Caring for the Kentia palm – easy to care for and exotic

The Kentia palm is a popular houseplant that does not place high demands on its location. A semi-shady location is ideal for the plant, with too little light the palm trees only grow slightly. The species, which belongs to the palm family (Arecaceae), is robust and predestined as a green plant in offices, residential and business premises and conservatories. Pinnate dark green leaves sit on long stems. The filigree fronds provide exotic flair, and matching pots also support the indoor palm tree.

Worth knowing LocationCare Watering FertilizingRepottingPests & Diseases FAQ

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Worth knowing about the Kentia palm

Botanical name: Howea forsteriana
Other names: Kentia palm, Kentia, house palm, Hollywood palm
Use: houseplant, indoor greening, conservatory, office greening, room climate plants, container plant
Origin: Lord Howe Island (east of Australia)
Special features: The easy-care palm quickly brings tropical flair. Brown leaves are usually a sign of low humidity. The easy-care indoor plants are ideal for hydroponics. As an air-purifying houseplant, the Kentia is particularly valuable in offices, living rooms and business premises.

In which location does the Kentia palm feel most comfortable?

A place that is as bright as possible without direct sunlight is ideal. The further away the palm tree is from the window, the more expansive it develops. Howea forsteriana feels most comfortable at temperatures of 18 to 20 degrees Celsius and high humidity. The Kentia can stay indoors all year round. In summer it is possible to stay in the semi-shade on the balcony or in the garden. Being outdoors promotes vitality and growth. It is important to give up in good time in September. Even in winter, the temperatures should not drop below 18 degrees Celsiusbe. Light leaf coloring or brown leaves can be the result of too low temperatures or a lack of light. Plant lamps help to improve the lighting conditions in winter.
Our gardening tip: Make sure you gradually get used to the outdoor conditions. The UV radiation from the blazing sun can lead to unsightly burns if you change too quickly. A bright, sunny place on the balcony or terrace that is protected from rain is ideal in summer. Direct sun leads to leaf damage and whitening.

How do I properly care for my Howea forsteriana?

In the optimal location, Kentia palms are robust and easy to care for. Regular fertilizing is recommended from April to August. You can rinse off small specimens once a year in the shower with lukewarm water. If the plants are too large and unwieldy for this, wiping the leaves with a damp cloth will help. This will remove the dust and encourage good development. Proper care also includes removing the old, brown leaves.

How do I water my Kentia Palm properly?

Important for the Kentia palm is an even soil moisture without waterlogging. Make sure that the soil dries out a little between each watering, but never completely dries out. You can dip smaller plants once a week. To do this, place the houseplant in a bucket filled with water and immerse the Kentia palm until no more air bubbles rise. The advantage of the immersion method is that the substrate and the root ball are completely soaked. Discard excess water as waterlogging will not be tolerated. Water larger specimens weekly. If the green plant is cooler in winter, the interval between watering increases to 10 to 14 days.

Our gardening tip: To increase the humidity, you can regularly spray the leaves of the indoor plants with low-lime water or set up a fountain nearby. Brown tips are often the result of air that is too dry.

How do I fertilize my Howea forsteriana?

Howea forsteriana need regular fertilizer for lush green foliage and growth. A special fertilizer for green plants and palms, which contains important growth and vital substances, is best suited for this. Fertilize the plant weekly from March to September and every 8 weeks during the cold season. Make sure that the houseplant is only fertilized when the soil is not completely dry. Apply the water enriched with liquid fertilizer directly to the roots and never over the leaves. Another option is to use fertilizer sticks. This convenient long-term fertilization is particularly useful for small plants. The palms are thereby for 3 monthssupplied with all the necessary nutrients, minerals and trace elements.

How do I repot my Kentia Palm?

Newly purchased specimens can initially remain in the same pot for 2 to 3 years. After that, transplanting into fresh soil and a larger pot is beneficial. The best time to transplant your Kentia palm is in spring. With a higher supply of light, the Kentia palm quickly forms new roots and continues to grow well. Use special green plant and palm soil for transplanting. The composition of this substrate is tailored to the needs of palm trees. It is peat-reduced, fluffy and has a pH of 5.3. The special soil has excellent water holding power and a high nutrient storage capacity. This makes maintenance easier and the depot fertilizer included provides the plants with all the nutrients they need for the first 6 weeks after repotting. Repotting in a well drained substrate in spring is ideal.

Our gardening tip: With high pots, it is advisable to minimize the volume of soil with an insert or a drainage layer, for example made of clay granules. This avoids waterlogging.

Repotting plants — our tips
Find out in the blog post why and how you should repot your plants.

repot plants

What diseases and pests can occur in Kentia?

The popular indoor plants are robust and are very rarely attacked by diseases and pests if they are well cared for and in the ideal location. The following pests can occur:

spider mites

The affected leaves have silvery dots on the upper side and webs are visible on the underside of the leaves. The spider mite infestation often occurs in the cold season when the indoor air is warm and dry. It is usually sufficient to spray the plants and treat them with plant strengtheners. These bio-active agents contain natural plant extracts that contribute to the vitalization of the plant. You can prevent an infestation by increasing the humidity. You can do this by spraying the leaves or placing an indoor fountain near the plants.

Indoor plant pests our tips
Find out in the blog post which pests there are and how you can prevent and treat them.

Houseplant Pests

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FAQ — Frequently asked questions about the Kentia Palm

What can be the reason for brown tips?

Brown leaf tips are often a sign of too much water. In addition, leaf damage can occur due to dry air in winter. Regular spraying with low-lime water can help to prevent brown leaf tips. Regardless of the light and care, the old foliage also turns brown. This natural process is harmless and cannot be stopped.

How are the palm trees cultivated?

A common method of palm propagation is sowing. Seed germination takes a long time and sufficient warmth and moisture are required before a seedling becomes visible. The propagation is tedious, mostly the members of the Arecaceae family are cultivated in special companies and young plants are sent to green plant companies for further cultivation.

What can be the reason for yellow leaves?

In addition to a lack of fertilizer and a location that is too dark in winter, cold temperatures can also lead to lightening of the leaves. Howea is slow to respond to adverse conditions. Therefore, it is not easy to find the causes of chlorosis. With well-moist soil and adequate light, warmth, and nutrients, the fronds will quickly turn green again.

Can brown areas be cut off?

You can easily cut off brown edges and brown spots with scissors. Even if a leaf has dried up, you should remove it as soon as possible.

How tall does the Howea forsteriana get?

In its homeland, the exotic species reaches a height of over 15 meters. In room culture, the wide-growing species only grows to a maximum of three meters high. With very slow growth, however, this size is only reached after many years. Cross-growing fronds can be easily shortened.

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