Kentia Palm Tree: Graceful Arching Fronds
Kentia palm trees (Howea forsteriana) are native to Lord Howe Island
(east of Australia), and are known for their graceful arching
These palm trees prefer bright, indirect
light. A kentia palm tree adds graceful tropical beauty indoors as
an exotic house plant, as well as outdoors in the garden or
Howea forsteriana (also known as Sentry Palm) belongs to the Arecaceae
family, and can be planted year round in USDA hardiness zones 9B
If you live in a cool climate, this palm tree can be displayed outdoors
in a container during the warm months, and then brought indoors during
Kentia palms reach an average height of fifteen to twenty-five feet
tall, with a spread of three to five feet wide when grown
outdoors. When grown indoors, average height is typically
five to twelve feet tall. The thin trunk resembles bamboo and
has a six inch diameter.
The arching dark green palm fronds have a sleek, smooth
appearance. The evergreen leaflets are 12 to 18 inches in
These palm trees are versatile, and can be grown indoors as house
plants, planted outdoors as a border or focal point, or planted in
groups to screen off an area in the garden or landscape.
Palm Care - Indoors
Kentia palm trees are the perfect indoor palm to accent an entryway, or
display in an elegant room of the house that receives bright, indirect
light. They are easy to grow indoors, and thrive with minimal
- Choose a location that receives bright,
will tolerate low-light conditions, the palm may only produce 4 to 6
fronds (as apposed to twice the amount).
The ideal daytime temperature ranges from 65°-75° F. Evening
temperature should not fall below 55° F. Keep palm away from
hot or cold drafts.
Kentia palm trees require moderate to high humidity. To
provide adequate humidity, spray palms with water several times a
week, or place plant container on a saucer filled with
pebbles and water (water should be just below the pebble
level). You might consider placing a room humidifier near the
Soil & Fertilizer
– You can use a regular potting soil with coarse sand or peat added
into the mix. During growing period, fertilize every one to
three months with a liquid fertilizer diluted to ½ strength and mixed
into water. Do not fertilize during slow growing periods
(Fall & Winter months).
Sentry palms require moderate watering. Keep soil evenly
moist during growing period (spring through fall); slightly dry through
the winter months. The best time to water this plant is when
soil becomes dry to a depth one inch down from the surface.
Clean leaves with a damp cloth every two to three weeks to keep them
Palm Care - Outdoors
Kentia palms thrive in tropical climates, and can be planted year round
in hardiness zones 9B-11. They can be planted outdoors in a
container or above-ground planter, as well as in the garden or
Tips for Planting, Care,
- Be sure you choose a shady, low-light location.
- If planted in a container, this palm can be brought indoors
for overwintering (necessary if you live in a cold climate).
- Plant in a location with fertile, well-draining soil.
- Fertilize once a year during the growing period with a
- Keep soil evenly moist during the growing period.
During winter, water when top one to two inches of soil is dry.
- Do not plant this palm in a dry location. Kentia
palms like moderate to high humidity.
- Brown tipped palm fronds are a sign of dry air or under