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Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Posted by CactusBoss Zone 5a (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 15:48

Are there any?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

What is the light condition?

In answer to your question though, YES.

Good species...

Chamaerops humilis
Washingtonia robusta/fililera/filibusta...
Phoenix date
triangle palm
Spindle or bottle palm
Butia capitata

Most of these will overwinter fine in a drier, winter home but they also love the great outdoors in the other three seasons.

(Washingtonia filifera or filibusta in photo.)


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

I don't think I'd be able to find those at my local garden center. Would Neanthe Bella do good? I've heard different opinions on that? And I have several lighting conditions available, low light, bright indirect, full sun, and medium.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Hi Cactus Boss,

Although I run a humidifer, attempting misting daily, and double-attempt setting plants in the sink to soak up water, the house is dry during winter.

We bought an a/c last summer, but it's only in use when temps are nearing 100F. Most of the time windows are opened..when it's humid outside, it's humid inside..visa-versa.

Several years ago I bought a bunch of palms in small, paper cones.
I 'sort of' got bored with plain, green palms, so I planted the bunch together.
I can't recall which palms are which, but these plants live indoors, year round. I really don't take care of these poor guys like they need, but they thrive in dry air.

Palm

Another palm that thrives dry air is Butia/Pindo/Jelly. I think that's the correct name.

Palm

Rhapis does okay, too. My is kept on the second floor, in an upstairs bathroom. 3+ showers a day, showering and misting increases humidity.

Palm

Fan, Desert Palms do well indoors.

Do you have a hygrometer? If so, what's the average humidity? Toni


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

hopefulauthor , I don't have a hygrometer but any palm that's gonna require misting probably won't do well in my home.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

I don't mist and have had a (Chamaedorea elegans) parlor palm for around 20 years. I'm not sure if that's the same thing as Neanthe Bella or not.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Is it in a spot with dry air?


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Is it in a spot with dry air?


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Used to be in OH, static-cling'n'all. Sat by the front door one winter too, so often blasted with sub-zero air.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Cactus, I mist all plants. Except succulents during winter.
It's more out of habit I guess.

Hygrometers come in handy..You can find one at a local hardware store as low as 8,00. I have three, lol.,
Two were purchased 20+ yrs ago. Sheesh,, can't believe how fast time goes!

Of course, there's guages in the hundreds, but two inexpensive therms/hygrometers, that display the same readings, is fine by me.

Nj, your Fan is gorgeous.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

A terrarium or cloché, or one of those little portable greenhouses could increase humidity. If misting does, it's only for seconds, until the moisture is dissipated into the rest of the air in the house. If the A/C or heat is running when misting is done, there's too much air movement for any increase in humidity, and either of these remove most of the humidity very quickly. When thinking how quickly a cold beverage gets dripping wet from the humidity condensing on it on a summer day, you can start to get an idea of how much misting you would have to do to actually increase humidity inside.

There are too many examples of plants doing fine without misting, or other strange measures intended to increase humidity, and too many examples of problems caused/exacerbated by it for me to consider doing it. I totally understand you guys wanting to do something nice, above'n'beyond for your plants, and don't mean to be argumentative, just speaking out of concern about something I think can do more harm than good.

"Foliar Diseases
Diseases of the leaves of houseplants are rarer than
root rots. However, if the foliage of an indoor plant is
subjected to high humidity or frequent misting, disease
problems on the foliage can occur. Symptoms of
common foliar diseases can include leaf spots, lesions,
blights or dieback, with or without water-soaking,
yellowing, browning or defoliation of leaves. If detected
early and diagnosed correctly, cultural practices of
removing and destroying infected material often can
lead to satisfactory management of the disease.
Fungicides are available for some foliar diseases.
Leaf spots and lesions on indoor plants more often are
caused by environmental factors, insect or arthropod
injury, phytotoxic aerosols or other factors. They rarely
are caused by pathogens in the indoor home
environment. Table 2 summarizes a few foliar
diseases that may be encountered in
houseplants, along with their causes,
symptoms, plants affected and corresponding management strategies."
- from page 13.

A plant doesn't get to be such a ubiquitous indoor plant as parlor palm if it's fussy in any way.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

To my above list, I would add Raphis (as suggested), also Kentia, Chinese Fan, and many Chamaedorea are fine (including the dwarf 'bella'). Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the good house palms are either rarely available and/or expensive!

Hopeful, that Washy is one of many! A local supermarket was selling them one year for nothing several years ago, and I bought several--nurseries never sell them here. They are all in 20 gallon tubs now. You could use it as a house palm but I would stick to sometime less prickly for the house. (BTW, Washy is easy and fast from seed!!). For a dry home year round, my top choices would be Butia capitata for a feather palm and Mediterranean Fan for a palmate leaf.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Howdy,

Hi, Purp, sorry but I disagree about misting. :) No arguments, okay?

When I feel lazy/down and stop misting, I notice a big difference.

One thing I don't understand.

"If misting does, 'increase humidity,' it's only for seconds, until the moisture is dissipated into the rest of the air in the house. If the A/C or heat is running when misting is done, there's too much air movement for any 'increase' in humidity."

Now:

"or other strange measures intended to increase humidity, and too many examples of 'problems' caused/exacerbated by it for me to consider doing it.

However, if the foliage of an indoor plant is
subjected to high humidity or 'frequent misting,' disease
problems on the foliage can occur.

What I don't understand is, if misting is useless, lasts seconds, 'first paragraph,' how can it cause leaf disease? 'Second & third paragraph.'

It's not either/or. If misting lasts a couple seconds, how could it harm leaves, let alone cause disease?

I agree a terrarium or portable green houses increase humidity, but neither hold extra-tall plants. Large, portable green houses may hold 5 large plants, but some people have a lot more than 5 plants. :)

I do believe, fuzzy leaf plants, 'African Violets', should not be sprayed, then placed in sun.
The water and sun will discolor foliage.

Just my opinion.

Hi Nj,
Sorry if I asked before, (memory loss) but are your Fans indoors?

Yeah, I know what you mean. Stores sell the same three palm types here, too. One being Triangle Palm, which I've tried and killed
I've seen Fans once or twice.
One time, Walmart got in a batch of palms. One Mediterranean. I thought and rethought about buying it. 9.99 each, 10" pots. Decided not to get it.
We drove home..about 10 mins later we drove back to Walmart. I really wanted that palm.
By the time we got to Walmart, 10-15 min drive, (7-mins my driving time, lol) every last palm was gone. Some a$$ bought the entire lot.
I'm sure they bought to sell.
I called Walmart every week for a month or two, asking if/when they'd have more palms..they never got any like the 9.99'ers.

Motto. If you see a plant you really want, but hesitant, buy it now. :)


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Of course, you know I don't argue with people, I just say what I'm thinkin' too. Makes the discussion interesting, and discussed discrepancies can help people decide which thing sounds 'more like me' if they know why somebody said what they did. Not at all saying that those who mist are always right or wrong, or the other way. I know you feel passionately about misting, and have plenty of great plants! Glad you're not upset either, my friend.

If I knew how all of this stuff works, I wouldn't be stingy with the info, but I'm not a scientist. The link isn't saying misting will make your plants ill. But basically, if there's a spore of some foliar malady that needs a moist surface to germinate/thrive, misting can provide that condition. Seems like a risky practice when there are countless thriving specimens of all plants I have that have never been misted. And you would come back and say there are countless thriving specimens that are misted often as well, it's cool. If folks are on the fence about it, it's all food for thought. Everyone draws a different line about what they will/won't do for plants. Trying to adjust humidity isn't one of the things I'll do. It's possible I'm just more lazy and disorganized and rationalizing this whole thing.

I'm trust you could give a lot of good opinions for those who want to mist about which plants appreciate it most, especially for plants that are always inside, or come inside for longer winters, and which kinds of plants don't like misting at all. That's good stuff to know for people who want to do it. If I did, you are definitely the first person I'd ask these things.

True there isn't usually a big selection of different potted palms, the main reason I don't have more. It would have to look pretty different and not be too tall/big like a majesty (of which every one my Mom has ever bought had scales.)

I wonder if some plants that look like palms would interest you, CactusBoss? Thinking of those people ask for ID's and describe as 'looks like some kind of palm'... Schefflera? Various Dracaenas, especially with multiple heads, China doll (Radermachera sinica,) some of the Cordylines. You may have already had these thoughts, IDK.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

I think I'm gonna settle with Rhapis excelsa cause i heard it tolerates the average home conditions pretty well.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

If the question is valid, why take a chance when moisturizing a room can be so easy----well, not easy to bring the reading on the hydrometer up to any extent, but easy to give to plants some kind of moisture around their pot.
Remove them from in-line summer sun; remove them from any kind of air movement from open doors or windows, as well, make sure the a/c vent doesn't put air directly in their path; saucers of water can be placed in strategic places in the room; and to that, saucers or bowls of water can be placed in direct path of whatever air current is available.
Warm water will condense faster.

Misting is one of the easiest and safest methods to moisturize. It can also protect plants from annoying pests such as spider mites.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

That sounds beautiful! It's one of the strange people.


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

If you get the Raphis, a few pointers...

1. Don't let it dry out. They like it moister than a lot of other palms and by the time they show stress, the game is over!

2. If you put them outside for the season, keep it in the shade or part sun, they burn in a hot sun.

That's it, otherwise easy but can be costly and hard to find.

P.S., in Japan, they go crazy over the variegated cultivars--of which there are many!! (I prefer the basic green.). Collectors will pay big time $$$ on the too. Check out the plant list cultivars provided at this site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raphis palm


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

Cactus,
I think the Raphis is a fine choice. Expensive, but an easier one to grow in the north. njoasis gives some good growing tips.

I have a large plant in a north room where, in the summer, it gets western light later in the day. In the winter, it's moved to a north window (other plants need the western light more). It tolerates low light levels well.

I always use a dowel to determine if the plant needs watering. If it's just damp, I water, but never with tap water. I read that tap water can cause brown leaf tips, so I use rain water or air conditioner condensation water. A couple times a year, I break the no tap water rule and put it in the shower. It loves the good soaking and it cleans the leaves. I fertilize regularly with Dyna-Gro Foliage Pro. I never mist.

I grow a Kentia palm the same way. Which are also expensive, but a good choice. I'd rather pay more and have a easy and healthy plant than spend good money on difficult ones that will eventually decline in the growing environment that I can provide.

Grown well both the Raphis and Kentia will be large specimen plants that are just beautiful. I've had both for five or more years and, with treatment I described, are thriving.

Gail


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RE: Any palms that tolerate dry indoor air?

I got a Neanthe Bella for a high $15. it better survive lol. It's about 4 feet away from an air vent. I just moved it for a picture.


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