Kentia Palm: Houseplant of the Month for January
Start the year right with a cheerful palm tree that’s beautifully green from top to toe and also fits perfectly with the mood of the times: new plans, a better life, a welcoming home.
Dark green peace
If the Christmas tree has left a gap in your home, the Kentia Palm is an ideal alternative to bring some green personal style to your home. From a relatively modest base – handy if you have little empty floor space – this palm produces a cheerful fountain of slender dark green stems with elegant palm leaves. Whether you’re looking for a houseplant or an indoor tree, this palm comes in all sizes. In addtion it’s an easy-going and a pleasant personality to share your home with and has a gentle appearance.
Kentia Palm (officially called Howea forsteriana) is a member of the Palm family, and grows on Lord Howe Island east of Australia beneath the foliage of larger trees. This means that it’s used to getting little sunlight. In Victorian times when exotic greenery was an enormous indoor hit the Kentia Palm conquered the West. It was the only palm tree that could tolerate little light, low humidity and cool rooms.
Handy to know!
- Its generous foliage means that the Kentia Palm is a houseplant that helps improve the quality of the air in your home.
- You’re bringing a little bit of paradise into your home, since the young plants still originate from Lord Howe Island: white beaches, azure blue sea and palm trees – the whole package.
- Kentia Palm it is often associated with the horoscope sign Capricorn, because Lord Howe Island lies very close to the Tropic of Capricorn (a circle around the Earth at 23° South).
The power of Kentia Palm
The stress of choice is something that afflicts a lot of people. Almost everyone has a growing need to gain an overview and set priorities. For greenery in the home that means that the plant is more important than the pot. And that instead of many different plants, we opt for one species in order to bring peace to the interior. The Kentia Palm’s beautiful soft foliage also creates a friendly buffer against rolling news and other things from the outside world that can disrupt your life. It’s quite dense, but still lets through diffuse light to create a pleasant atmosphere in your home.
- Queen Victoria loved Kentia Palms: she grew them in all her palaces.
- The association with royalty earned the plant lots of prestige, which made the palm tree the toast of high society.
- The Kentia Palm is also known as the ‘Hollywood palm’ because the plant is frequently used in movies and TV shows, #photogenic.
How to style Kentia Palm
A strong, appealing green interior trend is to create groups with identical plants. Because Kentia Palm is available in so many different heights, it’s perfectly suited to this. Place different sizes in identical pots together to create a calm and spacious effect that’s still lively, thanks to the attractive green fringes on the leaves.
- Kentia Palm is one of the few palm trees that can tolerate a relatively dark spot; it will even let you know whether it’s happy with its position. If the leaves turn pale green to yellow, it’s getting too much light. If you see few new shoots developing, the Kentia Palm’s position is too dark.
- The palm tree does best with slightly damp soil, but at the same time it shouldn’t be so wet that there’s water in the bottom of the pot.
- Taking it with you into the shower or placing it outside in a light rain shower will refresh the plant nicely and prevent red spider mite.
- Kentia Palm likes to be at room temperature, and doesn’t like to be too chilly: below 10°C is too cold.
- Give it some plant food once a fortnight between April and September to encourage growth. Kentia Palm does not grow in winter and does not need feeding then.
For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk
Published on: 29 December 2018