How to Care for & Feed Miniature Palm Trees


Some palm trees are available as houseplants in miniature varieties. Among them you find miniature lady palms (Rhapis excelsa), treated as collectible items and sometimes trained as bonsai plants. The pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelinii) is another miniature tree from the Middle East, displaying arching leaves in a dense crown. Miniature Chusan (Trachycarpus wagnerianus) makes the list as a hardy palm. Each different palm species has specific requirements, but their care also follows some general guidelines.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot with drainage holes
  • Potting mix
  • Compost, as needed
  • Liquid or slow-release houseplant fertilizer
  • Spray bottle
  • Raise miniature palm trees in well-aerated potting mix for quick drainage. Select a blend rich in organic matter or mix compost with it. Miniature lady palms grow well in potting soil for African violets.

  • Grow indoor palm trees in filtered sun year-round. Sheer curtains are options for diffusing the sun's direct rays. Miniature Chusan palms do well in full sun.

  • Control the room temperature to maintain it at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime. At night, 60 degrees is ideal in the growing season. In the winter, maintain the environment at 55 to 60 degrees day and night.

  • Feed miniature palms a liquid or slow-release houseplant fertilizer during the growing season. Apply the nutrient according to the rates and frequency listed on the product label. Suspend fertilization in the winter. Fertilize miniature lady palms less frequently than at the interval recommended for the other miniature palms.

  • Spray water on the fronds to keep them clean. Drench the soil whenever a white crust begins to form on the surface, indicating that fertilizer salts have accumulated in the potting mix.

  • Irrigate the plants whenever the soil surface dries. To prevent root rot, pour out excess water that collects in the saucer.

  • Repot palms when their roots completely fill the pots. They thrive in restricted environments.

  • Introduce indoor palms to the outdoors gradually after the temperature rises to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Increase the number of hours the plants spend outside until they are staying out day and night continuously. Keep the miniature palm trees out of direct sunlight all season. Take them back inside before the first frost. Miniature Chusan palms can stay outside in temperatures that go down to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

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