How Do I Choose the Best Palm House Plant?

Cindy Quarters
Cindy Quarters
Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Choosing the best palm house plant is a matter of making your choice based on several different things that apply to your particular situation. You should look at how large the plant gets in relation to how much space you have for it, what the plant’s lighting needs are, and how difficult or easy it is to grow. Pick a plant based on the best combination of features for your needs.

Your first consideration is to decide how much room you have for your palm house plant. Some types can grow quite large and might get too tall for the average home, while other varieties can spend their whole lives sitting on a tabletop and never outgrow the space. When looking for a dramatic accent piece choose a palm houseplant that grows up to about 6 feet (2 m) in height, such as the Rhapis multifida, which may grow a bit taller but will take years to do so. If you want a smaller plant, pick one of the many types that get no more than 3 feet (1 m) tall.

Another important consideration is the amount if light the plant will get. For a high-light location, such as near a window that faces east, choose a palm house plant that can tolerate such a location, such as the European fan palm. Your palm may need to be moved back from the window in the summer, especially if you live in a very hot area, so that it doesn’t get burned. Many types of indoor palms don’t need a lot of light and do best near a north window, or in an area that is not close to any window at all.

If you don’t have a lot of time to devote to caring for your palm house plant, pick an easily cared for variety, such as the parlor palm. Such plants usually get an easy care reputation because they can tolerate inconsistent watering, a variety of light levels, and they do not succumb easily to disease. In the case of the parlor palm and others like it, it will also thrive in relatively low light levels, making it a good choice for many spots in the home or office.

Most of the time a palm house plant will need some extra help in the way of humidity, as many of these plants are from tropical areas and are used to a relatively high level of moisture. Many won’t do well if the soil dries out, and they must also be misted on a regular basis to thrive. If you are not willing to spend a few minutes several times per week spraying you palm house plant with a fine mist, choose a variety that doesn’t need a lot of water, such as the Bismark palm, which can be grown indoors or out in many places, and needs very little care.

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