Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana) and Curly Kentia Palm (Howea belmoreana)
How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!
Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.
Natives to Lord Howe Island – hence the Genus name. In pot culture they commonly grow around 3m, these are wonderful (and very forgiving) indoor palms. The Curly Kentia Palm has more arching broad fronds than the regular Kentia.
Only water once the top 3cm of potting mix has dried out. Over watering can lead to root rot. It is very important that the Kentia Palms do not sit in water, put pot on feet to keep it out of any water collecting in the slip pot or saucer.
Moderate to bright indirect light but will be fine for extended periods in low light. Direct light can lead to sunburn / scorching of the fronds.
Temperature and Humidity
Almost any temperature that you like indoors – very tolerant, but common indoor temperatures are ideal. Will do best with some humidity, but will cope with low humidity. Benefits from being taken into a shower or outside and washed off occasionally.
Apply slow release fertiliser at half the normal rate, supplement with liquid fertiliser during a growth period (summer usuially).
You can leave a Kentia Palm for many years in the same pot, as long as you can still get water through the pot, it will survive. If you allow your Kentia to become potbound, its growth will slow down, and when you repot it, it will be less likely to suffer shock, than if growing rapidly.
Use cacti and succulent potting mix, or another similarly free draining sandy mix. Go up only one pot size, and try to damage the roots as little as possible during the process.
Kentias are best if trimmed as little as possible, just remove any dead fronds.
Give an annual flush out to remove any accumulated salts.
Scale, mealy bugs and mites can occasionally be a problem. Wipe down with neem oil occasionally as a preventative and treatment. If insects persist, use use confidor tablets