Are you on a quest for the newest addition to your plant family? Perhaps eyeing the bushiest Cat Palm in all the land, but are worried about whether it will be frond or foe? In order to have your amigo thrive, it’s important to have a few palm care tips up your sleeve. We’re here to help give you the confidence boost to pick up an indoor palm of your own, and squash some of those palm tree myths!
Myth #1: Palms need bright sun
Despite what you see around tropical beaches, most indoor palms enjoy medium to bright indirect light. Placing your green amigo near an east or west facing window is ideal! Some varieties, such as the Majesty Palm or Pigmy Date Palm, enjoy some bright, direct light—but when in doubt, indirect is the way to go.
Myth #2: Palms need a lot of water
Rather than keeping the soil moist at all times, most palms actually prefer a bit of neglect. Thoroughly soaking your palm until water comes out of the drainage holes (perhaps in the sink or shower) is the most effective method. You can even give your palm a deep soak by filling up a basin with a few inches of water, and dunking your plant directly in. Wait anywhere from 15-45 minutes, depending on the size of your plant, until the roots have soaked up all the hydration they need through the drainage holes. Take it out, let the water dribble out, then plop it back into its decorative pot!
Here’s the kicker: you’ll want to let it dry out a bit before giving it another drink. Anywhere from 3 inches to 50% of the soil should be dry before watering, depending on which palm variety you have!
Myth #3: Misting your palm is enough to boost humidity
Is misting still a thing? Well… that depends! Misting is beneficial in cleaning the foliage so that all that juicy photosynthesizing action can happen. Grouping plants together and misting in the morning also does help temporarily boost humidity.
With some palms, however, the amount of humidity required is simply not enough for misting on its own.
A common qualm with palms (say that 5 times fast) is that their tips dry out after moving them into our homes. This is because we usually don’t have the holy trinity of requirements: warmth, humidity, and bright light. Therefore, supplementing other forms of humidity boosters with our trusty misters is ideal.
Using a humidifier, pebble tray, or showering near your plant are simple and effective ways to increase the humidity and keep your palms looking lush.
To create a pebble tray, you’ll want to find a tray large enough to fit the breadth of your amigo, and pour some stones onto it! Fill it up with some water and place your plant on top, so it’s supported by the pebbles. When water evaporates, it will form a column of humidity around your plant.