Howea forsteriana

The Kentia Palm

Kentia Palm Foliage

The Kentia palm ‘is Howea forsteriana’, an elegant palm with dark, lustrous arching fronds coming from a single trunk.

This is a palm that naturally grows as an under story plant, which makes it excellent for growing indoors, in fact on of the best palm trees for indoor use.

They are a neat palm, with a single trunk, although often planted in small clumps to give a more natural landscaping effect.

Regarded by many as one of the most attractive palms in the world the Kentia Palm has an attractive shape making it most desirable for interior decor.

Kentia Palms are also suitable for growing outdoors in warmer climates.


Preferring indirect light Kentia Palms make an excellent option for low light and indoor situations.

They will generally grow to a height of around 4m, however they can reach 15m in the garden in ideal conditions. Growth rate is generally slow, however this will depend on climate and soil.

Kentia Palms require a well drained humus rich soil and require watering only when dry, they are reasonably drought tolerant once established.

If you are growing Kentia Palms in containers, the problem of repotting will arise. Simply try to avoid it, these plants are real softies when it comes to being moved or repotted, they do not like it.

If you have to, try to repot with minimal root disturbance.

  • Good filtered light, not direct sun, especially hot afternoon sun.
  • Slow release fertilizer in spring and again in summer.
  • Watering – Moist from spring through summer, drier from fall through winter.
  • According to the ASPCA the Kentia Palm is not toxic to Cats or Dogs.


  • Botanical Name : Howea forsteriana
  • Common Name : Kentia Palm
  • Family Name : Aracaeae
  • USDA Zone : 9b – 11 (Often grown indoors)
  • Height : 12 ft indoors taller outdoors
  • Spread : 20 inches (.5 metre)
  • Growth Rate : Slow to Medium
  • Soil : Humus rich, moist and well drained
  • Light : Medium to Light shade.
  • Humidity : Medium
  • Container Growing : Yes
  • Frost Tolerance : Light frosts only
  • Drought Tolerant : No
  • Looking at Palm trees in more detail


The simple rule is DO NOT PRUNE.
Pruning can cause damage to the plant that opens it up to disease. Any really dead fronds can be removed if you must, but do not cut back into living tissue.


  • Leaf marks are usually due to to much direct sun.
  • Over watering will cause root rot.
  • Yellow foliage is often due to under watering.
  • Stems that are beginning to droop usually mean under watering.

Kentia Palms are available for sale from the following nurseries
Phone: 888 624 2431 Fax: 269 621 6107