21 Types of Palm Trees That Can Grow Indoors

If you've decided to add a palm tree to your indoor garden, there are plenty of options to choose from. Bringing a palm tree indoors can liven up just about any indoor living space, and help it stand apart from other more common indoor gardens. In this article, we take a look at our favorite types of palm trees that you can grow indoors!

indoor palm trees

Are you looking to add a taste of the tropics to your living space? There are few houseplants that are as dramatic as the indoor palm tree. And with so many indoor friendly palm trees to select from, you’re sure to find the right palm tree as your next houseplant.

When choosing the right palm tree for the inside of your home, it is important to consider the conditions and the planting location. Will it eventually overtake the space and need to be transplanted outdoors? Will the palm tree receive the right amount of light next to your living room window? Perhaps it’ll get some direct sun if it’s an entry plant, next to a window near your front door?

Palm trees tend to thrive in humid and warm environments. This means certain types are perfect addition to more temperate indoor conditions. They prefer areas with bright, indirect light conditions and are wonderful additions to just about any home. In this article, we take a look at our favorite indoor palm trees and how to keep them happy and healthy in your living space. Let’s dig in!

Areca Palm

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens Growing in Living Area
The Areca Palm reacts negatively to drafts and prefers warmer cliamtes.
Scientific Name: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 6-10’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Sun

Their gold-colored stems, slender fronds, and tight clustering resemble genuine bamboo. Also known as the butterfly palm, golden cane palm, and bamboo palm, the Areca is great for privacy screening due to its taller stature.

Provide a well-drained container for the palm to avoid root rot. They are very sensitive to fluoride in tap water, so water your plant with distilled water or rainfall when the soil begins to dry up.

They love to soak up the sunshine, so keep them in a bright room during the winter and take them outside during the summer growing season.

Banana Palm

Musa oriana Growing in Container Next to Yellow Wall
The Banana Palm prefers bright but diffused light.
Scientific Name: Musa oriana
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 6’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun

This sun-loving plant requires at least 12 hours of direct sunlight every day. Add compost, nutrient-rich soil, and water regularly to keep it damp but not muddy.

Like potatoes, this plant develops from a single rhizome, which sends out shoots and roots to keep creating new stalks. It is difficult to kill because of its underground rhizome structure and continues to produce year after year.

Cascade Palm

Chamaedorea cataractarum Planted in White Container in Front of White Curtain
Cascade Palm feels best at a humidity level of about 50 percent.
Scientific Name: Chamaedorea cataractarum
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 3-6’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Indirect Sun

This plant, sometimes known as Cat Palms and Cataract Palms, develops to a height of around 3′. It is a cluster of stems with thick leaves, similar to the Ivory Cane Palm.

If grown as a container plant inside, place the Cascade Palm in a bright environment but not in full sunlight to avoid burning the leaves.

Water this tree once a week, and fertilize it twice a year.

Chinese Fan Palm

Livistona chinensis Close up
Watering Chinese Fan Palm should be uniform, plentiful in summer, and moderate in winter.
Scientific Name: Livistona chinensis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 10-30’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Sun

This resilient plant, often known as the Fountain Palm, lives for up to 40 years. Because they are not extremely sensitive to temperature, light, or moisture, these plants are ideal for beginning gardeners.

The Chinese Fan Palm, like other palms, requires adequate drainage. However, it grows well in sand and clay. Young plants should be protected from direct sunlight, but established plants can tolerate the light just fine.

Because the plant does not grow throughout the winter, it requires less watering. Allow the soil to thoroughly dry before giving it a good soak. Mist the fronds and keep the soil or clay wet during the spring and summer months.

Dwarf Bamboo Palm

Chamaedorea radicalis With White Background
Dwarf Bamboo Palm is very demanding on moisture and should be watered frequently in growing months.
Scientific Name: Chamaedorea radicalis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 2-10’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Full Shade

The Dwarf Bamboo Palm is one of the most simple to care for because it takes little to no maintenance and isn’t very sensitive to light or humidity.

As an indoor container plant, it has dark, thick leaves and grows to 6′ in height.

Soil should be moist but not muddy, and it requires indirect sun to thrive.

Fishtail Palm

Caryota mitis in Black Container
Fishtail Palm is a very moisture-loving plant and spraying is an essential part of caring for it throughout the summer.
Scientific Name: Caryota mitis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 20’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade

Fishtail Palms get their name from their chopped leaves that look like fishtails. These are more difficult to keep alive, particularly indoors. They require a lot of intense light and a consistent supply of water.

When leaves get spotted, using Epsom salts periodically helps with magnesium deficits. Most likely, it just needs more sunshine.

When they are young, slow-growing fishtails can be repotted. However, because they may grow to be 20′ tall, their height and weight make repotting impossible once they’ve matured.

Keep an eye out for insect infestations like aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies.

Ivory Cane Palm

Pinanga coronata Leaves Close up
Ivory Cane Palm prefers a shady spot and can grow up to 12 feet tall.
Scientific Name: Pinanga coronata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 4-10’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Shade

This palm is made of a cluster of stems and has a white, or ivory, crownshaft that turns green as it matures. In nature, it grows up to 20’ but kept in containers, it grows up to a more manageable 12’ tall.

It bears little pink blooms that become red as they mature, followed by purple berries. This palm prefers to thrive in a somewhat shaded location. Keep it in a tiny pot if you wish to keep it at its current size.

Allow the roots up to 50′ of clearance around the base of the plant when transplanting it into your yard.

Ivory Crownshaft Palm

Pinanga dicksonii Growing Next to Brick Wall
Ivory Crownshaft Palm prefers indirect light and moist soil.
Scientific Name: Pinanga dicksonii
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 10-30’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Shade

The Ivory Crownshaft Palm, like the Ivory Cane Palm, has a yellow to the white crown with green leaves that grow up to 30′ tall. Unlike the Ivory Cane, it has a single trunk instead of a cluster of stems.

A plant housed in a container will, of course, be considerably shorter in its first few years. To continue developing, the Ivory Crownshaft Palm requires a transplant outside.

This tree likes intense light that is indirect to avoid burning its leaves. Keep the soil wet and use the mist to increase humidity.

Kentia Palm

Howeia forsteriana in White Planter
The Kentia Palm must be sprayed and the room should be ventilated to avoid cold drafts.
Scientific Name: Howeia forsteriana
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 3-12’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Shade to Full Shade

The ringed trunk of this tree, like the Bamboo Palm, exhibits the remains of fronds shed as the tree ages. The trunk of a young plant is green and lacks a crownshaft. Adult plants at least 15 years old have featherlike fronds that develop above 2″ fruits.

This palm, whether indoors or outdoors, favors shade or low light, especially for young plants. They can better adapt to sunlight if they’ve been established for 5 years or more.

Yellow leaf tips suggest that the plant isn’t getting enough water. Mist the plant in the winter to offer much-needed moisture and humidity.

Lipstick Palm

Cyrtostachys renda ready for planting
Lipstick Palm is best placed in a room where it can receive lots of sunlight.
Scientific Name: Cyrtostachys renda
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 25-35’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Sun

The Lipstick Palm’s green trunk with white rings leads up to a red crownshaft where the fronds emerge. Healthy plants produce white flowers followed by black fruit.

In nature, these humidity-loving palms grow up to 35’ near rivers or ponds. The slow growers make good potted plants, provided they are watered, drained well, and kept out of the sun when they’re young. Water before the soil dries out completely and apply low-salt fertilizer twice per year.

These plants may become root bound, so it’s important to replant every few years into a larger pot so their roots can spread.

Majesty Palm

Ravenea rivularis in White Planter Set on a Tabletop
Majesty Palm prefers high humidity., so spraying is useful for it in the spring and summer.
Scientific Name: Ravenea rivularis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 10-100’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun

Majesty Palm may reach heights of 100 feet in Madagascar. Keeping their roots contained in a planter, on the other hand, hinders their capacity to grow higher than 10′ inside. Young trees in containers grow by 1′ each year during the first six years, then slow down.

Even the most seasoned gardeners will struggle with this plant. It necessitates the ideal balance of fertilizer, light, and water. An unhealthy plant produces bleached leaves, so it requires more indirect sunlight. They require adequate drainage and a soil pH level of 5.0, so finding the ideal balance may take some time.

When there is insufficient water, the bottom leaves fall off. The magnesium in the monthly Epsom salt treatment prevents the leaves from yellowing.

Misting provides the humidity that a Majesty Palm needs to keep insects at bay. Excess fertilizer results in a longer, leaner plant.

Manila Palm

Crown of a Manila Plant Against Gray Wall
The Manila Palm grows well in well-drained or sandy soil.
Scientific Name: Veitchia merrillii
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 15-25’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Shade

The green fruit of this plant, often known as the Christmas Palm, turns scarlet in December. Despite its wintery moniker, this tree is highly cold sensitive. Potted plants can be moved indoors or outdoors as the seasons change.

Young Manila palms grow swiftly to 5′ before slowing down to a mature height of 25′. They love well-drained clay or sand and have small root balls, making them suitable for container planting. Place 3″ of mulch around the base to keep them moist without flooding the roots.

While the fronds self-prune and fall off when they die, the fruit that falls to the ground rots if not picked up quickly. Trim off the blooming stems to avoid fruiting.

Pygmy Date Palm

Phoenix roebelenii Planted in Container
At low air humidity, the tips of the Pygmy Date Palm leaves may dry out.
Scientific Name: Phoenix roebelenii
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 10”-12’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, Indirect Sun

This subtropical palm produces edible purple fruit on female plants during the spring and summer. Pygmy Date Palms require adequate drainage and will thrive if left a little root-bound. They dislike being repotted and are sensitive to prolonged periods of direct sunshine.

This palm’s large leaves are about 24″ long and feature roughly 100 leaflets on each frond. Small hairs run along the length of the underside of the leaves. Some of those small hairs linger along the trunk when fronds die and fall off or are trimmed off.

They are non-toxic to humans and animals and make excellent house plants. Make sure to inspect them regularly for pests, scales, and leaf spots.

Rhapis Palm

Rhapis excelsa Planted in White Container Next to Brick Wall
Rhapis excelsa is distinguished by its larger size and massive greenery when at maturity.
Scientific Name: Rhapis excelsa
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 6-15’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 50% of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Shade

This low-light plant, often known as the Lady Palm, develops as a clump of compact stalks. This houseplant does not require much trimming or elaborate care. Plant the Rhapis Palm in African violet potting mix near a sunny window but not in direct sunlight.

Water the plant when the top 1″ of soil is dry during the spring and summer growing seasons. Wait until the top 2″ of the plant is dry throughout the winter, when it is dormant.

Mist your Lady Palm regularly to enhance humidity, especially if the tips of the leaves become brown.

If you intend to transplant the plant, keep the root ball tight and avoid disturbing it too much.

Sunset Palm

Calyptrocalyx albertisianus outdoors of home
The single red leaf distinguishes the Sunset Palm from other palm trees.
Scientific Name: Calyptrocalyx albertisianus
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 12-30”
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Shade

New leaves appear vivid red at the top, similar to the Red Feather Palm. The 10′ leaf becomes green as the foliage grows. Because direct sunlight might harm the leaves, plant them in a shaded part of your yard or indoors with indirect lighting.

The Sunset Palm, unlike the majority of the trees on this list, requires consistently moist soil to thrive. To prevent root rot, it still needs good drainage in whatever container you use. This humid tropical plant flourishes.

Increase the humidity in the room or wet the fronds often, especially during the winter months.

Parlor Palm

Chamaedorea elegans in White Planter
In nature, the Parlor Palm is found in the forests of Mexico and Guatemala.
Scientific Name: Chamaedorea elegans
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 1-8’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, Indirect Sun

This slow grower may live for up to 40 days after being separated from the parent plant. They grow in clusters and have the light green leaves of a palm shrub. It thrives in low-light environments, such as office shelves, and does not dislike chilly temperatures as others, such as the Majestic Palm, do.

These easy-to-care-for plants are quite common as houseplants. While they can tolerate low light, they thrive in northern exposure light. The Parlor Palm isn’t finicky about potting soil as long as it’s low in salt.

Because they are susceptible to overwatering, it’s best to let them dry out. Keep an eye out for limp fronds as an indicator that it needs watering. It’s also appropriate to water when the top 1″ of soil feels dry. Adding water to your plant will make it perk right up again. Increase the humidity in the room if the leaf tips become brown.

Ponytail Palm

Beaucarnea recurvata Next to White Wall
Watering Ponytail Palm should be done using the bottom irrigation method.
Scientific Name: Beaucarnea recurvata
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 6-30’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun

The Ponytail Palm can grow up to 30′ in the wild, yet in a shallow container, it may take five years to reach 2′. This asparagus relative isn’t a true palm but grows just as well on your desk or shelf. Ponytail Palms are simple to care for and don’t require much upkeep. In fact, they are one of the most low maintenance houseplants you can welcome into your home.

These plants thrive in sandy soil and tolerate full sun or bright indirect light. In the summer, water them every two weeks, and once a month in the winter.

The size of the plant is determined by the container in which it is kept. If you want a bigger plant, transplant it so the roots may expand. If you want something smaller, keep it in a shallow container. Ponytail palms are great for beginners and are well known for being tolerant of less than optimal care.

Red Feather Palm

Chambeyronia macrocarpa With Red Leaf Among Green
Red Feather Palm is known for its bright red leaves that turn green as they mature.
Scientific Name: Chambeyronia macrocarpa
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 25’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1-2 inches are dry
  • Sun Exposure: Sun to Part Sun

The crownshaft of the Red Feather Palm, also known as the Flamethrower palm, sprouts vivid red leaves. The gigantic 10-12′ leaves become green as they mature. Birds enjoy the small purple fruits that grow under the crownshaft.

Because this plant requires humidity and has a limited drought tolerance, it must be watered often. It may also need fertilization up to twice a year.

Ruffled Fan Palm

Licuala grandis in White Container
The Ruffled Fan Palm needs bright lighting, but it is recommended to shade it from the direct rays of the sun.
Scientific Name: Licuala grandis
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 8’ tall, 5-10’ wide
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Part Sun to Shade

The Ruffled Fan Palm is distinguished by a single stem and huge circular leaves that resemble a folded fan. While they may live in colder locations, they should be taken inside during the winter or covered with a thick layer of mulch.

Because of the shape of the large leaves, they are more prone to wind and storm damage. Extra care should be taken in the placement of these plants if they are outside.

When mature, they yield spherical green fruit that transforms into a red berry. These plants seldom grow taller than 6′, although they can span up to 10′ wide.

Whether indoors or out, this Australian native requires excellent drainage and frequent watering.

Sago Palm

Cycas revoluta Growing in Pink Living Room
Outwardly, the Sago Palm looks just like a palm tree, although it isn’t one.
Scientific Name: Cycas revoluta
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: 3-10’
  • Watering Needs: When the top 1/2 – 1 inch of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Although not a genuine palm tree, it still makes our list since it looks so much like one! These subtropical plants, native to Japan and southern China, like humidity and should be misted often. Drain the soil well to avoid root rot.

They grow slowly and thrive in bright, but indirect, sunshine. Sago palms are only active from spring through fall and may only produce one green frond each year.

Leave the yellowing leaves alone since they are still collecting nutrients for the plant. When the fronds become brown, you may cut them off. When pups or baby plants pop up at the base, transplant them to new containers.

Yucca Palm

Yucca Growing in Container Indoors
The Yucca Palm needs bright sunlight for around 10-12 hours a day.
Scientific Name: Yucca elephantipes
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Plant Size: Varies by Variety
  • Watering Needs: When 75-100% of soil is dry
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, Indirect Light

Yucca Palms, which are native to Mexico and the Caribbean, thrive in bright, dry environments. Inadequate sunlight causes thin growth, while excessive sunlight harms the leaves.

These desert palms prefer loose soil with adequate drainage. Once every few weeks, make sure the soil is thoroughly dry before watering again.

The 40 varieties of Yucca plants vary in size. The Yucca Palm remains small enough to be kept indoors for years before needing more space to grow outside.

Final Thoughts

After reviewing some of our favorite palms for your indoor space, hopefully you aren’t more confused than when you started! There are plenty of different palm trees that can thrive indoors, so be sure to select the perfect match for the area that you plan to place it to give it plenty of room to grow.

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