Majesty Palm Tree Watering Schedule: How Much Water Do They Need?
Love the majesty palm tree, but aren't sure how much water it needs? These popular houseplants do require a consistent watering schedule. In this article, hobby gardener Jason White examines how often you should water your majesty palm tree, and how much water they need to grow properly.
If you want to add a majesty palm tree to your indoor garden, you need to know how often to water it, and how much water it needs. If you don’t water this particular tree with the right frequency, you could risk ruining your favorite houseplant.
Caring for a majesty palm really isn’t all that different from caring for a full-sized palm tree. You need to make sure that the plant has enough water, enough sun, the right soil and the right balance of nutrients. Because this plant is a houseplant, it’s important to make sure you don’t underwater or overwater your plant.
The good news is, if your majesty palm has too much or too little water, there will be some early signs. Let’s take a deeper look at exactly how much water this plant needs, and how often you should be watering it.
Majesty Palm Basics
A majesty palm is sometimes called a majestic palm. You should anticipate that a well cared for and healthy majestic palm tree will grow at a rate of less than one foot per year until it reaches a maximum of about 10 feet in height. This palm is one of the most popular houseplants, but isn’t quite as popular as a pothos or philodendron.
They can easily reach a substantial height even when grown inside your home in a pot. As you can imagine, a mature indoor palm tree that’s 10 feet tall can drink a lot of water.
They thrive in the wild when growing on riverbanks with a constant and ample water supply and good drainage. Imagine how much water an eighty or ninety-foot-tall tree in its native Madagascar needs?
How They Thrive
Majesty palm trees do not like to sit in a lot of water, and they don’t tolerate becoming too dried out. So your goal is to keep your potting media or soil evenly moist. You can’t ever let it become waterlogged, and you can’t let it get too arid for long.
This plant is from a more humid environment, which means they need plenty of water. Their watering schedule isn’t all that much different than a pothos.
Since the conditions in your home are likely much drier than their native tropical habitat, you should consider running a humidifier or misting the plant daily. This will help provide the required humidity without adding too much volume of water to the soil. Just make sure to regularly clean the filter on your humidifier and never reuse a spray bottle that once held toxic chemicals.
Watering a Majesty Palm
If you like to water your plants on a schedule, you should consider watering the majesty palm at a frequency of about once every few days. That’s pretty imprecise, but it’s enough time to use up some of the water and not so long that the soil will become completely dry.
When it’s very dry in your home, like when the heat is running in the winter or the AC is cranking in the summertime, you will have to water the plant more often. That’s also a good time to make sure you’re misting the plant regularly. Even though you can expect it to need more water than usual, it’s always best to check the moisture level in the soil before you add any water at all.
They are a little bit sensitive to the moisture level of the soil it grows in. The amount of water it consumes can also vary considerably based on the maturity of the plant and the humidity level in your house, so it’s probably best not to follow a schedule at all.
Instead, examine your potting media regularly. If the top of the soil is still damp, the plant does not need watering. Conversely, if the top inch of the soil is completely dry, it’s probably ready for a small drink. If the top two inches of the dirt is dry, it can probably use a heavier drink.
This method of checking the moisture level in the soil helps you stay in tune with your plant’s needs rather than focusing on the schedule. You can also purchase a moisture level tester, but doing so isn’t necessary if you get good at assessing the soil’s dryness. Just run your fingers through it.
Problems & Troubleshooting
If you pay attention to your majesty palm tree, it will give you some signals when it needs water or when you may be overwatering it. One of the big warning signs to monitor for is yellowing leaves. That’s a signal that there’s something wrong with the plant.
The only catch is that yellow leaves can be a sign of a few issues, including the plant craving more light, needing more nutrients, or that it is stunned they over-fertilization.
In terms of watering, their yellowing leaves can also be a sign that it’s not getting enough water, too much water, or that it just needs more humidity in its environment.
Other Problem Signs
There are other common problems with majesty palms. One of the big ones to keep an eye out for is any signal that the leaves are starting to turn brown. If the very tips of the leaf are beginning to brown, it’s a good indicator that the plant is thirsty and you are not giving it enough water.
Brown leaves can also signal a few other things. If the entire leaf turns a bit crispy or burned-looking, it’s probably become brown because the plant is getting too much sunlight. Direct light in too big of a dose can be harmful to the plant’s overall health. Try moving it someplace with a bit more shade and less direct sunlight.
If there are brown spots in the middle of the leaves, that’s probably an indicator that there’s an insect problem. This tree is are very susceptible to problems with pests like aphids and whiteflies, to begin with. But allowing the plant to be too dry can also leave it more vulnerable to spider mites and mealybugs.
If you identify an infestation of any type of pest, treat it as quickly as possible and with the least aggressive method. There might even be some simple remedies you can try that don’t use any chemicals.
You don’t want to apply a toxic substance unless you really have to. But, if the infestation is aggressive and it’s harming the plant, you have to do what it takes to get rid of the issue, or the plant may die.
Are They Hard to Grow?
Majesty palms have a little bit of a reputation for being hard to grow well. That’s not really fair because if you pay attention to the soil’s moisture level and the signals the plant is giving off, you can adjust your watering to help it thrive.
The best rule of thumb is never to let the soil completely dry out. And, if the top half of the pot it’s planted in starts getting dry, water the plant.
What Else Do They Need?
Majesty palms like a bit of humidity, and they can be pretty thirsty. But, they don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil. If your pot doesn’t have overflow holes on the bottom, you should re-pot the palm into one that does or drill holes in the bottom of your existing container.
When you water the tree, add water slowly until it begins flowing out of the overflow holes on the bottom of the pot. Make sure to put the pot on top of a saucer so that the water doesn’t run everywhere.
Another tip is to ensure that there isn’t any standing water accumulating on the saucer.
Excess water sitting stagnantly on the saucer can promote bacteria growth, so blot up any accumulation. Seeing that much water collect on the saucer routinely is probably an indicator that you’re overwatering, so you may want to reduce the frequency with which you do so and perhaps reduce the amount of water you add as well.
Transplanting & Moving
First, when you first put the plant in a new pot or transplant it to a larger one, it needs more frequent watering than when established. So, for the first week to ten days, it’s living in a new container, water the plant every day. Don’t drown it, but keep the soil relatively moist.
Second, if you decide to move your majesty palm outside, you must account for its new environment. For example, if it’s breezy out, the wind will draw away much of the water from the plant’s leaves. That might make it a bit more thirsty, and you will probably have to mist the leaves daily.
It’s essential to ensure that you don’t put the plant’s pot in an area that gets constant sun throughout the day. That can dry the soil out faster than the plant’s roots absorb the water. Instead of a spot with all-day direct sunshine, choose a dappled corner where there is a mix of conditions.
Taking care of plants can be challenging. But watering a majesty palm tree doesn’t have to be. Just follow this guide and check the moisture level in the soil regularly. Remember to add only enough water to moisten the soil evenly, and make sure you don’t overwater.
Checking in on your plant regularly and closely examining it for signs of poor health will help put you in tune with the plant’s needs. That’s the best way to know how often to water a majesty palm tree.