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Most Popular Palm Trees

10 Most Popular Palm Trees


Even though palm trees are classified as exotic plants, native to hot climates, many varieties are cold hardy and are super ideal to use as houseplants. It makes it easy for those of us living in cooler climates to add a beautiful exotic touch to our homes and gardens.


1. Areca Palm Tree

Native to Madagascar, the Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens), is way up there on anyone’s list of top favorite palms, mostly because they flaunt a stunningly tropical look with the feathered fronds and bamboo-like shoots.


Not only do they look beautiful, but they are relatively inexpensive and super easy to care for and maintain, with the ability to withstand low light and cooler temperatures.




Light & Temperature

Though Areca Palms are pretty cold hardy and boast an overall easy-going nature, they do survive better in bright but indirect sunlight. We recommend situating your palm in line with a south or west-facing window, with the occasional direct light. But take care to ensure they are not in direct light for long as this could cause leaves to turn yellow.


Water & Fertilizer

When it comes to watering, Areca Palms are very sensitive to overwatering. It’s vital to ensure easy drainage for the water to prevent waterlogged roots, and also to let the soil dry out slightly between waterings. Once a week is usually plenty, alongside spraying the fronds with a water spray every evening to keep leaves humid. If the air becomes too dry, you may notice the tips starting to turn brown.


We recommend fertilizing monthly, during the spring and summer, with liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets. Although, palm fertilizer is preferable.


Pruning & Trimming

The beauty of an Areca Palm is its ability to tolerate trimming without hindering its health. This makes it the perfect indoor palm to maintain and keep for its entire lifespan. Also, when it comes to pruning, very little needs to be done. Any dead fronds that should need to be picked out and discarded usually fall off on their own accord, making Areca Palms super easy to maintain and keeps them looking tip-top.


Common Problems

Generally, Areca Palms are pretty tough and handle themselves well, making them a practical and cost-effective choice as far as houseplants are concerned. They are, however, vulnerable to pests (mites, aphids, whitefly) and also leaf-spotting. To prevent, identify the infestation as early as possible to treat.


2. Kentia Palm Tree

With the Areca Palm being our number one for popular palms, it makes sense to place the Kentia Palm at number two!


Being native to Australia, the Kentia Palm (Howeia), is regularly referred to as its nickname ‘The Paradise Palm’, and brings a wonderful natural elegance to any household location.


Often, it can be very difficult to tell the Areca Palm and Kentia Palm apart, due to them being so similar in appearance. Both have beautiful feathered fronds with gentle arches and bamboo-like shoots. Typically though, the Kentia Palm flaunts slightly wider leaves and grows a lot slower than Areca Palms, with just one new frond each year on average. Due to this, it makes them ideal for use as indoor plants as it will take several years for the plant to reach great heights, or need to be repotted.


The downside to being a slow-grower is the extra time it takes for the palms to reach a saleable size, forcing growers to label them with a slightly more expensive price tag.



Light & Temperature

Like Areca Palms, Kentia Palms can easily withstand low light, but very much prefer bright but indirect sunlight.


As well as indirect light, the Kentia Palm thrives better in warmer climates but can withstand cooler temperatures as low as 12°C.


Water & Fertilizer

Similarly to Areca Palms, your Kentia Palms only require watering once a week in summer, with regular misting, in order to let the soil dry between waterings. Again, drainage is essential to prevent waterlogged roots.


We recommend fertilizing your Kentia Palm on a monthly basis during spring and summer months only. This prevents over-feeding, which is vital to watch out for with the Kentia Palm being a slow-grower.


Pruning & Trimming

Kentia Palms have the same basic pruning requirements as other palms whether grown indoors or outside. Unless the frond is completely brown and dead, is in the way of something, or is damaged or diseased, it’s healthiest for the palm not to remove it until completely brown.


Common Problems

The biggest threat posed to Kentia Palms would be root rot. Typically, this happens when the soil becomes too heavy, or retains too much moisture. This is why it’s vital not to overwater, and allow the soil to dry between waterings. To prevent this, keep your Kentia Palm growing in soil that drains well.



3. Parlor Palm Tree

The Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans) is native to Southern Mexico, where the climate is consistently hot and humid. Despite this, they make terrific houseplants, thriving indoors without the need for any close care or attention.


Parlor Palms are exceptionally popular choices for houseplants, due to their slow-growing nature and suitable size for even the smallest of interiors, only reaching up to 4 feet in height. Not only that, but they also provide a stylish and exotic feel to any room with their stunning drooping feathered fronds.




Light & Temperature

Aside from being a compact size and having a pleasing aesthetic, this palm is also super easy to care for. The Parlor Palm can tolerate brightly lit areas as well as shade, compared to other palms that would fail to survive. However, the palm will thrive better when placed in bright but indirect sunlight.


Water & Fertilizer

During the growing season in spring and summer, we recommend only watering once per week. In the winter, this can stretch to every couple of weeks. It’s good to note, however, that the Parlor Palms shouldn’t be overwatered. The soil should not be kept soggy, as this will leave your palm susceptible to root rot.


To keep the Parlor Palm thriving with healthy growth, fertilize around once a month with a water-soluble blend. Simply mix in the container you use for watering and apply it with its regular water application.


Pruning & Trimming

Pruning requirements for a Parlor Palm are extremely low. Like many species of palm, the Parlor is self-cleaning. This means that dead fronds naturally turn brown and fall from the plant without you having to attend to it.


Common Problems

Fully grown and healthy, it’s unlikely these palms will face any serious issues. The biggest threat to a Parlor Palm is root rot, caused by overwatering. Keep an eye out for discoloration and browning fronds, or sections of the trunk becoming soft. These are usually the first indicators.


4. Windmill Palm Tree

Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus Fortunei), are recalled for their large rounded leaves atop a slender trunk. The overall look creates a windmill-like appearance.


Native to China, you’d think the Windmill Palm would require a hotter climate, but in fact, Windmill Palms are extremely cold hardy, and tolerant of poor weather conditions. This is what makes them such a popular choice for an outdoor oasis.



Light & Temperature

With the ability to thrive both indoors and outdoors, Windmill Palms do better in the shade or partial shade areas. It should also be noted that the fronds are susceptible to wind damage if situated in gusty areas.


Regarding temperature, your Windmill Palm should thrive in both hot and cold climates. For most parts, your palm should be effectively dormant during colder weather and therefore left to see the winter through without any maintenance - even down to freezing temperatures of 10F, or slightly less!


Water & Fertilizer

When growing windmill palms, it is important to maintain a routine watering schedule. As said, these trees are not soil particular; however, they do prefer fertile, well-drained soils. Allow the top of the soil to become dry before watering. It is essential that these palms do not sit in water or are generally over-watered. Like many other palm species, their biggest enemy is root rot, which can be prevented with extra care and attention when it comes to monitoring the moisture of the soil.


With fertilizer, we recommend using slow-release fertilizers which are specially designed palm trees - typically once or twice during active growing periods such as spring and summer months.


Pruning & Trimming

Like most palm trees, the windmill palm requires very little pruning, with the only requirement for maintenance being the removal of dead leaves and tired foliage


Common Problems

Despite the attractive look, low maintenance, and overall tolerance of the windmill palm, there are some downsides. In some climates, you may find that Windmill Palms are prone to be attacked by scale and palm aphids. They are also more susceptible to leaf spots and Lethal Yellowing Disease.


5. Sentry Palm

The Sentry Palm (Howea Belmoreana) is a feather-type palm that displays wide arched fronds. The leaves also have a habit of curling slightly, hence the nickname. Often, it can be quite hard to see the difference between this plant and the Kentia, at first glance. The leaves on the sentry are also quite wide like the Kentia forsteriana, although they arch over more.


Native to Australia, Sentry palms are a popular choice for interior decor, particularly in hallways or large rooms, reaching a height of around 10 feet when fully mature.


Sentry Palm Tree


Light & Temperature

Despite its demand for extra space, however, the Sentry palm thrives in bright but indirect light, with only the need for an occasional mist/spray to maintain humidity. Avoid direct sunlight as too much exposure could burn foliage.


Sentry palms are also quite cold hardy and tolerant of temperatures as cool as low as 12°C, meaning even those living in cooler locations can add some of these exotic beauties to their interior scheme.


Water & Fertilizer

Similar to the Kentia and Areca Palms, it’s important to provide good drainage for the soil in order to prevent root rot. In addition, the Sentry palm should only be watered after the soil has dried. We recommend watering again after the top three inches of soil has lost moisture.


Pruning & Trimming

The Sentry palm requires little maintenance overall, especially when it comes to pruning. Being self-cleaning, dead fronds will naturally fall from the tree on their own accord


Common Problems

Watch out for root rot, caused by overwatering. Also, Sentry palms have a habit of catering for uninvited guests such as spider mites and mealybugs. Look out for webbing or cottony-like masses along the fronds.



6. Pygmy Date Palm Tree

The Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii) is also known as the ‘Dwarf Palm’. It’s a popular choice for a houseplant, reaching an average of 3ft in height with slim leaves and produces a red fruit that turns black when ripe. Though, these aren’t typically eaten.


Light & Temperature

Originating underneath the canopy of dense tropical forests in Africa and Asia, this helps explain why this plant does so well in the indirect light found in homes and offices. An indoor Pygmy Date Palm thrives well in bright indirect light, but can also survive just fine in low light.


Being generally cold-hardy, these palms can manage temperatures as low as 10°C, but prefer temperatures of around 16-24°C.



Water & Fertilizer

We recommend keeping the soil moist but never soggy. Soggy soil could cause the roots to rot. In the winter, we suggest allowing the soil to dry out between watering, and providing plenty of drainage. For fertilizing, use a slow-release fertilizer in spring and summer.


Pruning & Trimming

The sharp spines at the base of the leaflets of the fronds require occasional pruning. We recommend using gloves to do this to avoid cutting or scratching the skin.


Common Problems

Keep a check for scale and spider mites, and also watch out for root rot.





7. European Fan Palm Tree

The European Fan Palm (Chamaerops Humilis) originates from Mediterranean Europe and provides a beautifully exotic and tropical look to any outdoor space. Although not as popular as other palms mentioned in this article, they are a common choice for outdoor landscapes across the UK and USA, with their ability to tolerate lower temperatures of -12°C.




Light & Temperature

European Fan Palms can thrive in both direct sun and full shade, with fronds growing a bit larger in shadier areas.


Water & Fertilizer

Fan palms need to dry out between watering and so should not be placed in a moist area. Instead, provide plenty of drainage to avoid soggy soil. If sitting in water for too long, roots could rot.


Fertilize once a season in spring, summer, and fall with palm fertilizer.


Pruning & Trimming

European fan palms are very slow-growing to a maximum height of about 8 to 10 feet so don’t require much pruning or trimming. They do produce sharp teeth/spikes, however, so you might want to cut back on these if placed in high traffic areas.


Common Problems

Prone to root rot when placed outdoors. Take care and situate your European Fan Palm in an area where soil won’t maintain moisture.



8. Sago Palm Tree ( Cycad )

The Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta), is a popular houseplant that is usually recalled for its extremely feathery foliage and easy-going nature.


Technically, this plant is actually considered a cycad, but often referred to as a palm, and as a palm, it’s a pretty popular one. Being one of the oldest groups of plants, dating back to prehistoric times, it’s easy to see why the plant is so hardy and low maintenance.




Light & Temperature

Although they will tolerate low-light conditions, Sago Palms prefer bright light. It’s best to situate them near a window with plenty of sunlight, or outdoors in the sun.


Leaf damage, due to both extreme heat and sun or extreme cold, can cause damage to your cycads, leaving them susceptible to disease. When in doubt, give them some shade and protection. And don’t crowd your sagos in with other plants, to promote good airflow.


Water & Fertilizer

Plant your Sago Palms in well-draining, sandy soil to avoid roots becoming soggy. These palms are in fact drought tolerant and will thank you more for too little water than too much. Once a week should be plenty, and make sure to supplement with fertilizer once a month during spring and summer months.


Pruning & Trimming

Pruning is only recommended for brown, dry fronds that have died. Although you may be tempted to remove yellowing leaves from your Sago Palm, they should be left to die first.


Common Problems

One common problem is palm yellowing, causing leaves to turn yellow and brown. This is usually caused by nutrient deficiency. This can be prevented with a good quality fertilizer.


Another problem with Sago Palms is, they’re not pet friendly. The fronds are highly toxic and can cause death if ingested.



9. Lady Palm Tree

Similar to the European Fan Palm, the Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsas) is another type of fan palm that can be grown indoors, being a popular choice for a houseplant as they boast such a flourish of lush interior greenery. Typically, a Lady Palm will grow between 2-7ft tall, and usually at a much slower rate when compared to other fan palms.




Light & Temperature

Originating from South-Eastern Asia, the Lady Palm can thrive in pretty much any lighting condition, with the exception of direct sunlight. By situating the Lady Palm in direct sun, it could cause the leaves to burn, leaving them vulnerable to disease.


Water & Fertilizer

Aim to maintain moist soil at all times, but do not allow the soil to become soggy. There must be adequate drainage present to avoid root rot. When feeding, try to stick to just once or twice a year during spring and summer.


Pruning & Trimming

Occasionally the leaves can have brown tips - these can be trimmed if preferred, but green leaves should be left alone.


Common Problems

Like many palm species, the Lady Palm is susceptible to root rot and needs adequate drainage to prevent root rot.



10. Canary Island Date Palm Tree

The Canary Date Palm (Phoenix Canariensis) shares many similarities with the Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix Roebelenii) within the same genes. However, there are some differences, particularly in general appearance. The Canary Date Palm is an impressive tropical-looking palm with a stout trunk, perfect for outdoor areas and greenhouses.




Light & Temperature

Originating from the Canary Islands, hence the name, the Canary Date Palms love the sun, but prefer shade for the most part of the day. Aim for a brightly lit area without direct sunlight.


Water & Fertilizer

Aim to water your Canary Date Palm little but regularly, as soggy soil can cause roots to rot. Ideally, you don’t want to water unless the top two inches of soil are dry.


Pruning & Trimming

No pruning is necessary for this palm, as the dead fronds will naturally fall from the tree as they die.


Common Problems

Susceptible to root rot if overwatered or water too regularly. Provide plenty of opportunities for drainage to prevent this.


With the existence of over 2600 species of palm trees in the world today, we hope this list of most popular palms has helped you to narrow down the right addition to your home in time for summer. Or to educate you on someof the worlds most popular palms!

Thank you for reading!




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