(PALMAE) PALM FAMILY
INTRODUCTION: Palms are woody
monocots native to the tropics. There are many palms which make good indoor
plants. Many get large quickly and require frequent repotting but others grow more
slowly. Some have single trunks and others have multiple trunks. Palmately and
pinnately compound leaves are both common. Since most palm trees grow in the shade
of tropical forests until they get tall enough to reach the direct rays of the sun, they
tolerate relatively low indoor light for many years. Palms may be monoecious or
dioecious. Female plants are required for fruits on those that have showy
fruits. Many palms become large with age and outgrow their location but make
attractive, manageable house plants for several years. Edible palms produce coconut,
dates and palm oil and they have numerous uses in and around the home and market in the
tropics. Baskets, bags, hats are examples of products woven from the
Several species in the genus Caryota are known as the fish tail palms due to the fishtail appearance of
their leaflets in the pinnately bicompound leaves.
is the genus of the dwarf palms. Whale tail palm, bamboo palm and parlor palm
or Neantha Bella Palm. They have bamboo-like trunks, often in clusters, and
pinnately compound leaves. The female plants in some types have attractive yellow or
is the fan palm. It has large, fan-like
is the butterfly palm or areca palm.
It is a small palm, producing multiple yellowish canes.
The genus Howea
is the kentia palms often used by
florists. The palms are small, have tall canes with pinnately compound leaves.
the genus of the Edible date palm or pigmy date
palm. It has pinnately compound leaves on a straight, attractive trunk.
General Care of Palms:
||Palms are tropical plants and grow best in a warm
location, typical temperatures indoors. A few do better with a cool night period or
when grown on the cool side in the winter.
||Palms thrive in a rich medium with good drainage.
||Although many palms are drought tolerant, uniform
moisture promotes uniform growth. Wet soil is destructive. Since palms
dont wilt, it is important to determine moisture content in the medium in the root
zone. Some palms get a pale green appearance when they are in need of water.
||Some palms grow in relatively low light, especially when
they are young. Many palms need brighter light, especially as they get older.
||Palms should be given a moderate amount of fertilizer.
Palms will respond to higher rates of fertilization with more rapid growth. This can
present a problem if they outgrow their location too quickly.
|pests and problems:
||Mites are especially troublesome on palms and scale and
mealy bugs can also destroy them. Cats are notorious for eating the leaves of some
types of palms.
||Remove dead leaves.
||Most palms are propagated from seeds. Palms that
show root primordia along their stems can be layered as a technique to reduce the stem
length and those with multiple trunks can be propagated by separating suckers.