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A palm tree in the house

Palm trees indoor houseplant

Indoors, the palm tree is a powerful ornamental asset thanks to its designer palm leaves. It also makes the house a greener place to be. Our advice on how to make it last.

Select a large container with a hole drilled in the bottom to settle your palm tree in. Provide a thick layer of clay pebbles or gravel, at least 20% of the pot’s total volume.

Palm trees abominate having to keep their roots constantly in water, and this drainage bed will help avoid typical root suffocation phenomenon. Prepare a blend of rich soil mix, garden soil, compost and river sand of an average grain size, and plop your palm tree in that.

Watering the palm tree

Watering an indoor palmFor your indoor palm tree to stay in great health, what you need to do is to give it moderate amounts of water.

Watering must be regular, however, you must check that the surface of the blend has time to dry off before watering the next time, and never let water stay in the collection saucer. Always water with room temperature water, as soon as the surface soil is dry. Never water with ice water, the palm tree shuns cold water.

After that, you must strive to maintain 50% water moisture in the surrounding air.  To compensate the fact that the air indoors is usually very dry (usually around 20%), you can mist the palm leaves with soft water, and place under the pot a large saucer filled with clay pebbles and water.

Tips on how to care for indoor palms

For thick, lustrous leaves, remember to remove dust regularly with a damp sponge, it tends to accumulate.

But don’t also douse them with water too often, this could invite bacteria to colonize the plant. The leaves will thus be better able to perform their photosynthesis duty.

What should I do with my palm tree in summer?

Care for indoor palm in summerMost palm trees don’t relish direct sunlight, but they’ll do great behind a lightly veiled window. For this reason, the best place to put it is near a West-facing window. Your indoor palm tree can travel from one room to the next, provided the surrounding temperature stays in a fork between 65°F (18°C) and 72°F (22°C).

In summer, you can give your plant some fresh air and bring it to the garden, in a spot that is partly shaded and sheltered from wind. It will dress up the landscape with a tropical touch, and taking a breath of fresh air will give it strength to face the canned air we breathe in winter.

Species of indoor palm trees

There are quite a few palms and palm-like trees that are very happy indoors. Here is a list of our favorites:

  • Indoor palm treesAreca (or Chrysalidocarpus): great arching fronds, needs quite a lot of space
  • Howea: smaller, will only grow as large as the pot permits, then slows
  • Emerald palm: not strictly a palm, but beautiful green fronds as well
  • Similar to palms: the dracaena family
  • Cycas: does great both indoors and outside
  • Rhapsis or bamboo palm: beautiful leaves
  • Cordyline: suited for potted growing on a balcony because it’s quite hardy


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