Table of contents:
- Appearance of the Kentia palm
- The location requirements of the Kentia palm tree
- The right planter and substrate
- Water the Kentia palm properly
- Fertilize Kentia palm optimally
- Winter maintenance of the Kentia palm tree
- Check for houseplant pests
- The propagation is difficult
As a houseplant, the Kentia palm tree brings holiday flair to our four walls. With these tips on location and care, you will enjoy the decorative palm tree from Australia for a lifetime.
The Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana) is widely used as a houseplant with us: With its palm-like appearance, it awakens holiday feelings and ensures exotic greenery in the house. Its name alone evokes wanderlust: Kentia is the capital of a small Australian archipelago in the Pacific, on which the plant is native and from which it is sent all over the world.
The Kentia palm was already a popular trend plant in Europe around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. As a houseplant, it adorns and decorates the house and apartment as well as the winter garden. In the meantime, you can also see them frequently in offices and at the workplace - their air-purifying and indoor climate-improving effects are proven.
Appearance of the Kentia palm
The Kentia palm tree embodies holiday dreams with its feathery palm fronds and fits perfectly into living rooms that are furnished in a colonial style. Since it is usually offered with several shoots in one pot, it visually resembles an entire palm grove. Her lush green fronds hang picturesquely and slightly expansive. While it grows up to 17 meters high on its sunny Pacific island, the Kentia palm remains much smaller as a houseplant and reaches a maximum height of three meters. It grows slowly but steadily, and can certainly be seen as an acquisition for life: the Kentia palm will be 40 years or older. What you rarely see with houseplants is their bright green panicles, which form in summer and from which decorative orange berries that later contain the seeds of the plant emerge.
The Kentia palm loves high humidity.
The location requirements of the Kentia palm tree
If you choose a Kentia palm tree as a houseplant, you of course need enough space in the first place - touching the walls or furniture is difficult for the palm fronds. Also choose a year-round bright location without direct sunlight. Midday sun, which is intensified by window panes, can lead to unsightly leaf burns and harm the plant. For most of the year, the Kentia palm prefers warm temperatures and can be kept at normal room temperature. If it is not yet too large, it can move outdoors in summer, but it must be protected from the sun, wind and rain.
Gardener's tip: A high level of humidity allows the Kentia palm to thrive even better, but is not absolutely necessary.
The right planter and substrate
Since the Kentia palm grows very high and develops a self-weight that should not be underestimated, you should place your money on a solid and stable pot from the start - otherwise it will tip over at some point. High-quality palm soil from specialist retailers has proven itself as a substrate: it is well permeable and weakly acidic in terms of pH. The Kentia palm is only repotted when its roots find no more space in the pot. This is the case every four years. The best time to repot is in spring before the Kentia palm wakes up from its resting phase.
Water the Kentia palm properly
In order to find the right pouring rhythm, you should always rub the top layer of soil in the pot between your fingers in the beginning: if it has already dried, watering is necessary. The root ball of the Kentia palm should never dry out, but it shouldn't be too wet either. The suitable pouring time can be determined precisely with the finger test. Water with warm water and spray the plant from time to time.
Gardener's tip: Ideally, use only decalcified or very low-lime water to water the Kentia palm. You get that better and also leave no unsightly limescale spots on the leaves.
The Kentia palm should be repotted every four years.
Fertilize Kentia palm optimally
Even the best substrate is drained at some point. Therefore, fertilize your Kentia palm once a week from spring to late summer with special palm fertilizer from specialist dealers. This ensures an ideal supply of nutrients during the growing season and the houseplant maintains its vital appearance.
Winter maintenance of the Kentia palm tree
Even if the Kentia palm can be treated as a houseplant all year round, it is better to give it a rest period, as occurs in nature, even in closed rooms. In autumn, place them in a cooler room with temperatures that are below normal room temperature but do not fall below 15 degrees Celsius. In winter, the Kentia palm is still watered, but now requires significantly less water. Fertilization is stopped completely.
Check for houseplant pests
Typical houseplant! The Kentia palm also pests the usual pests in the house. So it is best to check regularly for spider mites, scale insects or mealybugs regularly and especially in winter, when the indoor air is very dry due to heating and less fresh air. If thrips occur, which fortunately happens only rarely, this can lead to growth disorders. Home remedies or specialist articles from the nearest garden center provide a remedy.
The propagation is difficult
The multiplication of the Kentia palm is unfortunately somewhat complicated and requires a lot of patience. Sowing is a suitable method. However, as I said, houseplants only rarely produce flowers and fruits, so that you are usually dependent on foreign seeds. You can get it on the Internet, for example. It is sown in warm and moist soil in spring. Then the seeds of the Kentia palm take between two and ten months to germinate - and often they do not germinate at all.