There is no better exotic addition to your home than the palm plant. Fresh. Tropical. Exciting. These gorge green plants are an interior design must-have, and a plant-lovers best friend.
However, like any plant, for them to thrive, you need to know how to care for them right. We all know that happy plants mean happy plant owners, so, we think it’s essential you know how to treat your palm plant right. Bloombox to the rescue!
The good news is that palm plants are robust and versatile, which is why they are adored across the world as epic houseplants! With just a few simple palm care tips, you will be well on your way to growing a thriving palm beauty that’s settled nicely into your home.
That’s where we come in… Whether this is your first plant, or, your one hundred and first, here’s everything you need to know about palm plant care, including the very best palm care tips and some of our favourite palm plants!
Palm plants: The low down
What are palm plants?
A palm plant is a tropical plant from the Arecaceae family that naturally grows in hot climates with high humidity levels - this can be anywhere from the rainforest to the desert! However, you are more likely to recognise these perennials as the stunning houseplants you have seen in your friend's homes because palm plants have become widely loved indoor plants all over the world.
Palm plants most commonly come in the form of trees and shrubs and they are legendary for their long thin pointing leaves called ‘fronds’, which fan out like feathers from the stem. Their distinctive look brings a touch of the exotic to any space they are placed in.
What is special about palm plants?
What’s so special about palm plants? Where do we start!?
Firstly, their tropical vibe. Take one look at a palm plant and you will instantly feel be a fan of their fanned fronds, and their distinctive look transforms any space they are placed in with their exotic edge. These plants are widely popular for a reason, and we are part of the fan club!
But, these plants don’t just look the part. Oh no. They also have amazing air purifying qualities. All plants help filter toxins out of the air, but, the more surface area a plant has, the more toxins it will filter out. And, with all those fanned leaves, palm plants are up there with the top dogs.
Did we mention they can also boost your mood? Yep, psychologists have confirmed being around the green colours of nature can pump up your serotonin levels, and the vivid green palm plants are no exception. So, there’s just one more reason why palm plants are a must-have.
So, a better question would be: what is not special about palm plants!
Are palm plants easy to grow?
A big fat YES. In fact, palm plant care could hardly be easier. Known for being robust and hardwearing, palm plants are extremely versatile and not too fussy about the conditions they are grown in. That’s why they are such popular house plants worldwide!
Every individual species of plant has different needs, but, in general, palm plant care is super easy, provided that you meet a few key conditions and follow some key palm care tips - find out more below…
Palm plant care:
How much light do palm plants need?
When it comes to light, every plant species will have slightly different requirements, however, as a general rule, palm plants enjoy moderate, but not direct, sunlight. This is because too much bright sunlight can scorch their leaves. So, they enjoy being in light spots that won’t give them sunburn. A bit like us on holiday! A spot a little setback from a bright window is perfect for these green wonders. The Areca Palm is a beautiful example of a palm plant that loves these conditions - as does the Fishtail Palm.
However, palm plants are super versatile and some variants can even thrive in shaded spaces too. This is because palm plants originate from the rainforest and are used to having to survive without light. Palm plants that can still grow in shaded conditions include the Emerald Palm and the ZZ Plant.
How often should I water my palm plant?
Palm plants require regular watering. As a general rule, we recommend watering your palm plant every time the top two inches of soil have dried out. If you are not sure whether your plant needs watering, just poke your fingers into the soil a couple of inches deep. If it all feels dry, it is time for another water! To water your palm plant, cover the soil in water until it all becomes damp, and then drain the excess. It’s as simple as that!
Do I have to keep my palm plant inside?
The answer to this question depends on the species. There are a few, less common, species of palm plants that can grow entirely outside - the Trachycarpus fortunei for example, however, the majority of palm plant species are much better suited to living indoors. This is because they can’t take the cold winters.
However, if you are desperate to get some tropical action on your decking, balcony or garden, some species of palm plant are happy to live outside during spring and summer if the weather conditions are mild... like Majestic Palms, for example. So long as they are not scorched in direct sunlight, they can sit happily outside until autumn - so, these may be the plants for you!
Do palm plants need humid conditions?
Again, palm plants are super robust and resilient and don’t need high humidity conditions to survive. However, although most palm plants will tolerate low humidity, they prefer higher levels if possible. So, if you really want to suck up to your leafy friend, why not give it a little mist of spray every now and again in the morning? This is guaranteed to keep you in the good books and they’ll grace you with glossy green leaves.
Should I fertilise my palm plant?
Palm plants can survive without fertiliser, however, again, if you want them to go the extra mile with your palm plant care to help your houseplant flourish, we recommend applying a balanced fertiliser every week when the plant is actively growing. This will typically be between early spring and late autumn.
Are palm plants prone to pests?
Although palm plants are fairly resistant to pests, just like any other houseplant, palm plants can fall to the mercy of these nasty insects. Palm plants can be particularly prone to mealy bugs and spider mites. However, do not fret! These pests can also be easier to get rid of with a little palm plant care. Treating your plant with insecticidal soap will be a sure-fire way to keep these nasty bugs at bay. Taking your plant outside and giving it a hose down is also another effective way of getting rid of spider mites.
Should I prune my palm plant?
The occasional prune is great for a palm plant, as long as you prune off only the dead brown leaves. Getting rid of brown leaves will help keep your plant healthy, and prevent the dead leaves from harbouring pests or diseases. However, the green fronds of palm plants are their main source of nutrients, so if you cut these green leaves away, your lovely plant won’t be so happy. This is also why you shouldn’t cut off the top of the plant. So, in short, get rid of dead leaves but don’t overdo it and you will be a top palm plant carer!
Our final tip!
If dust collects on your palm plants, it will block their pores and stop them from getting the most out of the sunshine. So, our final palm plant care tip is to keep an eye on your plants and make sure they aren’t gathering dust. A quick wipe every now and again should keep them from collecting dust, and will keep your plants as happy as larry!
Palm Plants Top Picks:
So, now you know everything about palm plant care, but with so many palms available, which should you go for? Here are some of our top picks…
- For a classic leaf-forward green palm, check out the Areca Palm. Its vibrant fresh colour is legendary, and this crowd-pleaser is also a great air humidifier!
- If you want to try something a little different, why not try a ZZ Plant? This one is super robust which makes it easy to care for, and it boasts great air-purifying properties.
- Or, why not make a statement with the Dracaena Bi-Colour? This plant has a distinct thick trunk and atmospheric tropical fronds which are sure to impress. It’s also easy to care for!
So, there you have it! Your one-stop guide to palm plant care, including everything you need to know about palm plants and our top palm care tips. Follow these simple steps when looking after your exotic number, and we are sure you will be the proud owner of a thriving houseplant and the envy of all of your guests.
So. What are you waiting for? There’s no time to lose. Join the palm-lovers club and get your palm plant now!