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Majesty Palm



The majesty palm is oversold as a house plant by many of the big box stores.

They are beautiful at any size but the attraction is how fast they can grow.

The majesty is actually a group of the species containing 17 different members.

I’ll discuss the 3 most popular sold ones today.

Full size, medium size, and dwarf.

Majesty palm Ravenea rivularis Arecaceae 2011_08_05_Hiranandani gardens 3

Full Size

This is the variety most often seen in garden centers everywhere because of just how fast they grow.

The suppliers get them started in optimum conditions, shipping in record time.

Best to purchase and treat these trees as an annual.

They originate at the edge of waterways in Madagascar and are actually endangered in their natural habitat.

Your Ultimate Palm Tree Handbook


The hardest part about keeping these trees indoors is the abundance of natural light and high humidity they require.

It is a great palm if you have a constant wet area in your landscape.Their water intake is very high.

This is one palm that can tolerate sitting in water and will need lots of extra organic material mixed in to help retain the moisture.

It’s best to fertilize these guys with a quality product approximately 6 times a year, but not in the 3 or so winter months.

Quick info:    Scientific name    Ravenea rivularis

  • 50 plus feet tall (over 80 in nature) 12-15 feet wide, single trunk
  • Minimum temp 30°F    zones 10-11
  • Fast growing with full sun, lots of water and humidity
  • Any type of wet soil with organic matter to hold moisture
majesty palm tree seeds
Majesty Palm - Seeds

from: Real Palm Trees


You can tell this one apart from its cousins by its looks. It will have a brown/grayish to almost white trunk that is swollen at the base.

Its long deep to medium green feather leaves, (6-8 feet in larger individuals) will have a twist right in the center.

They appear vertical on the outer ends.

            Photo: Scott.zona flicker.com

Ravenea rivularis

These majesty palms get whitish color flowers on long branches (2-3 feet) turning into a bright red fruit once ripe.

If you can manage the optimum growing conditions for this tropical beauty it will reward you with super fast growth in a wonderful display.

If you cannot- the down side as a fast grower it will also die fast. You won’t believe just how fast the leaves will turn yellow and fall off.

Medium Size

The medium sized majesty palm is quite a bit smaller than its cousin only growing to about 15-25 ft tall and grows lot slower.

 It closely resembles its other cousin, the dwarf majesty palm.

Majesty Palm Tree

You’ll know this one by the color of the new leaf growth. It will be grayish in color and either on the bluish or greenish side, but you’ll see the gray/silvery look.

This guy gets green to yellow flowers that will turn to a deep yellow fruit once ripe.

It also originates from Madagascar but this time from the drier mountain areas, so its demand for water is far less.

This makes it a great choice for more arid growing conditions with a lot less humidity.



Quick info:  Scientific name   Ravenea glauca

  • 15-25 ft tall, 8 ft wide, single trunk
  • Minimum temp 30°F   zones 10-11
  • Any type of soil, part to full sun, slow to medium growth rate
  • Drought and mildly salt tolerant


If you are in the interior of California or the drier climate of the Mediterranean then this majesty palm is a much better choice for your area.

It would also be a better choice for most as a house plant because it is less demanding in it overall needs for moisture and light.


Dwarf  Majesty Palm

The small version is the dwarf majesty palm only gets to 10 feet high at most. It comes from some islands off the coast of Africa and near Madagascar.  It originates in the rainforests under the protection of other vegetation.

It needs a fair amount of moisture and humidity but not near as much as the bigger version. Its trunk only gets to be about 2 inches around and the grassy color medium green leaves are 2-3 feet at most. This one will also get flowers that develop into an orange color fruit when ripe.  

Quick info:   Scientific name   Ravenea hildebrandtii

  • 8-10 ft tall 5-7 ft wide
  • Minimum temp 30°F,   zones 10-11, single trunk
  • Part sun to part shade, moderate growth
  • Any soil containing humus material for moisture retention
  • It will thrive with regular water and fertilizer.

Photo: author Malcolm Manners flicker.com


Now you know the 3 most popular types of majesty palm trees with far ranging sizes, moisture needs and growth rates.

It should be a bit easier to pick out the one best suited for your landscape and climate conditions.


Ravenea rivularis

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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Other articles you may find useful:

Growing explains the plant hardiness zones, light and soil types.

Planting shows best practices for giving your tropical beauties the best possible start.

Fertilizing shows how to calculate the correct amount, where to apply, what kind to look for and what the numbers mean.

Largemedium and small varieties for landscapes as well as cold hardy types lists all the trees in that category.

Indoor palms for the list of easiest to grow in your home or office year round.

Identification show you what parts of the tree to look at when trying to make a determination of the species.



Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palms > Majesty Palm