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

February 25, 2014

Kentia Palm indoors in Phoenix, Arizona

I have now had this Kentia Palm for exactly a year now, and it's doing great. I have to admit to being a little skeptical about it, but +Kevin Williams convinced me. I've seen a lot of ratty-looking Kentia Palms indoors, but this one has always looked great. It looks like it has found a good home. Here is what I have been doing for it:

• It gets a little morning sun. Just a little. This is Phoenix, Arizona, and putting a plant in the window where it will get a lot of hot sun is a mistake. This is the east-facing side of the house, and there is a patio cover, so the only direct sunlight it gets is very early in the morning. The rest of the day it gets a gentle amount, like you are seeing here at 4 pm in February. But it is a live plant, it won't live in the dark.

• It gets about a pint of water every week. I have it on my Google calendar as a reminder. Just plain tap water, but sometimes I mix in some Miracle Gro (very little) and it has gotten Fish Fertilizer a couple of times. Plants like the Fish Fertilizer, but it really stinks up the house. Not too often!

• It gets turned every few months. This is good practice for all indoor plants, otherwise they'll lean towards the light.

• It gets dusted, but never misted. Yeah, there is a lot of dust in the air in Phoenix. It's in the middle of a desert, so the leaves need to be dusted every once in a while. But never misted, as Phoenix has hard water which would leave ugly spots on the leaves.

This plant has really grown a lot, and you can see by the middle "spear" that another leaf is growing strong. This type of plant needs plenty of room, and as you can see, I have tall ceilings which will allow it to grow for many years. When it gets too tall, I'll have to get another one, but these palms aren't particularly-fast growing.

And the best part is that it makes a great canopy for Macintosh, the good little wiener dog!
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