Q. How do I care for my palm houseplant?
Most palms need bright natural light year-round. Filtered light near a southeast or west-facing window is suitable for most indoor palm plants.
Palms prefer to be kept moist, but excessively wet conditions can lead to root rot. They should never be allowed either to dry out completely or to stand in water. When the surface of the soil becomes dry, water thoroughly, discarding the water in the saucer after the pot drains. Soil mixes for palms must be porous with plenty of organic matter, to ensure both adequate moisture and excellent drainage.
Palms grow best in warm conditions, 70-80°F during the day, and 60°F at night. Protect them from drafts near doors, windows and air conditioning. Many palms benefit from cooler temperatures of 55-60°F during the winter when not actively growing.
Regularly rinse the foliage to clean the leaves. Wash the plant with a fine spray of lukewarm water in your shower, or outside during warm weather, to keep insects such as scale, thrips and mites under control. Also, set plants outside during summer rainstorms to rinse the foliage.
Palms do best when their roots are confined and may only need repotting every 3-4 years, when roots fill the pot. Repot in spring or early summer.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service
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