Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) are beautiful plants for indoor or outdoor spaces.
They are a favorite of many gardeners and horticulturists and have somewhat of a celebrity status in the gardening world.
Read more about Kentia palm benefits in this list.
1. Durable and Hardy
Kentia palms notably tolerate a variety of growing conditions. Indoors, they thrive with minimal maintenance.
They are not finicky. Kentia palms can tolerate many difficult growing conditions, including various temperatures, light conditions, and humidity levels.
In fact, they are so hardy that native people once used their fronds to build thatch roofs.
They’re best suited for growing zones 10-11 but can be grown indoors in almost any location. So, while they’re native to the subtropical South Pacific Island, they are grown worldwide.
In the wild, they reach up to 30 feet when they mature. These single-stemmed plants resemble coconut trees.
Many people grow them on their patios outdoors in frost-free conditions. While they can withstand temporary temperature drops, the temperature should consistently be above 50 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors.
2. Exotic Beauty
The fronds of the Kentia palm reach lengths of 12 to 18 inches and transform any area into a tropical paradise.
Their thin, elegant stems have pretty stripes that resemble bamboo.
Also, they only grow in one place in the world, Lord Howe Island. It is an island in the South Pacific near Australia and New South Wales.
They have “threatened” status” on the endangered species scale, so owning one and cultivating it is unique.
In addition, they have exceptional beauty from their native home on a tiny, beautiful volcanic island.
3. Low-Light Tolerant
While these plants prefer bright, indirect sun from an east or west window, some grow with low light.
They prefer indirect light, but you can transition them into full sunlight. However, be careful before moving them into the sun if they are not used to it indoors.
Kentia palms make fantastic indoor palms as they are suited to growing in more ambient light conditions and lighter levels of sun.
Be sure they have a space where their long fronds can stretch out for the best results. In lower light conditions, they may grow only 4 to 6 fronds.
For the most attractive plant with full, soft fronds, medium amounts of light are the best.
4. Tolerant of Low-Humidity
You can plant these in drier climates, and they will still be able to thrive. While they prefer misting on the leaves, you can leave them in places with less humidity, and they will still be healthy.
They are great for beginner gardeners. However, try spraying them with water a few times a week to make them thrive.
Or, you can set the plant on a tray with pebbles and water. Finally, some people put the plant near a humidifier.
A sign the plant needs more humidity or water is dry tips or brown tips.
Kentia palms reach maturity between 15-20 years old.
This quality makes it great for limited spaces or areas. Most gardeners do not want a huge tree crowding their garden area, so this conservative palm is an excellent addition.
It also makes it suitable for an indoor plant, as it will be able to stay a manageable size.
The amount of light the palm tree gets limits its size. They may reach heights of up to 8 feet.
However, areas like indoor palm courts, as you’d see in indoor shopping malls, use special lighting, like ceiling lights, that help them reach greater heights.
6. Great for Container Gardening
One Kentia palm plant is one stem. Many nurseries and plant distributors grow the plants in bunches to resemble a shrub. So, you can separate them for more palms or leave them in the container.
Even large Kentia palms will not outgrow their pots. Their roots will stay adapted to the size of the pot. So, this is an excellent way to control its size.
It also means you can purchase one from the nursery and keep it in its original pot. However, you may want to repot it in a larger pot or add different soil mixtures to help it grow more.
You also can “double-pot” it into a more attractive outer pot.
In the container, they prefer a well-draining potting mix that is slightly sandy. If possible, adding volcanic material or decorating it with lava rocks might be a nice touch, but it is not necessary.
7. Resilient and Easy to Maintain
Caretaking of Kentia palms is easy.
For example, they adapt to a variety of soil types. Additionally, they don’t require any training or pruning.
The most you might want to wipe the dust off the fronds. After that, the only necessary pruning is to remove dying leaves.
They do require a thorough, weekly watering. Use lukewarm water when you are watering them.
You may want to fertilize during its growing season, the summer and the fall, about once every 1-3 months.
8. Green All Year
A Kentia palm plant may live for decades with the proper care and attention.
Their palm fronds are always bright green and vibrant looking.
Their evergreen nature makes it a smart choice for a plant that looks great and will not die off, like some perennials. You will get the benefit of their beautiful foliage all year long.
If you plant it outdoors, an evergreen plant such as the Kentia palm provides protection for your landscaping.
9. Purify the Air
While the Kentia palm can tolerate bad air qualities, they do the work of helping to purify the air around them.
Breathe easier at home with better quality air, thanks to your Kentia palm.
An interesting factor about the air purifying nature of plants is that both its leaves and the roots work to remove toxins from their environment.
As well as removing carbon dioxide from the air and adding oxygen, plants also add more humidity to a room. More humid air may help with certain respiratory conditions.
10. Decreases Stress
Research shows people spend as much as 90% of their day indoors.
Some scientists suggest that as little as five minutes a day caring for plants helps improve your mood and well-being.
11. Safe and Non-Toxic
Non-toxic houseplants create a safer environment for pets and kids. Indoor plants safe for cats, dogs, and children are essential in homes with pets and small children.
Unfortunately, many common houseplants are poisonous if ingested by pets or kids.
The Kentia palm is a safe plant for pets and kids, making it a good choice for households with these concerns.
Related: Why Is My Kentia Palm Turning Brown?