Houseplants forum→Majesty Palm indoor lighting question

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bigdawg
Jun 27, 2015 8:43 AM CST
We just received a beautiful Majesty Palm. I've planted it in a large clay pot and am concerned that it will need more light than it is getting now in our living room.
My question is...I want to put a grow light on the plant to give the plant light for 6 or more hours each day but have no way of hanging it over the plan. If I purchase a grow light bulb and base and place it at the base of the plant (shinning up from underneath) will that work or will it cause other issues?
Thanks for the help.
BD

Plantomaniac08
Jun 27, 2015 11:55 AM CST
If I remember this palm correctly, these are not the easiest to grow indoors. Not that me saying that answers your question, just fyi.

Planto
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 29, 2015 11:19 AM CST
Hi bigdawg, Welcome to All Things Plants!
Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis) requires very bright light and high humidity to thrive.
I had a couple of the Dwarf Majesty Palm (Ravenea hildebrandtii) growing in containers for quite a few years, but mine were kept outdoors on my pool deck where they received filtered but very bright Florida sunlight throughout the year. I gave one of my plants away when it got so tall that it touched the screen roof of the pool enclosure and I ended up planting the other in the ground where one year it was killed by an unusually frigid winter.

I wish you luck with your Majesty, it is a very beautiful palm tree but I'm not sure how long it will survive in an indoor setting without very bright light and high humidity. Depending on where you live, you may have success if you can put it outdoors during the day and increase humidity by sitting it on a tray of pebbles containing water ... or spraying with a water bottle etc.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!



bigdawg
Jun 29, 2015 7:12 PM CST
Thanks for the info. I was afraid that it wouldn't do well indoors.
What if I got a grow light at the base shinning upward. There are many bulb type grow lights that even turn themselves on and off like this one (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Sma...). Would this help at all?
Would it cause any strange issues, like not growing up but growing out since all the light is coming from underneath?
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jun 30, 2015 7:39 AM CST
I've never used grow lights so I'm not sure how the tree would respond. Hopefully others will chime in with their experiences.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
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drdawg
Jun 30, 2015 8:32 AM CST
I don't think "bottom" light would do much good. These are outside plants and need strong, indirect overhead light or need to spend some time outside.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Jul 7, 2015 6:15 PM CST
I agree with all of the above.
The best you can do it is keep it outside for the summer and then bring it back in for the winter.
What zone are you? Where do you live? Do you have a sun room?

In my opinion--any light you can shine on it will never come close to the "real thing" outside.
And--NO WAY you can duplicate the humidity palms require.

Many people buy Majesty Palms just for decoration outside--around their pools, ponds, etc.
Then--they let them die come winter... As DrDawg said--these are Outdoor Plants.
Gita
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jul 8, 2015 12:01 PM CST
Majesty Palm seems to be a fickle plant. Granted, im still working on improving my green thumb, but I've struggled with both of the Majesty Palms I've had. The one I currently have has been outside for about 3 weeks (?) now that the weather is reliably warm both day and night here I SE Michigan. It is browning a bit though. It has been humid and mostly rainy here, but we did have a dry spell last week, so that might have done it.

To answer your question about indoor lighting, I had my Majesty Palm indoors the end of winter and a large part of spring and I misted the leaves regularly and watered occasionally. The grow light I used seemed to work well and extended the daylight hours for my plant. Here is what I used: http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ... I like it because it has a flexible head so I can point it in various directions and it has multiple dim settings, so I gradually dimmed the light some evenings (when I thought of it) for a more natural lighting effect for my plants. I recommend it. Like I said, though, my Majesty Palm is currently outside in the sun because I feel that's better for it during warmer months and I'll spray it down well with soapy water (to get rid of most of the bugs) before I bring it inside this fall.

I hope that helps!

Dawnsy
Feb 17, 2018 10:19 AM CST
We had a rat get into our home while we were doing concrete work outside. The rat ate a good portion of our majesty palm branches and we were wondering they will grow back in time. I put a picture below
Thumb of 2018-02-17/Dawnsy/0ad8b0

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Feb 17, 2018 1:42 PM CST
Majesty Palms are the one commonly used plant species that I would never recommend for indoor use. Big Box retailers love them because they are cheap to grow and they can offer a lot of plant for relatively low prices. Typically, they are grown in warm climates outdoors where they get lots of light and fresh air. They are then shipped to cooler climates without acclimating them to reduced light. Thus, they rarely last indoors for more than 6 months to a year.

Even the best grow lights are not an adequate substitute for the outdoor sun that these plants require.

In addition to requiring lots of sun and air circulation, they are extremely prone to spider mites and require a lot of water and fertilizer.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

jerrilovesnature
Nov 15, 2019 3:49 PM CST
i bought mine in july and have had them in my not sun facing living room due to what i read in the care instructions, i live in zone 6b/d depends on what site u put ur zip, its R.I .. and here we are 2day my plants are doing well , but my cat palm just seems like it needed or wants something im not providing, the majestic palm saids it needs humidity and the bathroom is a good spot, but mine is in the lr and doing awesome w the indirect light as i read in the care but now reading on line it needs ALOT of indirect light same as the catpalm and dragon tree palm.. here's my majestic and dragon both close relation w care needed
Thumb of 2019-11-15/jerrilovesnature/f9dc4b


Thumb of 2019-11-15/jerrilovesnature/019cb5



and here's my cat palm which i feel its leaf color could be more shiny like a glazed coated and darker green even tho new growth has continued, also my family all get hot easy especially at night so the sleep temp is between 62/64 degree'sand 5a til 630a 65 degree's and put it back down unless its really cold outside then i will keep the heat at 65 degree's, but i do cook alot and for long periods cus its all homemade, and i do see windows fogging at those times so maybe i am providing the humidity it needs that way and got lucky, i just put it upstairs where it can get more indirect sunlight starting 2mrw and have it near a sun/heat lamp that used to be my lizards for now... just wanted to give info about my plants and the habitat i have them in, hope it helps.....



Thumb of 2019-11-15/jerrilovesnature/95ddc5

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Nov 16, 2019 6:11 PM CST
jerrilovesnature - I cannot see the first photo well enough to see what plant that is. The second photo appears to be a Dracaena and the third photo looks like a Date Palm.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Nov 17, 2019 7:06 AM CST
your household temperatures and humidity are within reasonable ranges and don't usually make a difference. The most important factors are correct watering of the pot, and correct (enough) light. I don't know palms, but Will or others can advise, best with good pictures.
I am worried the lizard light is a lot better making heat than light, and can't be close enough to the plant to help it a lot. Maybe you can change the bulb for a cool light, like LED= but better, find the right natural light.
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)

MikeyPoons
Jun 30, 2020 8:33 AM CST
WillC said:Majesty Palms are the one commonly used plant species that I would never recommend for indoor use. Big Box retailers love them because they are cheap to grow and they can offer a lot of plant for relatively low prices. Typically, they are grown in warm climates outdoors where they get lots of light and fresh air. They are then shipped to cooler climates without acclimating them to reduced light. Thus, they rarely last indoors for more than 6 months to a year.

Even the best grow lights are not an adequate substitute for the outdoor sun that these plants require.

In addition to requiring lots of sun and air circulation, they are extremely prone to spider mites and require a lot of water and fertilizer.


It is refreshing to come across this poignant explanation despite it being posted years ago, during which time, I learned all too well how truthful and accurate this comment from horticulturalhelp's WillC above actually was.

In Chicago, palm trees don't fair too well for very long, though you might be surprised they do quite well outside from June through September, as is clear by the ones that are brought here that get to enjoy extra long days with up to 16 hours of light, pretty high humidity along with daytime temps well into the 80s and 90s and only slightly cooler overnight lows.

This is very short-lived, however, and as an urban jungle enthusiast, I made the bold choice of parenting 4 rather large 8' + Majesty Palms - from a big box retailer, and a commonly used supplier for them, and oh what a learning experience that turned into for me.

Not only did I nurture them indoors in my condo in Chicago with brief excursion exceptions when the weather allowed, but I also came to fear the wrath of big box retailer attributable spider mites that happen to be quite fond of the fronds and colonize rapidly indoors without natural predation - particularly on the leaves underside, where pockets allow them a sort of sanctuary when Chicago's dry autumn air encourages them to rapidly multiply. Aside from going through every known remedy under the non-existent Chicago sun, my home was already also a sort of humid oasis which the mites tend to hate. I maintained the humidity moreso than one might otherwise due in large part to rather extensive indoor water features as well as components to control excess humidification while allowing me to utilize a series of compact pond fogging misters indoors.

This was still insufficient to deter the plant-killing pests, and along with dwindling hours of daylight, despite my best efforts to shower the ceiling-scraping Majesty Palms with thousands of watts of supplemental broad spectrum greenhouse lighting, the extra care measures still proved insufficient to keep the Majesty Palms from looking depressed.

Nevermind that all of this exacted an indirect and unintentional toll on my various other 40 or 50 so houseplants that underwent neglect, and cross-contamination of spider mites (prior to my strict plant social distancing policy), and that were forced to give up prime window and light space
for the sake of these towering tropical Majesty behemoths. That side effect was just the icing of an extra nuisance on the cake of a Majesty tragedy.

Two and half years of toil and trouble later, only one Majesty Palm survives and it stands roughly half as tall as it once was having been ravaged by mites and struggling to adjust to an unforgiving environment, and sadly I still feel quite proud that it has lived for when I brought home 4 massive palm trees, I never knew what commenter WillC said above so well and so concisely. His words are true, and unless you have a greenhouse, and all of the adequate amenities and conditions with which to nourish majesty palms, they are an awful choice for any home outside of Florida I imagine. That doesn't mean you can't have success growing one, as I have since punished myself for my mistakes, and now have in my care two much smaller majesty palms that have been well cared for and are quite healthy, but they are sort of my payback for the mistakes i made when i didnt know and I also judt enjoy making myself miserable with a challenge like having a tropical paradise in chicago. There are plenty of tropical plants and palm trees that are much better suited to any indoor space or home and just about anywhere you live, the majesty palm is not one, so unless you want to adorn your yard or mixed use space with their presence for a few months before giving them up as a lost cause, I suggest you go on to the next plant choice. Pictured is one of my majesty palms that remains healthy.... For now. The top soil has dried hardened diatomaceous earth which i remove and reapply liberally as a preventative pest control. Spider mites don't have a palette for yucca palms, so a healthy and tall one is also pictured along with a burgundy colored dracanea at a safe distance (just in case) because big box stores are a notorious ground zero for pests and spider mites can just about float in the air and travel on clothing as well, in case you happened to visit a big box garden center - just a heads up. Lol


Thumb of 2020-06-30/MikeyPoons/16b1ca

[Last edited by MikeyPoons - Jun 30, 2020 12:24 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 30, 2020 8:50 AM CST
@MikeyPoons Welcome! I'm sorry you have experienced what so many other Majesty Palm owners have. I wish I could magically attach a tag on every Majesty Palm that says "Not For Indoor Use" so others could avoid your disappointing experience. Unfortunately, many folks get these plants and then end up blaming themselves for their deterioration. That is most unfortunate. Sad
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jun 30, 2020 10:08 AM CST
A few palms can be grown indoors, the so-called "Parlor Palms" being one. But the vast majority are strictly outdoor plants, requiring full sun. I've got 12 varieties on my property, including several Majesty palms. The Majesty is a much slower grower than most of mine and they are only about 10' tall. For comparison, the same age Coconut Palms are about 25' tall.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jul 1, 2020 7:26 AM CST
There are a number of Palm species that do well indoors. They include Kentias, Rhapis, Areca, several Chamaedorea species, and some Fan Palms. As Ken has pointed out, many Palms simply don't do well indoors.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 1, 2020 9:50 AM CST
In case any of you don't know, Will is an expert on indoor growing. He knows 1000X more than I'll ever know about growing this way.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
http://www.tropicalplantsandmo...
I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
Jul 1, 2020 12:47 PM CST
You are too kind, gracious and self-effacing, Ken! Thank You!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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