Indoor Plant of the Month for January

The Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) creates a tropical atmosphere in your home. This low-maintenance palm thrives with little light and low humidity, and even prefers cooler spaces. The Kentia palm is also a lovely addition to your home: light shining through its gorgeous leaves is a sight to behold. Did you know that Howea forsteriana also purifies the air in your home? It’s with good reason that Thejoyofplants.co.uk, chose it as the indoor plant of the month for January!

The Kentia palm is one of the most popular and robust species of palm for homes, offices, schools or other public spaces, and it’s incredibly easy to maintain. The dark-green, feathered leaves not only create ambience, but they also improve the air around them. It’s a fantastic substitute for the green hole that your Christmas tree will leave behind once the season ends.

Caring for the Kentia Palm

  • The Kentia palm is one of the few palms that tolerates darkness relatively well. If the leaves turn light green or yellow, it’s getting too much light. If it is producing pale new shoots, then it’s not getting enough.
  • The palm does best when its root ball is somewhat damp, but don’t water it to the point where you leave it sitting in a saucer of water.
  • Running the shower over it or leaving it outside during some light rain freshens the plant and prevents spider mites.
  • Clip off any yellow, old or wilted fronds.
  • The Kentia palm loves room temperature; anything below 10°C is too cold.
  • Between April and September, fertilize it lightly in order to maintain growth. The Kentia palm does not grow during the winter, so fertilizer is not necessary.

 

Origin of the Kentia palm

The Kentia palm is a member of the palm family and is found endemically only on Lord Howe Island (it’s named for the local village, Kentia) to the east of Australia, under the canopy of larger trees. This is why it has adapted to receiving little sunlight. In the wild, the palm can grow to 18 metres tall and 6 metres wide, with leaves that are 3 metres long. It remains much smaller under indoor conditions.

Adapted from a press release by Thejoyofplants.co.uk

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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