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Kentia Palm - Howea forsteriana
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Written by Real Palm Trees   


The Kentia palm tree is by far the number one indoor palm tree of all time. Most commonly seen in hotel lobby's, malls, and business centers the Kentia palm stands out above the rest. Kentia palms are very durable and slow growing requiring little light which is another reason why the Kentia palm tree is the most sought after indoor palm. Another common name to the Kentia palm is the paradise palm. I can see why they would call it the paradise palm given that it will turn any patio, pool, or indoor space into a paradise.

For a Do It Yourself landscape design, I would start off by analyzing the placement of the Kentia palm tree and also the overall height the Kentia palm tree will grow. Depending on the type of design you choose, whether it be lush and tropical or reserved with evergreens, the choice is yours. If creating a lush tropical landscape I would place other tropical palm trees in the same are around the kentia palm tree. A perfect palm tree that creates a nice tropical vibe would be the Malayan Coconut palm tree. Also take into consideration that the Kentia palm tree serves as a beautiful tropical hedge creating privacy. Now if you were trying for a more reserved look, try placing other Kentia palm clumpings next to each other around nice perennials.

DIY - Indoor Design

From some past experiences with designing with the Kentia palm, I have come to find out that interior designing with a Kentia is the easiest. There are many indoor palm trees available but only few that will do extremely well with little to no worries. Due to the requirement of little lighting the possibilities are endless creating a tropical feel to any environment. To bring out the elegance of the Kentia, lighting is a must. Given the layout of a building or a hotel the possibilities are one too many. Now given a home the possibilities have narrowed, but hope is definitely far from gone. In an average house there are approximately 24 appealing locations to place a palm tree. Depending if you want to make a statement upon entering is a question you must ask yourself. The first step is to think about what you would like to see when you first arrive to your home. Would you rather feel you have just entered a hotel resort or would you rather feel that you arrived in the Amazon? Making your home feel like a resort using Kentia palms is quiet easy. You would want to do some shopping around for nice pots. These pots are going to have to fit your home, nothing crazy but a nice monotone color will do just fine. Once you have found the pot you like to have displayed in your home, properly place the Kentia palm inside making sure the root ball stays intact. Place one Kentia palm in the corner, by the wall. If you have double doors, place the other Kentia palm in the same place. With the palm trees situated, you can now decide if a center piece palm tree would suit you and your home. To give your home the grand appeal, a center piece of palm trees can be placed on a round cherry wood table in the center, if the height of the ceiling is more then 10 ft. The lighting of the palm trees will add more appeal and display the palm trees elegance in your home. Im sure you have seen this design concept in many hotels and magazine it is no surprise that the Kentia palm tree is the most commonly used palm tree for interior decorating. Once lighting is established you may exit your house and re-enter. Good Luck.

Please, feel free to comment on this article. Any new design ideas, comments, or appreciation is welcomed.

Kentia Palm Overview:

Kentia Palm Tree Naming Conventions:

Palm Name: Kentia Palm - (ken-t-ia) (Palm)
Common Name(s): Sentry Palm, Paradise Palm, Kentia Palm, Thatch palm, Parlor Palm
Botanical Name: Howea forsteriana - (HOW-ee-a) (for-ster-ee-AY-na)
Synonym(s): Kentia forsteriana

Kentia Palm Tree Plant Classification:

Linnaean Taxonomy SystemLinnaean Taxonomy System:

Superdomain: Neomura Palm Tree Information Theoretical Group
Domain: Eukaryota - (Eu-kary-ote) Palm Tree Information 4 Organisms - Animals, plants, fungi, and protists
Kingdom: Plantae (Plants) Palm Tree Information 3 Groups - Streptophyta (Green Plants), Rhodophyta (Red Algae ), and Glaucophyta (Green Microscopic Algae)
Subkingdom: Streptophyta (also known as Streptophytes, Metaphytes, or Viridiplantae) Palm Tree Information Green Plants
Super Division: Embryophyta (also known as Embryophytes) Palm Tree Information Land Plants
Division: Tracheophyta (also known as Tracheophytes or Tracheobionta) Palm Tree Information Vascular plants - higher plant life
Division: Spermatophyta (also known as Spermatophytes or Phanerogams) Palm Tree Information Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta (also commonly known as Angiosperms) Palm Tree Information Flowering plants
Plant Class: Monocotyledons or Monocots (also known as Monocotyledoneae or Monocotyledones) Palm Tree Information One embryonic seed leaf
Palm Family: Arecaceae - (ar-ek-AY-see-ay)
Palm Genus: Howea - (HOW-ee-a)
Palm Species: forsteriana - (for-ster-ee-AY-na)

Kentia Palm Tree General Description:

The Kentia Palm Tree is native to Lord Howe Island off the east coast of Australia. This palm tree is the toughest most elegant most durable of all indoor palm trees. The Kentia palm tree can adapt to many ranges of environments from indoors to outdoors with no fuss. The commonly used Kentia palm has a reputation for being a favorite indoor palm since the times of the Victorian's. It is slow growing, not salt-tolerant and should be protected from frost and winds. The grouping of Kentia palms with their slender trunks and arching, feathered, evergreen leaves make for an astonishing view. The canopy of a mature Kentia palm tree spreads anywhere from 5-10 ft in diameter and contains roughly three dozen leaves.

Kentia Palm Tree Habitat:

Palm Continent of Origin: Australia
Palm Country of Origin: Lord Howe Island
Indoor/ Outdoor: Both
Palm North America Outdoor Hardiness: USDA Zone 9b: 25 F (-3.8 C) to USDA Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Europe/ UK Outdoor Hardiness: Europe Zone 9: 25 F (-3.8 C) to Zone 11: above 40 F (4.5 C)
Palm Cold Toleration: Approximately 20-30F

Kentia Palm Tree Physical Appearance:

Palm Height: 15 - 25 ft
Palm Spread: 12 - 15 ft
Palm Trunk: The Kentia palm is similar in characteristics to the Areca Palm, typically one trunk and is green in color when young. The Kentia Palm has a somewhat thin clean trunk that requires little pruning. The texture of the trunk is smooth and does not consist of a crown shaft. With age and sun exposure the trunk of the Kentia Palm turns brown and somewhat yellow. The trunk measure roughly 5 inches in diameter.
Palm Foliage: Variance of greenish colors; Evergreen to yellow colors
Palm Foliage Growth Direction: Grows upward more so than outward
Palm Flowering: White/Cream/Gray
Palm Fruits: Reddish brown when ripe and green in early stages
Palm Fruits Edible: The Kentia palm fruit is not edible
Palm Leaf Type: Pinnate (feather shape)

Kentia Palm Tree Growth Attributes:

Palm Speed of growth: Slow to Moderate
Palm Radial Spacing: 10 - 15 ft
Sun Exposure: Light sun to partial shade
Drought Toleration: Not drought tolerant
Salt Toleration: Low
Bloom Time: Late Spring/Early Summer

Kentia Palm Tree Caring and Maintenance:

Palm Caring: Easy, given the right environment
Soil: The Kentia palm is adaptable to wide range of rich soils but likes good draining mildly acidic soils
Soil Types: The Kentia palm is adaptable to wide range of rich soils but likes good draining mildly acidic soils.
Water: Regularly water soil, and spray leaves for optimal results. Do not overwater.
Fertilizer: Use 100% organic or organic based fertilizers for best results
Potting and Planting: The Kentia Palm can be potted and planted in landscapes and in interior surroundings; it requires small amounts of soil when potted, enough soil to cover it's roots and the bottom start of it's trunk. Do not bury the Kentia Palm tree's trunk inside the dirt.

Kentia Palm Tree Environmental Impact:

The World Conservation Union considers the Kentia Palm vulnerable and highly regulated. They are the world's most popular cultivated ornamental indoor palm tree. Giving people cleaner air to breathe and a piece of nature inside their homes. Kentia palms tend to grow in single solitary trunks but often seen in clumpings, offering natural shade for plants to thrive in. The Kentia palm tree has few diseases or insect problems and does not face any near future extinction.

Kenitia Palm Tree Seed, Cultivation, and Propagation:

Palm Seed Size: The average size is 1 to 2 inch
Palm Seed Attributes: The seed is smooth in texture brownish to beige in color with black to brown spots
Palm Seed Harvesting: Seeds are obtained from within the fruits. The fruits grow plentiful on the stalk.
Palm Seed Propagation: The Kentia palm seeds typically germinate in about 1-3 months. Seeds have a better chance of germinating if the process is done by human intervention.
Palm Seed Shelf Life: If not properly treated, the Bismarck palm seed shelf life is about 2-6 months.
Palm Seed and Growing: If not properly treated, the Kentia palm seed does not have long shelf life.

Kentia Palm Tree Nurture and Nature:

Nurture vs. Nature: Typically the Kentia palms thrive when kept under normal natural outdoor conditions, rather than nurturing in a changing foreign indoor environments.
Palm Transplanting: Transplanting a Kentia palm tree causes little to no shock if transplanted under the right conditions. Kentia palms are very forgiving and tolerate general neglect making them very easy to take care of. The Kentia palm is more shocked if transplanted from field grown to pot. Overall does very well when transplanted.

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