Kentia: characteristics and care tips

Kentia: characteristics and care tips

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Do you love the tropical aspect of a palm tree but, probably, don't have the opportunity to live every day in a tropical region?

Then the solution for your ambitions green it is probably there Kentia (Howea forsteriana), a palm famous for being able to withstand conditions that many houseplants cannot actually tolerate. In addition, a Kentia as an indoor palm can reach a rather important height, such as to make it an inevitable point of attention for indoor environments.

In short, let's try to learn more about Kentia cultivation, trying to understand what its origins were and why it could be a good choice for you too!

What is a Kentia?

As we have already mentioned, the Kentia are gods palms. In particular, they are native to Lord Howe Island, in the South Pacific, where they have also been renamed as sentinel palms or Paradise palms.

Suitable for cultivation in many temperate areas of the world, today it is easy to find Kentia palm plants as decorative elements, grown not on the ground, but in a pot.

Recognizing the Kentia is very simple. They are in fact characterized by the typical large palm leaves. They can grow up to 12 meters in height, but their growth is slow and, especially, in the case of an indoor cultivation, typically from an apartment, it is limited to no more than 3 - 4 meters.

Kentia plants produce an inflorescence about one and a half meters long, consisting of white flowers on 3 to 7 spikelets. Both male and female flowers coexist on the same inflorescence, and the resulting fruit is ovoid and dull red in color. However, the fruit will take about 15 years to manifest and, therefore, will remain substantially hidden for a long time.

How to grow Kentia in an apartment?

The palm can grow in a shady area or even inside an apartment, as a preferential solution for most people. They adapt to a wide range of soils, from clay to loam, from acid to alkaline.

It is important to encourage the growth of Kentia placing it in a well-draining pot, with a suitable mixture, preferably and basically sandy. Once established, Kentia plants are fairly drought tolerant, although they don't like being excessively dry, or - conversely - excessively wet. Therefore, it is good to irrigate them only when the upper part of the soil (2.5 centimeters) is dry.

Read also: How to clean fruit trees in winter

We also remind you how occasionally it is necessary to give the plant some humidity and remove any accumulation of dust. The plants are fortunately quite indulgent and tolerant to low light conditions, but they still prefer to be placed in an area that receives indirect light. In the warmer months you can also move it to a slightly shady place.

Remember again that Kentia can tolerate temperatures as low as -4 degrees and up to 38 degrees, but it is still better not to test it in these extreme temperatures, and therefore try to bring the plant back inside the apartment before winter ( if for example she is used to living on a terrace) and offer protection from excessive heat during the summer - in short, just don't explore long in direct sun.

Once Kentia palm plants have established, they will require very little care. It will be enough to feed the potted plants with a controlled release fertilizer. Remember that one fertilization excessive can cause the tips of the lower leaves to deteriorate, turning brown before dying.

Deficiencies of Kentia plants

While normally quite tenacious, Kentia plants can be prone to deficiency potassium. The first signs of this deficiency appear on older leaves as necrosis on the tips. To manage this deficiency, it is sufficient to apply a controlled-release potassium supplement, as it is more effective than a water-soluble supplement.

Kentia plants are also susceptible to deficiencies of manganese, which manifests itself as leaf tip necrosis on younger leaves. The shortcomings of boron they can also cause the growth of new leaves to stop. Palms grown indoors rarely get sick, but they can be plagued by mites, spiders, mealybugs. The use of an insecticidal cleanser or neem oil is often sufficient to support the achievement of perfect healing, thus addressing any parasitic problem that may arise.

Kentia pruning

Palms, in general, require one minimal pruning. And the Kentia are certainly no exception: excessive pruning can in fact cause irreversible damage to the trunk! However, it is necessary to remove the old foliar bases by pulling gently, without forcing them: acting too forcefully could instead cause permanent scars or open lesions that would favor diseases capable of leading to trunk rot.

Overall, the Kentia palm it can be a valid addition to different corners of your home, creating a relaxing and basically tropical atmosphere. The good resistance of this palm and the fact that it does not require special care also makes it a perfect choice for a beginner.

To learn more about the characteristics of this plant, we can only advise you to contact a specialized gardener, who will certainly be able to support you in achieving the best furnishing results. green of your apartment, indicating the varieties of plants that could best suit the living environment of your reference.

We hope these tips and small ideas have been useful for you to improve your knowledge of this widespread plant, and we invite you to test your green thumb as soon as possible by purchasing and growing a beautiful Kentia plant in your living room!

Video: Why are your palm leaves turning yellow? (June 2022).


  1. Jamian

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  2. Parounag

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  3. Artair

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  4. Pete

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