Palm houseplants are a firm favourite amongst plant lovers. And for many good reasons!
Some types of palm plants have been a popular feature in homes since at least the Victorian era, with Queen Victoria herself keeping Palour Palms in all of her palaces.
Giving a distinctly tropical feel to your home, you might think that all types of palms require your home to be hot and humid. But actually, they tend to be more forgiving than you’d expect!
We’ve put together a list of our favourite palm houseplants along with their care requirements, to help you pick the perfect one for you.
1. Parlour Palms (Chamaedorea elegans)
Parlour palms have been one of the most popular palm houseplants since the Victorian era, when they were used as a mark of social status. Parlour palms got their name because they were typically kept in the nicest room of the house, the parlour, of affluent Victorian households as a display of wealth.
These types of palm plants are easy to care for and they prefer low light conditions. This means that unlike most indoor plants they can happily brighten up the gloomier corners of your home rather than needing to bask on a windowsill.
Parlour palms grow very slowly, often taking several years to reach their full height. So you don’t need to repot more than once a year. Like many types of palms, these babies are sensitive to being overwatered so you should check them weekly and only water them if their soil is dry.
2. Umbrella Plant Luseana (Schefflera arboricola 'Luseana')
The umbrella plant 'Luseana', also called the dwarf umbrella tree thanks to its resemblance to an umbrella tree, is a lovely little palm houseplant that’s native to Taiwan and Hainan.
These hardy plants are one of the longest-lasting types of palms and can take as long as 10 years to reach maturity. Thankfully, they don’t require too much attention to live long and happy lives! Your umbrella palm can thrive in most environments where they can enjoy 3-4 hours of sunlight.
Check your plant every few days to see if the soil is dry. Give it a good drink when the top 3-5cm of soil is dry. Be conscious of how much sun your plant is getting, as the more sun these beauties receive, the more water they will also need.
3. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)
If you’re on the lookout for types of palm plants that grow gloriously tall, then the Kentia palm might be the one for you.
These gorgeous green giants can grow up to 10 feet tall, making them perfect floor plants to add some tropical beauty to your home.
Kentia palms are actually also very low maintenance plants since they can survive in most light conditions. You don’t need to totally transform your home into a tropical climate but these particular palm houseplants love humidity, so a regular misting helps keep your leaves a beautiful glossy green.
Be careful not to overwater your palm. The best way to ensure this is by checking the soil regularly and only watering your plant when the top 3-5cm of soil is dry. They’re fairly drought tolerant so they won’t mind an occasional dry period.
These types of palms were also popular in the Victorian era, and they were used to decorate the first-class area of the Titanic!
4. Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis)
It’s not hard to figure out where these palm houseplants got their name!
Fishtail Palms have cute fin-like feathered leaves and in Indonesia, they are known as ‘the hand of the gods’, and are thought to represent a ‘hand from heaven’.
These thirsty little beauties prefer their soil to be kept moist. Make sure to should check them every couple of days and give them a water when the top 5cm of soil is dry. They also prefer bright indirect sunlight, but that being said, they can live in low light conditions, too. So you don’t need to worry too much if you aren’t sure if you have the perfect spot!
Fishtail palms can grow up to 3m tall, making them one of our more medium-large sized types of palms. They make an excellent centrepiece in the dining room and look great shifted slightly to the corner!
5. Dragon Tree ‘Magenta’ (Dracaena marginata 'Magenta’)
Not nearly as scary as they might sound, the Dragon Tree ‘Magenta’ is a wonderful addition to any plant lover's collection! However, we have been a little bit naughty adding these mystical beauties to our list of palm houseplants, since they’re actually a member of the Yukka family and not a type of palm.
Natives of Madagascar and Mauritius, you’d be forgiven for thinking dragon trees need very specific environments. But that is where you would be wrong! Almost impossible to kill, these extremely hardy plants continue to thrive even if you are guilty of forgetting about them.
Unlike real dragons, these beauties don’t enjoy scorching conditions, so try to keep them out of direct sunlight in a bright but shady area. Try to check them every few days and water them if the soil is dry, but they will forgive you if you forget!
With lovely deep red and green leaves, these plants make an eye-catching addition to your palm houseplant collection. However, these plants are toxic to pets and they seem to be a great attraction for nibbly cats, so be very careful about keeping them out of reach.
6. Rhapis Excelsa
We love the Rhapis exclesa with her funny shaped foliage! These pretty palm houseplants are native to Southeast Asia and have unusual thick and wide oblong-shaped leaves.
Its fibrous trunk gives these lovely ladies their common name ‘bamboo palms’, and they’re another favourite amongst those of us who aren’t so green-fingered.
Lots of bright indirect light and warm humid conditions are the dreams for these types of palm plants, but they are extremely hardy and can live in colder, darker conditions, too! Ideally, you should check your Rhapis excelsa every few days to keep their soil nice and moist.
7. Janet Craig Compacta (Dracaena fragrans)
These types of palm plants grow at a super slow rate of around 4 inches per year. You don’t have to worry about repotting them too often, perfect for the more forgetful plant parents of us!
These palm houseplants are another that do their best in lower light conditions, so they’re perfect for sprucing up rooms that are not the most well lit. They can tolerate bright indirect light, so don’t worry too much if you are lucky enough to have a very sunny house!
You need to be careful of overwatering these dinky Dracaenas as they fare better in drier soil conditions. We would suggest that you check them weekly and make sure that the top layer of soil is completely dry before you water them.
And there you have it!
We’ve covered a range of palm houseplants that are suitable for different levels of plant care expertise. From little to large to slightly higher maintenance and fuss-free palm houseplants, hopefully, there are plenty of types of palms here for all to love!