The Best Palm House Plants

Best Palm House Plants: Only around a dozen palm tree house plants will give satisfactory results in the home. Find the top choices so you don't make a mistake. The fact that a palm will live—or rather, takes a very long time to die—under abuse, has misled people into thinking that they don't need as much care as other house plants. This is THE mistake.

The house plant palm may be divided into two classes, the fan-leaved and the feather-leaved, or deeply cut, types. Of the former there are but three varieties good for the home.

Chinese Fan-Leaved Palm

(Latania Borbonica)This house plant palm tree is the best known. It is one of the hardiest, standing a temperature as low as forty-five degrees at night. It is broad in habit, and the large leaves are deeply cut and drooping at the edge, making a very attractive plant.

Miniature Fan Palm

(Livistona Rotundifolia) This fan palm is a more compact type of the above. Not only the leaves, but the whole plant being round in habit and growing quite dense. It's a beautiful lively green in color, and making a neater plant, is in many ways more desirable for the house than the Chinese Fan-Leaved Palm. It requires more warmth, however, and should be kept up to 55 degrees at night if possible.

Chamaerops Excelsa

This palm has the distinguished feature of forming shoots at the base, thus having foliage where most palms are bare. Its leaves are shaped like those of the Chinese Fan-Leaved Palm, but are smaller, and the leaf stalk in proportion is longer. It is a good strong variety.

The Feather-Leaved Palms

All of these would make great palm house plants. In choosing any of the below, you can't go wrong.

Phoenix Roebelenii

This is one of the greatest palm house plants. It has frequently been described as having "the beauty of Weddelliana and the hardiness of Kentia." That perhaps describes it, but doesn't do it full justice. It has several times the amount of foliage that Cocos Weddelliana has, and is a more robust grower. It has, unlike that palm, leaf stalks growing all the way to the bottom, the lower ones gracefully recurved and the upper ones spreading airily. It is very easily cared for, and on the whole wins on a larger number of counts than any the other palm house plants.

Phoenix Rupicola

Phoenix Rupicola

Phoenix RupicolaPhoto Credit: Tony Rodd

This palm has gracefully arching, drooping foliage and is very handsome, the dark green leaves being even more feather-like than those of Cocus Weddelliana. It is also one of the hardiest.

Areca Verschaffeltii

This palm is unique in having a creamy colored mid-rib. It must be given the best of care, but will well repay any extra pains taken with it.

The Kentias

K. Belmoreana, the Thatch-leaf palm, and K. Forsteriana, the Curly palm, are the hardiest of all the house palms and sure to give great satisfaction. The former is a dwarf, a sturdy habit, with broadly divided, dark green leaves growing up well on stiff stems.

K. Forsteriana is of stronger growth, spreads more, and the divisions of the leaf are broader.

Cocos Weddelliana

This is the most artistically graceful of the house palms. The finely cut, feathery leaves spring well up from the pot and from the slender straight stem. It's a small palm, and grows slowly. I think we should give it a place among the three best palms for the house, although, unfortunately, it is not as hardy as some of the others. It is the best palm to use as a center for fern dishes.

The Australian Feather Palm

Seaforthia Elegans

This is a tall growing and stately variety, which does well in the house.

Caryota Urens


This palm is commonly known as the Fishtail palm, and on account of that distinguishing characteristic deserves a place in any good collection.

It is a large growing variety and will utilize more root room than most of the others. It's not so strong as most of the others described, but will succeed well if precautions are taken not to let it get chilled in cold weather.

Fish Tail Palm

Fish Tail Palm

Photo Credit: la-blue-eyez

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