Palm tree questions


Hi Toronto Master Gardeners,
Thank you for looking at my inquiry.
Can someone identify what kind of palm tree this is?
Also, can someone help assist me with how to care for it?
(like how often to water the palm, how much water each time, how to create the best environment for it, what type of fertilizer to use?) In addition, would you have any idea how to create fertilizer or know any kinds or places to get low budget friendly fertilizer that I can get access to easily and regularly?) Thanks again and have a good one!


Thank-you for consulting Toronto Master Gardeners with your questions about your houseplant.

Several varieties of palm trees make excellent houseplant. The palms belong to the family Arecaeceae, generally native to tropical regions. Several species are sold as houseplants and they can be tricky to identify. The most useful clues are the leaf size, shape and colour, overall plant size, as well as the trunk formation. The fronds on your plant appear to be large, dark green and fairly stiff. Although your plant appears to have several stems, it is difficult to see the trunk area in the photo you have provided. Without that, a conclusive identification is not possible. Based on the overall shape of the leaves, I think it is likely to be a Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans). These are very popular houseplants. The leaves, however, seem to be a darker green, and somewhat stiffer than examples of Parlour Palm I looked at. They look a little more like the Majesty Palm (Ravenea revularis). These tend to be larger trees and they are not as readily available. If your plant has a slightly swollen, single base, this is likely the correct identification. If it has multiple slim stems in a clump, it is more likely to be a Parlour Palm.

Fortunately, most of the palms used as houseplants have fairly similar requirements. They are low light plants, so they should be placed in indirect light. They can grow in an eastern or western-facing window, or if in a south-facing window, they can be placed back from the window a few feet. They are warm weather plants, so standard indoor temperatures suit them well, as long as they are protected from drafts. They like evenly moist soil, but should not stand in water. The frequency of watering will vary due to pot size and material, room temperature, and season. The best way to determine when to water is to feel the soil down about an inch from the surface. If it is dry, the plant should be watered. Over-watering is as bad for the plant as under-watering. Palms are not particularly prone to pest infestations, but spider mites, mealy bugs and scale can occur (as on so many other  houseplants). Palms do not require much fertilizer. A few doses of weak fertilizer during the growing season should suffice. Do not fertilize at all during the winter. A standard household plant fertilizer should be fine. Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend specific products or sources of supply.

Here is an internet resource you might like to consult in order definitively identify your plant:

I hope you enjoy your beautiful palm tree!