The Q&A Archives: Indoor Palm Tree- Boston, Ma

Question: Hello,
I just bought a

Answer: Defining light for houseplants is more of an art than a science. Bright light but no direct sun is the rule for "medium light" houseplants. West- or south-facing windows are great ? just keep them a foot or two from the window itself. You can always supplement natural light with a gro-light during the winter months to make sure your palm gets adequate light. A bigger concern is that you've replanted your palm into a container with no drainage. While the rocks in the bottom of the pot will catch and hold excess water, the water will stagnate and the roots will eventually grow into them. Roots don't like sitting in water. In fact, without oxygen, the roots will suffocate. A better approach is to repot your palm into a nursery pot or container with drainage holes in the bottom and then set that pot into your decorative pot. When it's time to water, remove the container from the decorative pot, set it in the sink or on a saucer and water until excess water drains freely through the holes in the pot. Allow to drain, then replace in the decorative pot. You can tuck sphagnum moss around the palm to disguise the rim of the pot if you find it unattractive.

It takes most houseplants several weeks to adjust to their new homes. Usually houseplants are grown under perfect conditions in a greenhouse prior to their trip to a garden center. It's hard to duplicate these perfect conditions so you're likely to see some signs of stress until they acclimate to your home. This will include browning leaf tips, off-color foliage and just general poor appearance. After your palm adjusts to your home and begins healthy new growth, you can prune out any damage that developed during the acclimation period.

Best wishes with your new palm!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by cocoajuno and is called "Here's looking at you."