This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

July 2, 2013

Growing a Kentia palm indoors when it's over 100 degrees outdoors

I've had my Kentia palm here for over five months now. When I first got it, in February, the weather here in the Phoenix, Arizona area was mild. But that mildness started wearing off by the end of May and now, on July 2nd, it's over 100 degrees (almost 38 C) out there. And that means that the air conditioning is on just about all day, and even at night.

And to me, air conditioning is the real test of an indoor plant. Believe me, I'm glad to have A/C, but it is very drying to both plants and animals. Doesn't really bother me all that much, but most tropical plants have a preference for humidity. Trust me, it is not humid here, either inside or out!

And so I'm pleased to say that there has been a lot of new growth on the Kentia, which is a slow-growing palm. It's a good thing I have tall ceilings! Although the growth seems to coming from closer to the bottom, which is nice, giving a nice, full look.

I have been following the advice of +Kevin Williams , who supplied the plant to me. It is still in its original container (Kevin said they like their roots crowded) and in an outer "cache pot". I found the one it's in at the local, uh, Dollar Tree store for eight bucks. Really, it was just supposed to be to see if I liked the urn style, which I do. But the plastic pot is fine, and the best part is that it supports the actual pot high enough that excess water drips to the bottom. If you look carefully at the photo, the pot that the plant is actually growing in is only about to where you see the decorative "crease" (about level with Macintosh's blanket). So I can be generous with water without worrying about overwatering. I am giving it a drink once a week with a little under a quart of water. I can hear it drip-drip down to the bottom of the cache pot.

I told Kevin that the real test of this plant would be how it reacted to air conditioning, and he assured me that it would be fine. I was skeptical, but he was right. How about that?

And Macintosh, the good wiener dog, approves!
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