Kentia Palm

About

Kenta Palm, Howea forsteriana, sometimes called a Paradise Palm, is native to Australia and Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific. It is a member of the Arecaceae palm group and a close relative of  the Neanthebella Palm, the Sentry Palm (Howea Belmoreana),  the Coconut Palm, and the Pygmy Date Palm. All these plants are  classified as “feather palms.” Outdoors a Kentia Palm is a very large plant that can stand 35-40ft tall and 5-10ft wide and produces white flowers atop long spikes. Fruit develops on mature plants that are more than 15 years old.

Kentia Palm Description

Even when grown indoors, this palm is a very large, impressive plant that requires plenty of space; it can be as tall as 10-12 feet and as wide as 4-5ft. The wide feathery fronds (leaves) can easily be 10”-14” long. While in nature, a kentia palm has a single stem, when purchased as an indoor plant, there are multiple stems since several kentia palms are usually planted together to help the plant appear full and bushy. The fact that this is a slow growing plant and there are several plants in the pot, helps explain why a kentia palm is so expensive to purchase.

Quick Care tips for a Kentia Palm

Medium light

Over watering is the main reason a Kentia Palm dies

Provide warm temperature

Fertilize in spring and summer only

Use a sandy soil that drains quickly

Kentia Palm Problems and Causes

Brown frond tips

Over-fertilized, chemicals in the water, dry or cold air, needs more water

Gray, brittle fronds

Palm is over watered

Brown spots on fronds –

Leaf Spot DiseaseHow to identify and treat Leaf Spot plant disease. See a picture of Leaf Spot disease and learn how to prevent leaf spot disease from attacking your plants., extreme cold, direct sun, hard water

Pest Problems

scaleSoft Brown Scale plant pests are  the most common scale that attack indoor houseplants, especially ficus tress, various ivy varieties, spider plants, ferns, aralia, and schefflera. The scale plant pests appear as small, bumpy, brown spots that may appear to move. As the scale plant pest sucks on the sap of the plant, it secretes a sticky substance called "honeydew." The honeydew attracts black mildew. Because of the shell-like exterior, sprays are only partially effective against scale. Wipe off the lines of brown oval bumps with your finger, a cloth, or a child’s toothbrush then spray the plant with Neem Oil or a houseplant insecticide. You can use the non-toxic, easily made Green Solution to clean off the black mildew., Mealy BugsLearn how to identify and treat Mealy Bugs, a houseplant pest that leaves sticky, white, cottony residue on houseplants., and spider mites

Conclusion

A Kentia Palm is one of the most elegant and expensive palms that can be used indoors. This is a slow growing plant that thrives in medium light; and even does well in low- light conditions if you are careful not to over water. Kentia Palms need plenty of room to grow, do not like dry air or bright sunshine, and prefer cool winter temperatures and warm, humid summers. A kentia Palm is nontoxic and safe to have around small children and pets.

 

FAQ

Why Does My Kentia Palm Have Only Four Fronds? My Sister Bought the Exact Plant I Did and Now Her Palm Has About Nine Fronds.

Move your Kentia palm to better light to encourage more new growth.

The Fronds of My Palm Have Brown Tips and Are Drooping. Should I Give It More Plant Food?

Your doesn’t need more fertilizer, it needs more water. The brown tips on your palm are probably being caused by too much plant food.

Why Are the Top Leaves of My Kentia Palm Getting Spots?

Spotting on the top fronds of a kentia palm is usually the result of too much direct sun hitting the plant.

The Ends of the Leaves of My Kentia Turn Yellow and Then the Whole Leave Starts to Turn Gray/brown and Crunchy.

Kentia palms get brown /gray and crunchy fronds when they are over watered. Let the palm thoroughly dry out or you will lose it to root rot.