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House Plant Index

PALMS

Flowers None on houseplants
Potting or re-potting time When new growth is evident-usually in April
Position in garden during summer Shade
Potting Mixture 3 and 4

Various palms, in the young stage, are used as houseplants. Many indoor gardeners avoid them as too reminiscent of barber shops, hotel lobbies, and apartment house entrances; yet well-grown palms do lend a feathery, tropical touch to window gardens.

Two of the most satisfactory species for indoor use are Howea belmoreana and Howea forsteriana. Both are commonly listed as Kentia. Belmoreana is more erect in growth than forsteriana, although both grow from one central stem or trunk. Potting mixture 3.

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is the cane palm, or areca, of the florists. Olive-green leaves on yellow stalks appear along the multiple, clustered stems, not being restricted to the apex of the stem as in most species. Potting mixture 4.

Palms are very tolerant of house conditions yet does appreciate attention. Sun is not essential for healthy growth, but abundant light is. Over-potting is particularly disastrous where palms are concerned. They should be kept slightly root-bound, which means containers relatively small for the plant's size. For example, a palm 3 to 4 feet in height will be most contented in a 6-inch pot. Over-size pots encourage soggy, stagnant soil which results in yellowing fronds and a general unhealthy appearance.


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