Has there ever been a more photographic plant that the palm? An interior favourite in homes - and on Instagram - worldwide, the palm is one of the most popular domestic house plants (despite the fact that it’s a long way from it’s native Madagascar). Famed for its bamboo-like stems that cast exotic shadows, there are in fact over 2600 varieties of palm plant. The most popular of which include those of the areca, bamboo, chamaedorea and kentia variety as their suitable for growing indoors, with minimal maintenance. In fact, the kentia is almost unrivalled for its ability to tolerate shady conditions, dry air and general neglect (although we never advocate poor plant parenting).
If you’re looking for rare palms, a visit to Kew Garden’s Palm House (a living laboratory that recreates a rainforest climate and supports a diversity of plants from the tropical regions of the world) is mandatory. Inside you’ll find everything from the Madagascan suicide palm (which lives for around 50 years and flowers once before dying soon after) and cycads (often mistaken for palms and widespread over 250 million years ago, before dinosaurs and well before the appearance of flowering plants), to smaller under storey dwarf palms.
Here’s a fun palm fact, too. While we know that all plants clean air borne toxins, purifying the air we breathe… palms, are known to be one of the best air purifying plants, confirmed by a scientific clean air study that was completed by Wolverton and Nasa. Now that your air is fresh, it’s important you learn how to keep your palm tip top condition...
How to care for it:
Ensure your palm is positioned in a spot in which it has access to in-direct natural sunlight (but not too near a window that it feels a draught) and allow its soil to dry out between waterings (so that you don’t over saturate it’s root system). As a general rule, if it feels dry a finger tip under the surface, your palm is ready to be watered. It’s also worth mentioning that clean leaves are the happiest kind of leaves – so be sure to treat your palm to a wash once in a while. That’s not to say we’re suggesting you take it in the shower - a clean, damp cloth will do the trick. Simply wipe down the leaves to ensure that their access to light isn’t being obscured by unwanted particles of dust.
Top Floom tip:
Aside from being an aesthetically pleasing houseplant – that’s sure to add a little tropical pizazz to any home – palms of the kentia, chamaedorea and bamboo variety are safe choice for pets. Position yours in a hallway, or in a big open corner against a white wall to create a striking focal point in your home when the sun comes shining in. Read more tips on pet friendly plants here.