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Kentia Palm


Kentia Palm Trees


You may already know the kentia palm. They are the best of all palms to grow as house plants because of their requirement for shade. They are popular because of their tropical look and sold all over the world.

There are 2 different kinds, both vulnerable in their native habitat on Lord Howe Island in Australia. Both are also referred to as kentia, sentry, or paradise palms.

The seeds are cultivated from the trees growing in the wild and are exported for landscapes and gardens.

Because the trees are threatened in nature, the industry is very tightly regulated to ensure the survival of these gorgeous specimens in nature.

In the photo the curly leaf is in the foreground, and the flat leaf version is in the background.

Appearances

The most popular of the kentia palms has long green feather leaf that has flatter presentation than its curly leaf cousin.


Its leaves get to be around 8-12 feet long with the feathery (leaflet) parts getting to be almost 4 feet long.

This gives an arching like appearance with the feathers hanging gracefully from the leaf stem.


This variety has a dark green to gray color trunk with its leaf rings a lighter color.

The Photo below is the curly leaf variety.

Curly Leaf Kentia Palm Tree

Neither species has a crownshaft.

Both get flowers on numerous individual stems that hang down to as long as 6 feet.  The yellowish flowers that will turn to an orange/red color on the flatter leaf kentia, and to deep red/ brown color on the curly leaf variety.

The curly leaf kentia obviously has strongly arched leaves that curl a lot like the Christmas tree palm.

Their beautiful leaves will get anywhere from 6-10 ft long.

The trunk on this kind can have a swollen base, is green on the upper section turning a brownish gray in the lower sections.

It also has the very distinctive pattern of old leaf rings.


Kentia Palm Growth

It doesn’t matter which kentia palm you have their growing conditions are similar.

Neither can tolerate any frost more than an hour or two.

They require a well acidic to only slightly alkaline soil. Best to add some moisture holding organic type of material in with the soil.

Endemic Howea Forsteriana - North Bay Mt Eliza,Lord Howe Island

Photo: Black diamond images on flicker

They are great as house plants because of their lower lighting needs.

They prefer to have heavy to part shade. Both kinds prefer the arid cooler night temperatures of California.

The curly leaf kentia doesn’t so well in southern Florida.

The flat leaf can tolerate Florida’s climate as long as it shaded most of the day.

Flat Leaf

Curly Leaf

Quick info: Scientific name:    Howea forsteriana

  • 50 plus ft tall, 20 ft wide if outdoors, single trunk
  • Minimum temp 30°F,  zones 10-11   outdoors
  • Slow grower, needs shade to part shade
  • Any well drained soil, with some humus mixed in

 Quick info:    scientific name Howea beloreana

  • 20-30 ft tall, 10 ft wide if outdoors, single trunk
  • Minimum temp 30°F   zones 10-11
  • Very slow grower, full shade to part shade
  • Well drained acidic to only slightly alkaline soil with lots of humus mixed in for moisture

The kentia palm is hard to get the seed to germinate.

It can take up to two years in ideal conditions if at all.  

Now with that record you understand the need to protect the trees in the wild where the seeds are collected from.

Giving these guys a regular dose of a quality water soluble palm tree fertilizer along with regular watering will keep them healthy and happy.

If your tree is potted indoors then I would feed him every 8 weeks. For outdoors in soil, 3-4 times per year during the spring, summer and autumn months.

If you are in need for a "slice of paradise" indoors then either of these trees could be your answer.

Kentia Palm Tree - Medium Endemic Howea forsteriana Palms- Neds Beach,Lord Howe Island

Photo:Black Diamond images on flicker

NOTE :  About Buying Palms

If you are looking to buy palm trees of any kind then I would highly recommend purchasing through the Real Palm Tree Store.

They are a huge nursery based in Florida with connections to many quality growers.

Whether you are ordering from inside the United States, Canada or another part of the world-- ordering one tree for your landscape or many for a commercial project-- I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

Their customer service is second to none; all products are high quality and backed by a money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Make sure to visit real palm trees, ask questions and read the reviews before buying anywhere else.



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Here's some other articles you may find useful:

For landscaping ideas on placement of tree in specific places to enhance your yard.

Indoor palms lists the easiest to grow in you home or office year round.

Growing  will explain the plant hardiness zones, soil, sun and other commonly used gardening terminology.

Planting shows the best practices for giving you tropical beauties to a great start.

Fertilizing teaches the best kind to look for how to calculate the proper amounts, and where to apply.


Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palms > Kentia Palm