I have to admit that a Majesty Palm, sometimes referred to as a Majestic Palm, is not a plant I recommend to those just beginning to care for houseplants. They are a challenge to take care of and are not very forgiving. Majesty Palms, native to Madagascar, do extremely well outdoors in rain forests, swamps, or in tropical areas such as Florida. In nature they can grow as tall as eighty feet. Indoors, a Majesty Palm often struggles to survive and does not do as well as a bamboo palm, neanthebella palm, kentia palm, or parlor palm.
Majesty Palm Description
For its size, a Majesty palm, Ravenea Rivularis, is a relatively inexpensive plant with large, feathery, arching green fronds on several stems. Although a slow growing plant, in the proper indoor location, it can grow as tall as 8ft. This palm is a species of tree in the Arecaceae family, not to be confused with the Araceae family that contains poisonous plants such as the dieffenbachia, Calla Lily, Caladium, and Anthurium.
Quick Care Tips for a Majesty Palm
The proper amount of light, water, humidity, and fertilizer are four of the key factors that help a majesty palm do well as an indoor plant.
Provide plenty of bright indirect light. If you don’t have a spot in your home that has bright light and still want a palm, consider a bamboo palm which grows well in much lower light.
Never allow the soil to totally dry out. Unlike a dracaena which forgives you if you forget to water, a Majesty Palm shows its displeasure by quickly getting brown fronds.
Feed twice a month when your Majesty Palm is actively growing. These are very hungry plants and skimping on fertilizer results in yellow fronds.
This plant does best in high humidity
Although it looks beautiful when first purchased, a Majesty Palm quickly declines if not properly cared for. The large fronds turn yellow and spider mites find a happy home hidden in the fronds. If you’re not easily frustrated and really want to test your plant skills, check out the detailed plant care tips below and give a Majesty Palm a try.
A Majesty Palm needs very bright indirect light at all times. Inadequate light causes yellow fronds (leaves).
The soil of a Majesty Palm should be consistently moist but not soggy. Never let the soil totally dry out or allow the plant to sit in the excess water that drains out. Brown tips and fronds are telling you that the plant needs more water. Yellow leaf tips mean the plant has been over-watered.
These plants require a great deal of plant food. Not enough fertilizer is another cause of yellow leaves. Feed a Pajesty palm every two weeks when the plant is actively growing with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.
Best temperature for a Majesty Palm is between 45°F-85°F ( 7.2°C-29.4°C). Try to keep the plant away from cold drafts or heating vents.
A Majesty Palm looks better and grows faster when there is a lot of humidity in the air.
Spider mites are the main pest problem for a Majesty Palm. Spraying the fronds with warm, soapy water every few weeks helps prevent spider mites. If these pests do appear, spray the palm with neem oil or an insecticidal soap. Commercial insecticides should never be used on palm plants.
The high humidity Majesty Palm prefers encourages bacterial and fungal infections. Keep the fronds dry, do not mist the plant, and provide good air circulation around a Majesty Palm.
Use a rich soil that drains quickly for a Majesty Palm. When using a basic houseplant soil, try adding some sand to help it drain better.
Majesty Palms are large plants usually sold in 10″ pots or larger.
How to prune a Majesty palm: Fertilize about 7-10 days before you plan to prune a Majesty Palm; this encourages new growth at the pruning site. Quickly prune any yellow fronds or those that show signs of fungal or bacterial infection. Pruning should be done at the base of the frond stem. Always use very sharp scissors or cutting shears when pruning any houseplant.
A Majesty Palm is usually propagated from seeds. Since these plants are inexpensive, it’s easier to let the experts handle propagation.
Poisonous Plant Info
A Majesty Palm is a non-poisonous plant and is not toxic to cats, dogs, or children.
Unless your garage has a lot of windows with a Southern exposure, you can’t store your Majesty Palm in a garage for the winter. Majesty Palms must have bright light throughout most of the day.
You should never use water that passes through a water softener on any of your houseplants, especially Palms. Water from a softener contains a great deal of salt that damages plant leaves. A Majesty Palm may not be the right choice as a “first plant.” Majesty Palms require quite a bit of care. Don’t get discouraged if your palm doesn’t do well just try a hardier houseplant next time.
Leaf tippage on a Majesty Palm can be caused by many things: not enough humidity, insufficient magnesium in the fertilizer, too much or not enough water, direct rather than indirect bright light, or simply because it’s a Majesty Palm and it’s not really supposed to be an indoor plant.
The fronds of a Majesty Palm turn yellow for many reasons: not enough light, not enough water, or not enough fertilizer. Unlike most houseplants, a Majesty Palm requires an excessive amount of all three.
The green solution that I recommend for treating houseplant pests contains alcohol. Alcohol burns and discolors the leaves of Palm Trees. Spray warm soapy water on the fronds of your palm Trees to help prevent Spider Mites. Use Neem Oil on your Palm Trees to get rid of the Spider Mites if your Palm Trees becomes infested.