Indoor Palm Trees: Buying Guide, Care, and Decor

Do you want to add some tropical flair to your interior design? There’s no plant that can match the indoor palm tree for this. The problem is, where to start? Don’t worry – we created a guide to everything indoor palm tree.

From palm plant care to ensure it thrives when kept inside, to the best decor arrangements and indoor palm plant varieties, our tips are all you need to arrive in indoor palm tree heaven.

Indoor Palm Trees in a Nutshell

If you’ve never looked into palm trees before, the varieties are astounding (over 2,600 palm plant species in the world). Each one has different requirements. Some palm plants are small and can be grown indoors while others will need to be planted outdoors in warmer climates due to their height or cold sensitivity.

Luckily, many palm plants share the same fundamental care requirements; they readily adjust to being cultivated indoors and can withstand a lot of neglect from their owners. Palm plants do all this while purifying the air you breathe and providing amazing mental stimulation!

Is a palm tree a good indoor plant?

Yes – Palm plants have some incredible benefits. Not only are they widespread symbols of tropical destinations, but they also offer countless health benefits. The benefits of an indoor palm plant can be split into 5 main topics:

  •  Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Decor
  • Privacy
  • Low maintenance

Physical health benefits

Indoor palm plants are an excellent choice for people who suffer from respiratory problems. The Areca Palm or Bamboo Palm are frequently cited as being particularly good at clearing pollutants and other toxins in the air. Some of these airborne toxins include benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.

palm trees decor
Palm tree decorated in the home @ Alice Wanwarameth / Getty Images

Indoor palm plants like the Areca palm also absorb all three major components of smog (nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide). And to top it off, indoor palms generate fresh oxygen. Some species of the palm plant can release up to 2 pounds of oxygen per day!

Most indoor palms are so effective at purifying the air and increasing physical health that NASA has used them in their bio-dome projects.

Mental health benefits

The atmosphere created by indoor palm trees is very unique. Their aesthetic is calming and draws attention away whilst forcing you to focus your eyes on the plants rather than all of your daily worries.

You’ll find yourself in a better mood and more focused after spending time around these tropical plants. This little mental health booster is both relaxing and productivity increasing.

Decor benefits

Indoor palm plants make an excellent addition to any room. Drought-resistant and requiring little care, they’re perfect for corners, balconies and rooms with limited sunlight and people with busy schedules.

beautiful caffe restaurant with palm tree and little waterfall and bridge
Beautiful caffe restaurant with palm tree and little waterfall and bridge @ dotshock / Canva Pro

Their variety of colors allows you to find the right palm plant for your decor needs; whether that’s vibrant green or variegated white and yellow leaves. They also look fantastic in pots!

Privacy

Indoor palm trees have a unique ability to improve privacy. Growing palm plants that have a large amount of foliage, means they can be placed in front of windows to provide natural curtains.

Some palm varieties have such thin and bushy leaves that will shield you from onlookers while allowing you to still look out and let natural light come in.

Low maintenance

Palm trees are a great choice for people who travel often and those with busy schedules. They require less sunlight than outdoor varieties and only need to be watered every few weeks (or once a week with palms like the rubber tree).

Palms with waxy leaves don’t gather dust as quickly as other house plants and they only need to be dusted every couple months or so.

Unlike many other house plants, they rarely suffer from problems like root rot or insect infestations.

Indoor palm buying guide

There are many good indoor palms. Here are some of our favorite palms to grow indoors, all of which may be purchased online or in most stores:

What is the most beautiful palm?

Most people agree that the Parlor Palm, Lady palm, Cascade palm, and Kentia Palm are some of the most beautiful palm trees.

Kentia Palm
Kentia palm pot @ shutterbirdt / Getty Images

Another very popular indoor palm is the Yucca palm. It’s an easy to grow palm that matches any decor. Featuring large thick trunks that look delicious, the Yucca palm is one of the most photographed palms in the world.

What are the most popular palm trees for indoors?

The Areca Palm is also one of the most common palm trees and adds a bright pop to any room. Also known as the butterfly palm and Bamboo palm, the Areca palm has lots of dark green fronds that look light and tropical.

What is the best palm tree for privacy?

Chinese Fan Palms can be grown in a pot and are used to shield windows and produce privacy with its lush and fan-like foliage.

Kentia Palm leaves in the shadow in the park in Azores
Kentia Palm leaves in the shadow in the park in Azores @ pawopa3336 / Getty Images

What is the hardiest palm for indoors?

The Chinese Fan Palm is likely one of the hardiest palms for indoors. It can survive low levels of sunlight and infrequent watering; attributes that make it a popular choice for homes with busy schedules.

Chinese Fan palm indoor decor
Chinese Fan palm indoor decor @ Kara Riley / The Spruce

What palm is best for air purification?

The Lady palm is one of the best palms for air purification. Not only a star in indoor palm pictures but it is also known to remove chemicals from the air that are typically found in homes, such as formaldehyde.

Lady palm indoor
Lady palm indoor @ Kara Riley / The Spruce

What is the best palm for full sun?

The best indoor palms for full sun are the Parlor Palm, Kentia Palm and Queen Palm. They require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day – more than other palms.

Parlor Palm
Parlor palm @ Studio Light and Shade / Getty Images Pro

How tall are indoor palms?

Most palms only grow a few feet each year, so they typically take years to grow. Small palms like the Ponytail palm can be anywhere from one foot to five feet tall. Larger palms can be anywhere from five feet to over ten feet tall. Some like the pygmy date palm and majesty palm grow from very small to very big in their lifetime, if allowed to.

Most people purchase them at around 1-2 feet tall, which is the perfect height for most rooms.

How much do indoor palms cost?

Palm trees range in price depending on type, size and age. Small plants can be anywhere from $5 to $20. Larger plants in stores can be anywhere from $20-$100 or more, depending on size and type.

Many of them may be more expensive than other popular houseplants, but we’re confident that the tropical vibes are well worth the investment as long as you follow our essential rules of indoor palm tree care.

8 Essential rules of indoor palm tree care

1. Balancing moisture

Like with many popular houseplants, palm plant care starts with watering palm trees in a proper balanced and scheduled manner.

Your palm may be rather resilient to being underwatered, but it will only truly sprout when you water it on a regular basis.

Potted plant in the living room
Palm potted plant in the living room @ GCShutter / Getty Images Signature

The other common pitfall of plant care is to overwater it. This will result in root rot which can cause leaf discoloration and plant death.

In order to ensure that you water your palm tree properly, you need to check it on a weekly basis. Your soil should be completely dry before you water it again. And when you do water it, make sure it’s evenly moist.

How often should you water an indoor palm tree?

This really depends on the size of your palm tree, the size of your container, and the atmosphere in your home but generally, you should be watering your palm tree once a week.

If your palm tree has brown tips on its leaves, it’s likely you are underwatering it. If it’s yellow, chances are you’re giving it too much water.

2. What warmth and humidity does a palm plant need?

Indoor palm trees need average humidity and warm temperatures. Palms prefer around 40-50% humidity and average room temperatures between 60 °F and 80 °F.

Palm trees are sensitive to dry air which can cause problems with their leaves, the most obvious symptom is when the leaves turn brown. Avoid leaving your palm plant near a source of cold air, such as air conditioning vents to limit leaves with brown tips.

Humidity meter
Humidity meter @ bee32 / Getty Images

You can buy a humidifier or add humidity to your room by choosing a planter with a saucer and drainage holes. The water that accumulates in the saucer will evaporate and add humidity to your home and increase the average humidity around your plant.

3. What kind of lighting does a palm tree need? – bright, Indirect Light

Indoor palm houseplants have a natural leaning for low-light conditions. To keep your palms healthy (and growing), move them to a bright, indirect light location. This can be done by moving them next to a window or placing them in the center of the room.

Very low-light conditions

Varieties like the Parlor and Kentia hate too much direct light and prefer the shade. This makes them ideal for offices and indoor commercial spaces that rely on indoor lighting.

Indoor plant on a rolling pot stand
Indoor plant on a rolling pot stand @ jopossumdesigns / Jo Possum Designs

No-light palms

Some palms like the Chinese Fan and Kentia require no natural light at all. This is not to suggest that they will do well in total darkness; if there’s no natural light in the space, your palms will need a grow light to survive.

palm tree in the dark
Palm tree in the dark @ Олег Копьёв / Getty Images

Bright light palms

Don’t expose your palms to too much bright light; If you want to give your palm tree some air in the summer, put it in a shaded place so that it doesn’t get too much direct sunlight.

Decorative palm next the window in the morning
Decorative palm next the window in the morning @ sirawit99 / Getty Images

4. Soil Mix with plenty of drainage

Indoor palm trees are generally easy to care for, as long as their soil is reasonable. A typical general-purpose potting soil will ensure that they are cared for, but you should always check the packaging. Anything that says it has very little moisture retention is ideal. This means it is well-draining, won’t retain moisture, and helps to avoid root rot.

Potting mixes that are made of additives such as peat moss, vermiculite and perlite are great because they make porous soil mix letting roots breathe and absorb nutrients more easily.

Organic potting soil mix
Organic potting soil mix @ Bruce Peter Morin / Getty Images

There are also specialized palm soil potting mixes available on the market, and they’re designed for palms specifically such as Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix.

In addition, make sure you get a good pot with drainage holes to make indoor palm tree care much easier for yourself!

5. Natural Pesticides

Indoor palm trees, just like many other indoor plants, are susceptible to a variety of insects.

Spider mites are the most frequent pests, but scale insects and mealy bugs can also infest your palm from time to time.

no toxic
Use non-toxic chemicals to take care of the palm tree @ ozgurkeser / Getty Images Signature

Rather than battling these unwanted guests with hazardous pesticides – and endangering yourself and your pets in the process – use non-toxic chemicals and natural methods

How do I remove insects from my palm tree?

Many oils and insecticidal soaps are available, including organic and horticultural oils, such as neem oil. Neem oil is non-toxic to pets and humans but will kill insects by suffocating them.

neem oil
Neem oil for gardening @ Gardening Know How

Two other options are insecticidal soaps or baking soda sprays. Just be sure that whatever you decide to use, It’s critical that you begin therapy as soon as possible before an infestation gets out of control and spreads to your other plants.

You may also discover that raising air humidity levels around your palm tree will help to keep spider mites at bay, which will make your tropical plant feel more at home. Keeping humidity levels between 40 and 50 percent is an excellent way to do this.

6. Fertilize during the growing season

Although your potted plants do not require fertilization, they will probably appreciate it!

There is one exception, though: perform it during their active growing season, which is spring and summer. It’s not advised to fertilize plants during the fall and winter, and doing so might do more damage.

organic plant fertilizers
Organic fertilizers for plants @ Therson Bruno Mehl / Getty Images

Because some palm varieties are sensitive to artificial fertilizers, use organic fertilizer instead. There are many different varieties of organic plant fertilizers available for purchase in garden centers that contain the right amount of micronutrients and potassium that palms love.

7. Prune carefully

Palm leaves can naturally yellow or brown over time, and as a caring parent, you will want to assist your palm tree in removing any dead leaves that are present.

Prune palm
Pruning palm @ Christine_Kohler / Getty Images

Should I cut off Brown palm leaves?

Yes. But there a few things to consider first. Discolored fronds are still a vital source of nutrients for your palm tree so only remove truly dead ones.

If you want to remove a dead leaf, simply grasp it close to the base, grab your pruning shears, and remove it cleanly; this will encourage new growth in its place.

Never prune your palm plant too much. Reducing the number of fronds will stress out your plant and leave it with not enough foliage for food production.

8. What is the best container for my palm plant?

As a planter manufacturer, we have first-hand knowledge of the best containers for palm trees, from our years of following decor trends to knowing the planter design and technology that best suits plants. Take a look at our favourite planters:

Low bowl planters such as our Casablanca planter are perfect for tall indoor palms with long billowing leaves. With less planter and more plant, this design really shows off your indoor palm as a centrepiece for any decor.

Wide rectangular planters like the potsdam are great to plant more than one palm tree in an row arrangement that doubles as a privacy screen. This is one of the most popular planters for offices and commercial spaces!

Round and fluted planters like our Saint tropez bullet planter look exquisite with a flourishing palm tree. These decorative planters are usually used in hotel lobbies to add the wow factor to guest experience. Perfectly paired with an exotic indoor palm tree!

How often should I repot my indoor palm tree?

Most palm trees have shallow roots and dislike being repotted too often. Allow them to grow in the same container for a few years until they really must be repotted.

To limit their growth, put palms in smaller pots. This is an efficient way of controlling their size; many popular indoor palms grow a bit too rapidly if given more area to expand their roots

repot indoor palm
Repot indoor palm @ KIHWAN KIM / Getty Images

Choose your palm plant’s container carefully since it will live in it for at least a few years.

Our universal fiberglass planters are both practical and pretty, so be sure to take a look at our extensive planter collection to start building your indoor jungle. To get your hands on our products at retail, please see our distributors.

As an international planter manufacturer, we distribute wholesale and would love to help you if you are planning a commercial landscaping project. Or if you would like to start your own range of fiberglass planters, have a look at why working with us is your best step forward.

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