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Monday, May 2, 2016 Houseplants

Majesty Palm Care

Majesty palms are one of the most popular plants we grow here at Costa Farms. In fact, we grow more than a million of them every year! We also get a lot of questions about how to care for these gorgeous plants. 

Majesty Palm Care: Watering
The biggest thing to know about majesty palm care is that these trees like lots of water. Unlike the visions of desert palm trees many of us have, majesty palms actually come from wet areas -- along streams and rivers in Madagascar. (One of the more common palms that don't mind arid conditions is pygmy date palm.) In fact, the tree's botanical name, Ravenea rivularis, gives some insight as "rivularis" means found besides streams. While you don't want your majesty palm sitting in constantly soggy soil, good care does mean regular waterings.

Majesty Palm Care: Light
Another majesty palm care tip is that we grow ours in the shade so they're not stressed when you buy one as a houseplant. But that also means they're not adapted to the sun -- so if you want to enjoy your majesty palm outdoors in a sunny spot, such as on a deck, patio, or balcony, your best bet is to acclimate it first. You can do this keeping your majesty palm in a partially shaded spot for a week or so, then expose it to a little more sun. (Or, alternatively, keep your majesty palm indoors for a couple of weeks, but let it spend a couple of hours outside each day. Increase the outside time each day until you no longer bring it in.) If you want to bring a majesty palm indoors for winter after a summer outside, give it good care by doing the transition in reverse to help it become adapted to low light inside. 

Majesty Palm Care: Humidity
I've heard a lot of folks say majesty palms aren't good houseplants. One of the main reasons for this is that if these trees are grown in the sun, they do have a hard time with low light inside a home unless they're acclimated. Another reason is that, like most tropical plants, they like plenty of humidity. As a houseplant, care for your majesty palm by making sure the air doesn't dry out too much. (Dry air is especially common in the North where homes are heated with forced-air furnaces.) 

Easy ways to boost humidity around your plant include growing it near a small humidifier, grouping your majesty palm with other plants (all plants release a little moisture into the air as they breathe), or setting the majesty palm’s pot on a tray of sand or pebbles that’s filled with water. The bottom of your pot should sit on the sand/pebbles, above the water. 

Majesty Palm: Brown Tips
Brown tips on your majesty palm fronds is a common occurrence. It can happen because of a number of factors, including:
  - Dry air: When the air is too dry, the leaf tips on majesty palm and many other houseplants can turn brown. 
  - Fertilizer: When the plant receives too much fertilizer over time, or all at once, the high concentration of nutrients stresses plant roots, causing the leaf tips to burn. 
  - Dry soil: When the potting mix is too dry to support the lush green fronds, they often start turning brown at the tips and edges. If a majesty palm stays too dry, the browning will continue throughout the entire frond

Use these majesty palm care tips and you should be able to enjoy these lush, healthy, beautiful plants in your home or favorite outdoor living spaces.

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