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Palm trees are the ideal plants when it comes to getting South Seas feeling in the apartment or conservatory. Many of the exotic plants thrive in the pot and can unfold their natural charm for many years in a bright or partially shaded place in the living room, bedroom or bathroom. The care of the evergreens is usually associated with little effort and most commercially available copies remain small enough to take away in the apartment not too much space. Set in palm soil or good potted soil, most palms then only need regular water and naturally extend their fronds.
The best room palms
The mountain palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is one of the smallest representatives of their guild and even in a larger pot is not higher than one meter. The petite small tree is usually used to decorate east or west windows and brightly colored desks. You should avoid direct sun. Unlike most palm trees, the mountain palm tolerates calcareous tap water very well.
One of the most popular indoor palm trees is the Kentia (Howea forsteriana). She stretches her feathers on long stems elegant overhanging. In pot culture, it is up to three feet high. But as it grows very slowly, it seldom reaches this altitude. The Kentia palm likes to stand in slightly acidic substrate, half of which should be mixed with sand. Temperatures around 20 degrees and a high humidity get her best.
The Steckenpalme (Rhapis excelsa) botanically belongs to the umbrella palms and can be up to five meters high in nature. In the pot, it remains much smaller. Her deep-cut leaves are dark green and spring from the trunk at any height, giving her a dense appearance. The Steckenpalme is suitable for remote locations at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees. It turns yellow when it is too bright.
Unlike Areca or Kentia, the mating palm bears large umbrella leaves
The bottle palm and the spindle palm (Hyophorbe) are well suited for warm and sunny places in the home. On the other hand, cold temperatures do not tolerate these room palms at all, so temperatures should not fall below 18 degrees Celsius even in winter. With their curious bulbous trunks they look very exotic. For beginners, these palms are not suitable, however, because when pouring a bit of instinct is required and both plants want to be refreshed daily with a puff of water.
A welcome guest in the room is the Goldfruchtpalme (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), also called Areca. It grows bushy upwards from several tubular stems. In the winter garden, the gold fruit palm can grow quite large, but it grows very slowly and is therefore also a good choice for a bright room. This palm species is particularly suitable for hydroponics, but once it has been rooted, it can hardly be converted into another substrate. The soil mixture should be slightly acidic and well drained. Permanently high temperatures of more than 18 degrees counteract the Areca palm. If the air is too dry, the tips of the leaves turn brown.
The areca palm should always be kept moist
Maintaining palm trees
When choosing your palm tree palm, make sure that it gets enough light. Although some species tolerate somewhat shadier locations, dark corners or staircases are not suitable for palm trees. You should not expect too much sunshine, because otherwise the leaves dry up quickly. Many indoor palm trees have a high demand for water, so regular watering is important. You should rather pour less often, but then penetrate. Sprinkle the palm trees in short intervals with lime-free water. This increases the humidity and prevent pest infestation.
Brown leaf tips on young fronds indicate dryness, on older fronds they are normal. Tip: If you want to cut off the tips, leave a small edge so that the drying zone does not continue to eat. If the leaf fronds are dusty, room palms are happy about a lukewarm shower. In order to maintain vitality, it is good to repot the palms in the spring and provide them with fresh, sourish substrate. So they start with sufficient energy in the next phase of growth. Older specimens that can not easily be repotted should be fed with low-dose green plant fertilizer every 14 days during the summer months.
Palm trees suffer from dry air and should be sprayed regularly
What to do with pests?
Unfortunately, palm trees are very susceptible to pest infestation, especially in dry indoor air. Woll lice, mealybugs, scale insects and spider mites like to spread on the trunk and in the leaf axles. Due to the bushy growth, the little pests are not always easy to spot.It is therefore best to check your palm tree weekly and inspect the trunk and the tops and undersides for animals or webs. Regular spraying or showering helps to prevent pest infestation. Even daily ventilation keeps lice and mites away.
If the lice are numerically still manageable, helps a stripping of the animals. In case of heavy infestation you should isolate the palm tree and treat it with insect repellent. Tip: Plant protection sticks such as Careo or Lizetan, which are pressed into the soil, prevent infestation. However, they are only effective in the growing season, as long as the roots are active and therefore not an option in winter quarters.