Have you ever been shopping for a small tree that will grow indoors to decorate your home or office? There are so many different types of palms to choose from. It can be overwhelming and frustrating trying to find the perfect one to fit all your needs!
It’s important to consider:
What is it going to look like in my house/office? Is this the right size and shape for the area I will be placing it? What kind of light does it need? How sensitive is this plant to neglect and therefore how soon can I move it into my home or office after purchase?
Here are 17 of the best types of indoor palm trees!
1. Kentia Palm ( Howea forsteriana )
This palm tree is also known as the Parlor Palm or sometimes referred to as the “Good Luck Tree”. This palm grows well in low light. As it ages, it has a tendency to lose its bottom leaves giving off an umbrella shape appearance. When this happens, you can remove the old leaf sheath at the base of the stem to expose the shiny trunk underneath.
The Kentia Palm lives for 30+ years and can grow up to 3 meters high (about 12 feet) but is known to slow down with age. The leaves on this palm are about 2-3 feet long and about 1 foot wide, which gives it a very tropical look!
2. Areca Palm ( Dypsis lutescens )
This palm is also known as the Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Cane Palm or Butterfly Palm. It’s very popular because it is one of the most adaptable palms to different lighting conditions and therefore can do well in both low light areas and bright, sunny rooms.
They can grow to about 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
They have a very tropical appearance with yellow-green leaves that are about 2-3 feet long and 3/4 of an inch wide. If you want a smaller palm, the Areca Palm will stop growing as it matures at around 5-7 years old. A great palm for beginners!
3. Parlor Palm ( Chamaedorea elegans )
The Parlor Palm is also known as the Neanthe Bella Palm, Ribbon Plant or simply just “Bella”. It’s a very easy palm to grow indoors. It can tolerate low light but will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. This palm grows slowly and compactly so it’s not invasive if you want to use it in a small room . Just make sure the pot you choose is high enough! These palms can live up to 40 years old and get about 2-4 feet tall depending on the size of the pot.
4. Bamboo Palm ( Chamaedorea seifrizii )
This palm is also known as the Reed Palm, Reedmace Palm or simply “Bamboo”. It is a very popular palm because it’s one of the most easy to care for palms under low light conditions. This palm tree grows slowly and stays compact. On top of that, it can tolerate either wet or dry soil making it great for beginners!
Bamboo Palms get 2-3 feet tall and wide with leaves about 1 foot long and 3/4 inches wide. When you buy this plant, you will need to remove the small white circles at the base of each leaf if they are present – which they usually are when you buy them in stores since the owners want to make sure they sell them before they die 🙂
5. Schefflera Arboricola ( Umbrella Tree )
This plant is also known variously as Octopus Tree, Umbrella Tree or simply just “Schefflera”. It is very popular in the home and office because of its easy care nature. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate lower light conditions quite well! This one is not invasive in small spaces either so if you want to grow it up a wall or pillar then go for it 🙂
6. Bismark Palm ( Cyphostema juttae )
This palm is also known as the Chinese Fan Palm, Crow’s Feet Palm or simply just “Crow’s Foot”. The stems of this plant grow up to about 2 feet tall and 3-4 inches wide. It has a slightly droopy appearance and can tolerate low light but will do best in bright indirect sunlight. This palm does well with infrequent watering and therefore is great for those who tend to forget!
7. Blue Fan Palm ( Dypsis decaryi )
This palm is also known as the Decaria Palm, Madagascar King Palm or simply just “Blue”. It’s a very beautiful palm that has a blue/gray color to it due to its bluish leaves. The stems can grow up to about 4 feet tall and 2-3 inches wide which gives it a very tropical appearance!
8. Neanthe Bella Palm ( Chamaedorea seifrizii )
The Parlor Palm is also known as the Neanthe Bella Palm, Ribbon Plant or simply just “Bella”. It’s a very easy palm to grow indoors. It can tolerate low light but will thrive in bright, indirect sunlight.
This palm grows slowly and compactly so it’s not invasive if you want to use it in a small room . Just make sure the pot you choose is high enough! These palms can live up to 40 years old and get about 2-4 feet tall depending on the size of the pot.
9. Lacy Tree Palm ( Trachycarpus fortune )
This palm is a very popular palm due to its lacy appearance and ability to withstand low light conditions. This palm can reach up to about 10 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide with long, lacy leaves.
Make sure you use a strong trunk if you don’t want this tree to topple over when it matures 🙂 It’s not invasive at all in small spaces either. Just make sure the pot is big enough! These palms typically live in excess of 100 years, too! Still not convinced? I’ve heard that these palms attract butterflies 🙂
10. Pygmy Date Palm ( Phoenix roebelenii )
This palm is also known as the Pygmy Date Palm, Mediterranean Fan Palm or simply just “Med Fan”. It’s a very slow-growing palm that can get up to 4-5 feet tall and 5-6 feet wide. People love this plant because it only gets about 1 inch of new growth per year!
This makes it a very sustainable plant in a long-term situation 🙂 This one requires bright indirect sunlight to thrive indoors and should be fertilized regularly.
11. Chinese Fan Palm ( Livistona chinensis )
The Chinese Fan Palm, also known as the Blue Chinese Fan Palm or simply just “Chinese”, is another slow-growing palm that can get about 3-4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. The fronds are very lush with a slight drooping appearance. T
his one requires bright indirect sunlight to thrive indoors. I’ve noticed that these palms often have some tiny white spots at the base of their leaves when you first buy them in stores – but these disappear after a few months! 🙂 These palms typically live in excess of 100 years, too!
12. Majesty Palm ( Ravenea rivularis )
This palm is also known as the Majesty Palm, King Palm, or simply just “Majesty”. It’s one of my favorite palms to grow indoors because it can tolerate lower light levels very well! Although these palms typically prefer bright, indirect sunlight they can do well with less frequent sun.
If you want to use this plant in a small area then I recommend using its smaller variety called the Majesty Maiden ( Ravenea rivularis bantam ). These palms will reach 4-5 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide over time! Beware though – these palms drop their leaves easily when moved from a shady location to a sunny one 🙂
13. Cascade Palm ( Trachycarpus latisectus )
The Cascade Palm, also known as the Lace Leaf or simply just “Cascade”, is a close relative to the Chinese Fan Palm. It has long green leaves that droop down but unlike its cousin, it will not tolerate lower light situations nearly as well!
These palms typically do very well in bright, indirect sunlight and are large enough for you to shape them however your heart desires 🙂 These palms typically live in excess of 100 years, too!
14. Ponytail Palm ( Beaucarnea recurvata )
The Ponytail Palm, also known as the Elephant Foot or simply just “Pony”, is an interesting-looking palm that has adapted to survive in desert-like conditions! This plant only gets about 1 foot tall and 3 feet wide over time. The leaves are dark green with a slight drooping appearance. I recommend this plant to people who want to grow palms indoors but don’t have enough space for anything larger than a Ponytail Palm! These palms typically live in excess of 50 years, too!
15. Sago Palm ( Cycas revoluta )
The Sago Palm is also known as the Japanese Sago or simply just “Sago”. It’s an interesting palm that has the ability to survive in desert conditions! The leaves are stiff and prickly, although not nearly as bad when compared to its larger cousin the King Sago Palm. This makes it a great choice for people who want to try their hand at growing palms indoors without worrying about getting pricked by poisonous plants! These palms typically live in excess of 50 years, too!
16. Needle Palmetto ( Rhapidophyllum hystrix )
Also known as the Needle Palm, this interesting plant is part of the same family as the Cabbage Palmetto. I’ve seen these palms do well in bright indoor lighting but they definitely need to be kept out of direct sunlight! These palms typically live in excess of 100 years, too!
17. Yucca ( Yucca elephantipes )
Also known as the Spineless, Teddy Bear or simply just “Yucca”, this interesting plant is part of the same family as the Joshua Tree that you see in the desert! This is another tough plant that can survive in both bright and lower light situations. I’ve seen some Yucca plants get about 8 feet tall while others only get about 2 feet tall, so it really depends on how much sunlight they receive! These palms typically live in excess of 50 years, too!
Growing Palm Trees Indoors: Best Practices
Palm trees are amazing plants to grow indoors! They come in a very wide range of sizes and an even wider variety of shapes. However, there’s a few things to keep in mind when growing palm trees indoors:
- As mentioned before, Indoor Palm Trees will grow fast if they receive enough sunlight – so make sure you have them positioned near a window !
- Palms can drop their leaves easily when moved from one location to another, as well as during the winter months, so avoid moving them around too much! This is especially true for smaller varieties that have weaker root systems such as Pothos , Majesty Maiden and Ponytail Palm .
- Beware not to overwater your Indoor Palm Trees because this could lead to root rot – although most don’t need to be watered too often between each period of growth (spring and summer).
Why You Might Want to Grow Indoor Palm Trees:
Indoor Palm Trees are awesome plants that can really lighten up any environment! So here’s 3 reasons to grow palms indoors:
- They’re great for filtering air pollutants because they emit oxygen at night, giving you cleaner indoor air !
- Palms are great for humidifying the air during dry seasons!
- They look awesome 🙂
What Are Some Good Locations For Indoor Palm Trees?
Some good locations for growing palms indoors include near an entryway so people can see them as soon as they enter your house or office, around thick supports like pillars or other large furniture pieces, or near windows where they’ll get lots of direct sunlight!
Related article: How fast do palm trees grow?