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

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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