughly before bringing them inside in the fall. Fertilize once or twice in summer with a balanced houseplant food.

Areca Palm

Terrific Air Cleaner! Typically grow 6 - 7 feet indoors

For happy Areca Palms, plant in large tubs set on the floor in a warm, well-lit spot. These attractive palms feature feathery, medium green fronds. The lowest parts of their stems are yellow to yellow orange in color.

They like warm conditions: during the day above 75 degrees, and at night no cooler than 65 degrees. Ideally bright, indirect light from a south or west window.

Areca palms are partial to a peaty yet porous soil mix amended with sand. In spring, feed with a time-released fertilizer. In summer, they benefit from a micro-nutrient spray. In fall and winter, do not feed.

These attractive trees also serve another purpose...ranked Number #1 houseplant to improve indoor air quality! They work hard to remove xylene and toulene from the air.

(Source book: "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office" by Bill Wolverton)

You'll Need A Decorative Container For Your Indoor Palm Tree...

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Why is My Palm Turning Yellow?

Palm leaves go through a natural growth process that will cause the leaves to go from green to yellow to brown.

It's not necessary to remove the leaves when they are yellow, and, in fact, you can disturb the tree's natural way of storing nutrients by removing them too soon (I have been guilty of this...you see a yellow/brown frond and think it's unsightly so you trim it off). Be patient - it's similar to removing the browning leaves of tulips too soon.

When yellowing occurs on new leaves, however, it indicates a nutritional problem. The solution is to feed your tree with a fertilizer specially made for indoor palm trees.

Indoor Palm Tree Tip

An Indoor Palm Tree Makes a Wonderful Gift - Especially Appreciated By Those of Us In Colder Climates. We Can Dream of the Tropics!

Indoor Palm Tree Care Tips on YouTube

Indoor Palm Trees - Vegas Style!

Indoor Palm Trees - Vegas Style!
Indoor Palm Trees - Vegas Style!

Do You Like Indoor Palm Trees? - If so, which type and why?

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    • profile image

      Namsak 3 years ago

      I don't have green fingers but my wife does and she has a few indoor plants which look quite attractive. Not sure if any are palm trees, though.

    • GypsyOwl profile image

      Deb Bryan 3 years ago from Chico California

      I don't have any indoor plants, but, if I did I would love to have the Lady Palm you have on this page. So lovely.

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      Yes, we have an Areca in the conservatory. A beautiful, tough as old boots old veteran of about three Yorkshire winters. Lovely plants

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      I love palm trees, they are so beautiful! I have one areca palm growing in my balcony.

    • SharpLee profile image

      SharpLee 3 years ago

      I have a little sago palm outdoors, but didn't know it could thrive indoors. Good idea!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      I love palm trees anywhere, LOL and would really be impressed if you had one in your house when I visited!

    • profile image

      sherioz 3 years ago

      I love having palm trees indoors. They add lots of green and I need that in my living room.

    • CrazyHomemaker profile image

      CrazyHomemaker 3 years ago

      I have a sago that got hit with a bit of cold weather. I have it indoors and I think it will stay there. I hope it comes back...there is still some green showing in the fronds. Nice lens.

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      My favorite is the Kentia Palm. Great lens.

    • profile image

      Im2keys 3 years ago

      love that little sago palm in your opening- so pretty!

    • Babu Mohan profile image

      Mohan Babu 3 years ago from Chennai, India

      Wow. Though I have not tried indoor plants much, the palm trees you have showcased here makes me want to.

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 3 years ago

      I do, I'd like to find a species that stays small outdoors! Thank you for an excellent lens.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for naming palms for me. I have some but never knew how they're called.

    • Bercton1 profile image

      Bercton1 3 years ago

      Palm tree are graceful plants and really enhances the landscape. Nice lens indeed!

    • SavioC profile image

      SavioC 3 years ago

      Indoor palm trees look wonderful. Had seen a great one at a 5 star resort and it looked amazing . I forgot to take a snap of that one (must have been mesmerized) .

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      This lens helped me to identify several types of palm trees that I have seen along my travels and had wondered what they are named. Thank you!

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      Yes, I have two European Fan Palm trees! I would love to have some more... :-) Thanks a lot for sharing this great lens!!!

    • shana273 profile image

      shana273 4 years ago

      I love indoor palm trees as well as other indoor plants. Thanks for all the information!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this lens. It was an enjoyable read. Interesting information about indoor palm trees. I learned so much here.

    • profile image

      suzzycue 4 years ago

      I love palm trees because I spent so many years in Florida and they help to keep the memory alive. I like the Pony Tail Palm but we called it a Bottle Bottom Palm. I am wondering if they are the same thing? They grow big bottoms and then spout out their leaves at the top.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      I would love to have one of these in my house. I wonder if my trash-overturning kitty (Odan) would leave it be? **Sigh**

    • jemacb profile image

      jemacb 4 years ago

      Lovely lens. Well done.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 4 years ago from Virginia

      I'm KooKoo for coconut but a palm, that's the ticket! Thumbs up on a great lens from COUNTRYLUTHIER.

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 4 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      Even I live in cold Switzerland we had 3 palm trees in our garden. That is the tropical touch I think:) Thank you very much for this lens, I really enjoyed reading it, like the lens about the Orchid's.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Growing up in Miami, Florida, we had a palm tree in our yard. I loved it! But I did not there were indoor palm trees. I'm adding to this to my Home Décor Pinterest board.

    • profile image

      RoSelou 4 years ago

      Yes, We have 4 or 5 kinds of palm at home too. Palms can be indoor or outdoor. For really small dwarf palms, it is easier to put them indoor. Outdoor palms when young is good for indoor too.

    • mcstacy profile image

      mcstacy 4 years ago

      I don't have a palm tree, but do have a banana tree/plant. I need to prune it...much too tall. I like the sago palm; it is beautiful. I love house plants. Great lens (beautiful roses).

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 4 years ago from New Zealand

      We have outdoor palm trees. I never really thought about having some indoors too. Great idea and wonderful suggestions.

    • junkcat profile image

      junkcat 4 years ago

      I love to grow plants in the house. Palms are one of my favorites.

    • SLHamilton LM profile image

      SLHamilton LM 4 years ago

      Living in Southern California we have palm trees everywhere.. indoors and outdoors.. front yard and back.. lining the boulevards.. in planters at the malls and rooftop gardens of hotels and business centers. At our home.. we have a variety of palms in our front and back yard. I also have an adorable Pony Tail Palm in the center of the island in the kitchen.. as well as some of the other palm trees you have featured on this page.. in the bedroom.. in the living room and in the family room. Definitely one of the advantages of living in a somewhat tropical climate. I suppose if you live in the UP of Michigan it may not be as easy to grow Palm trees :-)

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Yes I have palms indoors and outdoor. One of my trees has grown to about 15 feet tall, it was just a little thing a few years ago.

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Plants are great to have inside!

    • curtis62 profile image

      curtis62 4 years ago

      I always liked indoor plants and trees. Nice Lens

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      Very helpful lens and very good information

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      thanks for the helpful tips! I have killed more than I can count, and now I know why!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Indoor palms definitely look great and give any place a nice healthy and natural feeling.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 4 years ago

      I LOVE LOVE them but the last time I got one my cats ate it. Bummer.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I love house plants and never thought about getting a Palm tree. You gave me so many beautiful Palms to select from I don't know which one I like better. Thanks for sharing.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I'd enjoy any of the types of indoor palm trees you offer here

    • InfoCoop profile image

      InfoCoop 4 years ago

      This page is very helpful and detailed. It gives me hope that I might actually have success with growing one of these indoors. Thanks for an excellent resource!

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      I love palms. Thanks for the good tips on yellow palm leaves; very good to know. I didn't know I could purchase sprouting palm 'seeds'. Those are so neat. It would be fun to raise one from seed.

    • ian-patrick-716 profile image

      ian-patrick-716 4 years ago

      Never tried it yet, I will have to

    • worldflashpacker profile image

      worldflashpacker 4 years ago

      Loving your whole series on plants, especially this one about our pollution busting friends. Run out of likes for today, have been reading all day as the weather has been terrible here (rain) but I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

    • worldflashpacker profile image

      worldflashpacker 4 years ago

      Loving your whole series on plants, especially this one about our pollution busting friends. Run out of likes for today, have been reading all day as the weather has been terrible here (rain) but I'll be back tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      We keep two very large Sago Potted Trees on our front porch in the summer. We have to move them inside under the carport in the winter. Since we live in SC, we love the Palm Tree. It is our state tree. Enjoyed this visit!

    • mrknowitall54321 profile image

      mrknowitall54321 4 years ago

      I never knew that indoor palm trees existed! I do now though and they look great I must say.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      I love Pony Tail Palms. I bought a tiny one that grew to giant proportions. It is now housed in my daughters home in Minnesota where she has a living room with very tall ceilings. I love this lens. You have done a wonderful job with it. *Squid Angel Blessed* and I've added it to "My Squid Angel Blessings for 2012" lens in the "Home & Garden » Gardening » House Plants" neighborhood. In fact, yours is the 1st lens to be featured in this category this year! Whoohoo! Well done, my dear.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 4 years ago

      Thanks for your tips about growing indoor palm trees.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      I love them!

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      I do like them very much! Hope to get one soon!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I never thought about doing this. What a great idea. I love palm trees.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Definitely a great way to bring a little of the great outdoors indoors! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 5 years ago

      I like them very much, because here in Belgium we can't have outdoor palms

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I like the indoor palm tree look, but I live in the tropics, so am never short of palm trees of numerous varieties to look at.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Another awesome lens! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 12/26/2010. Have a great day!

    • mochimo profile image

      mochimo 6 years ago

      I like both outdoors and indoors type, since there are no obstacle for me with my climate to grow palm outside/inside area. For indoors, I love the Chamaedorea metallica. They are fit well with my home, little care requirement, they love shade and don't shade their leaf often.