Delilah
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Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:05 am
Location: Coastal Australia, warm-temperate climate

Kentia Palm care tips for indoors please

Hi

I just spent more $$$ on a plant than ever before. It's a beautiful, healthy, well-grown Kentia Palm about 1.3m tall, that will be kept indoors by an East-facing window. BUT... I have a terrible track record with palms! I find it so hard to prevent them from getting brown tips, bugs or yellow leaves - or from eventually dying altogether. I really want to get it right this time!! Please help to educate me...

What are the most important do's for caring for an indoor Kentia?

What are the most important don't's?

Thanks :)

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Kentia Palm care tips for indoors please

In my limited experience -- and I don't think mine was Kentia Palm specifically -- I found that palms need more light than is usually assured by the houseplant books. Especially because of the size and spread, they completely block the light from the side not facing the window. Turning the container a 1/4 turn a day helps -- a turntable or a wheeled platform is useful for larger plants. But I think it's far better to provide supplemental light with fluorescent tube light mounted vertically on the wall. If the plant is situated in a corner, windows on both walls could help. In one apartment, I made a mirrored corner next to the window with mirror tiles, and put a floor lamp in the corner.

Another essential was humidity. Until the palm got too big, I wrestled the container into the bathtub and showered the plant once a week, watering it at the same time. After it became apparent that it was impossible to move the fully watered plant and container, I had to mist it, but it was inadequate and it didn't take long for the spider mites to infest it. (Misting also added to the workload because the mirrored wall and window always got spotty and needed cleaning :roll:)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
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Re: Kentia Palm care tips for indoors please

You live in a warm climate. Put the palm on a dolly and at least once a week take it outside hose it down well to wash the dust off the leaves, water and let it get some morning sun. U

Indoors, it does require a lot of light. Unless you have a very big window and a lot of natural light, you may need to add some artificial lighting. At night you can use some uplight spotlights that will highlight the plant so you can enjoy it. Bugs in general do not like light so it will discourage them, and it does give your plant extra light. A goose neck lamp or if you have a light source directly overhead that will help too. Flourescents are not pretty lights, but practical for plants.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Delilah
Cool Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:05 am
Location: Coastal Australia, warm-temperate climate

Re: Kentia Palm care tips for indoors please

Thanks :) That's good.

It is a pretty big window - glass doors actually. And I said East but really it's closer to North East (= brighter than due East, being the Southern hemisphere). The sun comes in low through that window currently as we head toward Winter, though in Summer the same spot gets almost no sun because the sun goes way up overhead.

Another key question, because I believe I've got this very wrong in the past: Fertilizer? I hear that palms are sensitive and I should use a palm-specific slow-release fertilizer. However, a) I have not been able to find one, and b) The label says to use liquid fertilizer! What's the go? Any particular fertilizer ingredients that palms dislike? Anything they respond particularly well to?

Thanks :)

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