|Palms are a much loved family of plants which over the ages have endeared themselves to gardeners everywhere. Whether they are placed in feature gardens, public parks or private courtyards the grace and form of Palms adds an atmosphere of relaxation and a hint of the tropics.
As an indoor plant certain tolerant all varieties can be used to great effect in pots or in planter boxes. Nothing can quite match the elegance of a well grown Kentia or Chamaedora Palm- and both of these are tolerant of usual indoor conditions and will give a lasting performance.
Our palm list is rather extensive and we have pleasure in commending the following information for your perusal.
PALMS FOR INDOORS
Listed below is a selection of beautiful palms most suitable for shaded garden or indoors. Some can also be grown in sunny positions outdoors.
A popular taller growing palm for homes, restaurants or Offices, the Kentia looks stunning in cane baskets or ceramic pots.
It is also very showy in large terracotta pots on patios or around pools in shaded areas.
The Kentia Palm is one of the most suitable palms for indoor use because it is slow growing and plants five years old may be less than 1 metre high. Occasionally, it should be taken outside to a shady spot for a few weeks to freshen up the foliage and produce new growth.
RAPHIS PALM or LADY PALM
Do not repot into a larger pot before it is necessary as it likes to be ôtightö in its pot.
In the garden, Kentias grow to tall majestic slender trees over a period of many years, where they can reach a height of approx 5 metres.
Their smooth trunks are beautifully scarred in rings left by old leaf bases. The palms should be advanced before planting them out into the garden and kept shaded until thoroughly established.
Rich soil, also good drainage & frequent watering will give you the best results.
This native of southern China is sometimes called ôLady Palmö and is particularly suitable for indoors where it adapts well to comparatively low light levels.
It is slow growing and remains shirt for years but can eventually grow approx. 3 metres high in good garden conditions.
In the garden, Raphis palms will grow in full sun, but the leaves tend to yellow. They do best in shade where the foliage of these multi-stemmed plants remains green and glossy.
Repotting is necessary only every three years and once the palm has matured into a large multi-stemmed plant the pot would only require a yearly top-dressing to freshen its growth.
Water thoroughly during the summer months, but let the top of the soil dry out between watering in winter.
CYCAS REVOLUTA or SAGO PALM
Often referred to as the ôCycadö, it is a native of Japan and China, where it has grown for centuries. Cycads are very old life forms, hardy and slow growing.
Cycas revoluta is one of the easiest of plants to maintain, outstanding in landscapes and is always a real conversation piece- a fabulous plant.
They are excellent for well lit interiors and are stunning in large terracotta pots on patios where full sun blazes down unmercifully all day long- providing they are in a large container or pot and kept reasonably moist they will thrive anywhere.
However, short periods of drying out doesn`t appear to hurt them.
The wheel-like growth formation of this age old plant makes it look almost artificial and new leaves come mainly once, but occasionally twice a year.
The leaves of Cycas revoluta can be used in floral work. After cutting they should be dried and bleached, and will last for many years.
Growing in the garden, Cycas revoluta will grow to approx 1.8 metres across, but they take many years to grow any height.
Cycas Revoluta can be transplanted at any time of the year other than when the new leaves are unfurling in the centre.
CARYOTA MITIS or FISHTAIL PALM
A beautiful multi-stemmed palm, native to India and Malaysia, growing approximately 6 metres in height in shaded or partly shaded gardens.
Soil should be rich and well drained and plentiful summer watering will provide good growing conditions.
Fishtail Palms can adjust to low light intensities and this make them ideal indoor plants.
Large mature plants are often seen in hotel foyers while smaller plants are excellent for homes. Plant in large tubs for shaded patios and around pools.
PHEONIX ROEBELLINII or DWARF DATE PALM
This versatile, easily grown palm is equally suited for indoors or outdoors, growing quite well in heavy shade, partial shade, or full sun.
However, it does keep deeper green in colour if grown in partial shade and is ideal for planting in containers both large and small.
Phoenix Roebellinii will do well inside for long periods of time and can remain in a medium to large size pot.
Take out of the container every couple of years, during October.
If the roots are carefully pruned, by about one sixth, it can then be repotted back into the same container.
Phoenix Roebellinii is a very good small palm for gardens.
A small plant takes about ten years to grow to approx 3metres high and in the process should grow no wider than 1.8metres.
Once established in the garden, Phoenix Roebellinii palm will tolerate being fairly dry for short periods, but it grows much better when kept evenly moist.
CHAMAEDOREA ERUMPENS or BAMBOO PALM
A clustering, bamboo-like palm which grows approx 2-3 metres high in the garden where it should be grown in deep shade for best results.
Bamboo Palms are excellent in tubs and ideal for indoors in bright indirect light, or on shaded patios.
CHAMAEDOREA SEIFRITZII or CLUSTERED PARLOUR PALM
This native of the jungles of Central America, thrives in low light conditions.
It is a hardy plant, vigorous and branches from the base.
Planted in the garden it will grow approximately 3 metres high, but if planted in pots it will remain much smaller.
However if your palm gets taller than required, the central or taller stem can be cut out, making suckers coming from the base develop a more bushy plant.
It is most suitable for growing in pots indoors, on shaded patios, or in protected and shady areas around pools.
It should be kept moist at all times and not allowed to dry out.
CHAMAEDOREA ELEGANS or PARLOUR PALM
A small, elegant indoor palm, native to Mexico, where its natural habitat is in deep rainforest under constant shade.
If placed in direct sunlight the leaves quickly scorch.
In the garden, the Parlour Palm will grow approximately 2 metres high, in a shaded position protected from wind and frost.
Parlour Palms are particularly suitable for indoor positions where less than bright light is available.
They prefer warm humid conditions and the soil should be kept moist but not wet.
In containers, they seldom grow much over 1 metre tall.
Chamaedorea Elegans are excellent small growing indoor palms.
CHAMAEDOREA ATROVIRENS or CASCADE PALM
Are excellent small palms growing approximately 3 metres high ideal for shaded gardens.
Cascade palms are multi-stemmed and the foliage is abundant with fronds from top to bottom.
Cascade Palms are excellent in pots indoors where there is good indirect light.
Planted in large tubs Cascade Palms are ideal for shaded patios, verandahs and around pool areas.
It is important when planting your palms into pots, that only a good potting mixture is used, and even this can be improved with the addition of peat moss.
In the garden, soil should be well turned over before planting and peat moss and compost added and dug in.
The addition of Blood and Bone is also beneficial for all your Palms.
Most indoor palms respond to a regular application of liquid fertilizer, particularly during the warmer months.
Fertilize in September and January, with specially formulated Palm fertilizer at the manufacturers recommended rate.
If you can, put your indoor Palms outside in the shade for a few weeks in early spring, then give them a teaspoon of Blood and Bone and Superphosphate, water well and take the palm back inside for the rest of the year.
Plants in the ground should also receive this treatment.
PESTS and DISEASES
Occasionally, mealy bug may inhabit a palm, but this is easily controlled by spraying with Malathion or a Systemic spray.
Scale insect can also attack and this should be sprayed with White Oil or Diazamin, Grasshoppers and grubs can be kept in check by spraying with Carbaryl.
|This selection of Palms are most suited for sunny gardens and are easily grown. However, many can also be grown in partly shaded positions as well as in pots.|
ARCHONTOPHEONIX ALEXANDRAE or ALEXANDRA PALM
This popular palm, native to Queensland, grows to approximately 10 metres high in the home garden and can be planted at any time of the year in a sunny or sheltered position.
It is self-cleaning, dropping its old fronds to the ground. Alexandra Palms are excellent planted in large tubs and placed around pools and barbeque areas, providing they are well watered.
We do not recommend that they be kept indoors. It is important that this palm is not allowed to dry out.
CHRYSALIDOCARPUS LEUTESCENS AUREA or GOLDEN CANE PALM
This multiple-stemmed palm is an outstanding garden specimen with a beautiful golden tinge to the leaf midrib and leaf base, giving an overall golden effect.
The Golden Cane Palm is a good indoor and patio palm, but does not like cold drafts and should be protected from cold winter winds and frosts, if kept in a pot.
It will tolerate being heavily rootbound if well fertilzed in summer and likes abundant water during warm weather. Kept in a sun-room in winter and on a patio in summer months, Golden Cane palms will repay you with all the elegance of an excellent indoor plant.
PHEONIX ROEBELLINII or DWARF DATE PALM
This versatile, easily grown palm is equally suited to indoors as outdoors, growing quite well in heavy shade, partial shade, or full sun.
However, it does keep deeper green colour if grown in partial shade and is ideal for planting in containers both large and small.
Phoenix Roebellinii will do well inside for long periods of time and can remain in a medium to large pot.
Taken out of the container every couple of years, preferably in October, if the roots are carefully pruned by about 1/6th, you can repot back into the same size container.
Phoenix Roebellinii is a very good small palm for gardens. A small plant takes about 10 years to grow to 3 metres high and in the process should grow no wider than 1.8 metres.
Once established in the garden, Phoenix Roebellinii palm will tolerate being fairly dry for short periods, but it grows much better when kept evenly moist. The clusters of yellow flowers of the Phoenix Roebellinii are very attractive and fall in bunches among the leaves. They are followed by clusters of green fruits which mature to a dark purple colour.
NEODYPSIS DECARYI or TRIANGULAR PALM
A most spectacular fast growing palm with prominent three sided triangular trunk, and silvery shaded foliage, growing to approx 5 metres high. Plant in a sheltered sunny position.
WASHINGTONIA ROBUSTA or AMERICAN COTTON PALM
A quick growing palm with large fan shaped leaves, which have cotton-like threads hanging from between the leaf segments. In the garden, it growa on a slender trunk approximately 8 metres high over a period of years.
This palm requires bright light and is unsuitable for indoors. It makes an excellent tub plant for patios, courtyards, and around pools. It is frost hardy and tolerates a wide range of climates.
However, the wonderful American Cotton Palms grow best in well-watered, well-prepared garden beds.
ARECASTRUM ROMANZOFFIANUM or COCOS PALM
This palm is used extensively as a garden or street palm and is an excellent landscape plant where it creates a beautiful tropical effect.
When planting in the garden, Cocos Palms can be used among shrubs or as specimen plants on lawns. They can be planted out in the garden anytime during the year and grow very quickly during the warmer months.
A mature plant in the garden can reach approximately 10 metres over many years. The palm should be planted a little deeper than it has been in the container in which it was bought.
It does eventually drop older leaves, which do tend to hang on a little bit, and probably looks better if they are pruned off as the palm grows.
The fruit of the plant is a berry, approximately 2cm in diameter, which hangs in large bunches after flowering. If you do not want the fruit to fall, remove seed bunches after flowering with a long handled pruning saw.
Cocos can be kept indoors in strong light, but should be put outside in shade periodically to freshen up.
ROYSTONEA REGIA or ROYAL PALM
This elegant, tall palm grows approximately 12 metres high in a sunny garden position. It is often referred to as the 'Bottle Palm' because its beautiful green trunk, which is usually large at the base, becomes slightly swollen at the middle.
This palm, while not suitable for indoors because of its high light requirement, makes an excellent street tree or specimen around your pool.
CARPENTARIA ACUMINATA or CARPENTARIA PALM
Is a tall slender, self cleaning, native palm growing approximately 12 metres high in a sunny or semi-shaded position. Excellent for providing a canopy when establishing a tropical garden.
LIVINGSTONIA CHINENSIS or CHINESE FAN PALM
This palm grows very slowly, it can take 10 years to form a trunk, to approximately 8 metres high, when planted in the garden. Fan Palms require a fairly wide location for its spreading fronds and is a beautiful specimen tree for a lawn garden. It prefers a deep, rich, moist soil and good drainage.
LIVINGSTONIA AUSTRALIS or CABBAGE TREE PALM
This native Australian fan palm grows over a period of many years to approximately 10 metres high.
In the garden, Livingstonia Australis should be planted in moist, rich soils to ensure maximum growth. Once established, they resist frosts and severe heat.
The palm remains small without forming a trunk for about six years and during this period it makes an ideal pot specimen for patios, courtyards, etc. Cabbage Palms can be grown indoors if positioned close to a window, however, many other palms are more suitable for growing indoors.
Garden beds should be well prepared before planting, with the addition of Blood and Bone, old Cow Manure and leaf mould, so that the soil is loose and reasonably fertile.
If planting in pots, always use premium potting mixture suitable for Palms. Fertilize with a high nitrogen, balanced fertilizer, such as Nutricote or Dynamic Lifter in September, December & March. A teaspoon of Blood and Bone and Superphosphate in October is also beneficial.
In pots it is ideal to liquid fertilizer or Palm Nutricote, at half recommended strength, for best results
THE MAIN PESTS to TROUBLE PALMS
Grubs which should be sprayed with Carbaryl or Dipel as soon as they attack.
Grasshoppers which will be controlled by spraying with Carbaryl.
Mealy Bug which can be controlled by spraying Folimat Scale can be controlled by spraying with White Oil (at half strength) and Diazinon Black spot on Golden Canes can be kept in check by spraying regularly with Daconil particularly during winter (over-watering in cold weather can aggravate this problem).
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