Along with the indoor citrus trees we have in our home, we’re also growing a couple of indoor palm trees to give our home decor even more of a tropical accent. It’s a bit of a well kept secret, but there are over a dozen varieties of palm trees that thrive indoors in containers, much like indoor citrus trees.
Many palm trees are smaller varieties, typically topping out at 7-10 feet or less! That means you can bring a real, beautiful palm tree into your home and enjoy watching it successfully thrive in a container with minimal care.
Even in the wild, palm trees are quite hardy and survive under all sorts of weather conditions. Some species of palms grow as far north as the midwest U.S. and can tolerate colder winter temperatures. But with an indoor palm tree, you don’t have to worry about weather, and as an added bonus, indoor palm trees are surprisingly easy care. Many thrive in lower light conditions, dispelling the common misconception that palm trees need a lot of direct sunlight. In fact, it’s fair to say many types of indoor palm trees thrive on neglect and abuse – making them an ideal indoor tree for inexperienced or “forgetful” gardeners!
The 12 Best Indoor Palm Trees for Your Home
One of the most common misconceptions about palm trees is that they need consistent direct sunlight and can only be grown outdoors. While this is true for some palm species, the fact is many palm trees and palm plants are exceptionally suited for indoor growing in containers.
Choosing the proper type of palm for indoor growing is very important, perhaps the most important factor to having a thriving, successful tree or plant. Some palms just won’t do well indoors, so it’s best to choose from a selection of palms that are proven indoor growers.
We’ve taken the guesswork out for you – Here are twelve species of palm trees and palm plants that are proven winners for growing indoors in containers. And so … here are are top recommendations for buying an indoor palm tree for your home:
Kentia Palm Tree: The Kentia Palm Tree is one of the most popular indoor palms. In fact, this is typically the palm tree you’ll see indoors in offices, hotels, and lobbies. It’s sometimes called the Hollywood Palm because it’s commonly seen on movie sets and television shows.
The Kentia Palm Tree is native to Australia and also grows prolifically in Hawaii. It’s perfect for indoors because it’s a slow grower and thrives in lower light conditions. Kentia Palms normally reach a mature height of 15 feet but their height can easily be controlled with proper pruning.
Lady Palm Tree: This vibrant, lively palm tree is the perfect accent plant for a corner in your home. It grows slowly and reaches a mature height of 7-8 feet.
Cat Palm Tree: Also known as the Cascade Palm Tree, this is a palm we really appreciate due to its lush green foliage. It blends beautifully with other plants in an indoor environment and thrives in just about any lighting level. At a mature height of 10 feet, the Cat Palm is native to Mexico.
Areca Palm Tree: The Areca Palm is one of the most common and easy maintenance palm trees for indoor planting. But that’s not to suggest its looks are common. The Areca Palm is very good looking! It typically tops out at 7-8 feet, so it’s ideal for your foyer, living room, or four season room
Parlor Palm Tree: The Parlor Palm is actually known as a table top palm plant and it’s ideal for smaller spaces. This plant is a very slow grower and although it prefers a bit of humidity, it will also thrive in lower humidity indoor environments. If you don’t particularly have a “green thumb”, the Parlor Palm is a great choice.
Majesty Palm Tree: You’ll notice the Majesty Palm offers a similar look to the Areca Palm Tree, possibly because they’re both native to Madagascar. The Majesty Palm tolerates low light and as one friend of ours told us, “tends to thrive on neglect”. While we don’t recommend neglect, this palm is very easy to maintain and does quite well in almost any indoor environment.
Christmas Palm Tree: The Christmas Palm is native to the Indonesia and Malaysia area, and owes its name to its palm seeds turning a bright red around Christmas time. This palm is unique in that it is available in two distinct “styles” – single trunk or multi trunk.
Pygmy Date Palm Tree: Another very common and highly popular palm tree, the Pygmy Date Palm is best known for it’s beautiful flowing fronds, as you can see from the picture. It has long been known as one of the best palm trees to grow indoors, particularly since it grows only to ten feet in height maximum.
Metallica Palm Tree: This tropical looking plant with deep green leaves is sometimes known and the Miniature Fish Tail Palm because the leaves resemble a fish tail. It’s native to Mexican rain forests but interestingly, it very much prefers quick draining soil that’s on the dry side. So if you tend to forget to water your plants, the Metallica Palm is right up your alley!
Sago “Palm” Tree: So why is “palm” in quotes for this plant? Well, because technically the Sago Palm really isn’t a palm tree. Rather, it’s a Cycus plant, but it looks exactly like a palm tree and has the same characteristics and care needs. The Sago Palm is very easy maintenance, grows slowly, and reaches a typical height of 7-9 feet.
Ponytail Palm Tree: Looking at the picture of the Pony Tail Palm and it’s easy to see how it got its name! This plant is known as probably the easiest of any to maintain. It’s native to Mexico and actually isn’t really a palm plant (it’s from the Lily family) although it looks like one with its thick trunk base. A neighbor of ours has owned a Pony Tail Palm for years and states it is ideal for indoors because it grows very slowly.
Chinese Fan Palm Tree: This is one of the indoor palm trees we have at home and we truly enjoy it! It tolerates drought and is quite easy to maintain. The Chinese Fan Palm can grow to heights in excess of 25 feet, but we’ve had ours for many years in a container and it’s only about 7 feet tall, yet very healthy and robust. Ours loves bright indirect light, so it’s ideal for a living room spot next to your sofa.
With a little care, anyone can grow a palm tree indoors. The twelve palm plants noted here are excellent recommendations for first time indoor palm tree growers, or anyone who wants to add a touch of the tropics to your home!