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Attractive, Adaptable Great Houseplants - We Call Them Palms

Mar 18, 2008
Palm trees are not just for the tropics. There are varieties that can tolerate mild to cold climates quite well. They are easy to care for, attractive, and adaptable. They make great houseplants.

If you are looking to create shade inside your home for smaller plants, the King Palm is a great option. They are commonly known to be an outdoor palm, but they make great indoor palms as well. You can protect the smaller plants from the hot direct sunlight through the windows with a King Palm. After a few years, you may have to move it outside, though, because they grow tall rather quickly.

Majesty palms also live well outdoors, and also grow pretty quickly (ten feet in ten years). Queen palms grow too quickly to live indoors for log. They can get to 25 feet in as little as seven years...likely much taller than your ceiling.

If you live in a cold climate and want to bring a little of the tropics home it is possible. Dozens of species can handle temperatures around freezing or below. The Date Palm, for example, can live in temperatures down to 18 degrees F. The Windmill Palm is the most cold resistant plant, being able to handle temperatures down to 5 degrees F.

Because of this, you can grow the plants outdoors or on a patio or covered porch without having any problems.

The type of soil that you grow the palm in is very important. Adding mycorrhizal fungi will help the health of your plant. They also need special fertilizer. The required fertilizer is a slow release fertilizer with a special NPK ratio. The ratio should be 3-1-3 or 15-5-15. Correct amounts of the micro-nutrients magnesium, manganese and calcium need to be added as well.

You should check the salt level in the soil to make sure there is not salt buildup. Flushing the water a few times until you get the proper salt reading will fix the problem.

Indoor palm trees can last a long time on a little bit of water. They are used to this in nature during the dry season. They need good soakings of water sometimes though equivalent to the rainy season in the tropics.

Finally, you need to make sure the pot is large enough to support the plants and to avoid root bound. Also, the pot needs to have adequate drainage.
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