Cat palm tree makes a dramatic house plant and is easy to grow if you give it what it needs.
This lush, tropical palm will thrive in bright light. If you have a sunroom or a sunny window, keep it there. Give your palm a quarter turn once a week so that all sides are exposed to sunlight. A large plant can be placed on a plant caddy to make it easy to move.
Green Thumb Tip
Palm fronds tend to be dust-catchers. Wipe them with a damp cloth to keep them clean. Or clean the foliage with a warm shower: move your plant outdoors on a warm day and spray it with tepid water, keeping the palm out of direct sunlight. Allow it to dry outdoors in a shaded spot, protected from wind.
Cat palm trees grow in stemless clumps. The pinnate leaves have leaflets that will reach up to 1 ft (30 cm) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) wide.
Cat palm needs more moisture than some. Water enough to keep the soil evenly moist, but never soggy. Palms are not desert plants as some people believe. Regular watering will help to prevent fronds from turning brown.
Brown leaf tips can be caused by dry soil, dry air or tap water that contains fluoride. Increase humidity around the palm, if the air is too dry. Use distilled or rain water to water your palms.
Palms are sensitive to salts that accumulate in the soil. This build up of soluble salts come from the chemicals in tap water and fertilizers. They can damage foliage and roots. Fortunately, getting rid of excess salts is easy.
How to flush salts: Place your palm in a sink or take it outdoors on a warm day. Slowly pour tepid water over the potting mix. Allow water to drain out the drainage holes of the pot. Pour more water through the pot, then empty the drainage tray. Flushing salts a couple times a year will make your palm healthier and takes only minutes to do.
Repotting your palm is needed only every 3 years or so. Keeping the roots crowded helps to limit the plant’s size, so use a pot that’s only 1 size larger than the old pot. Don’t pot the palm too deeply — try to keep it at the same depth as it was in the old pot. Also, don’t try to spread out those roots. Palm roots are brittle, so keep the root ball intact as much as possible.
Cat palms are among the most common palm house plants. You’ll sometimes find them for sale with the tag “Indoor Tropical Palms” stuck in the pot. Look for the botanical name Chamaedorea cataractarum to be sure you’re getting this palm.
Cat Palms grow best in low light. It will also do very well in areas where it receives filtered light (partial shade). Indoors a south or east facing window would be ideal.
Kitchen, Bathroom, Entryway, Livingroom
Cat Palms will grow best in a moist environment, so it is important not to allow the soil to dry between waterings. Lightly water until the soil becomes a dark color, but not to the point the soil is no longer able to absorb the water..
Ideal Temperature for Cat Palm: 35-80°F (2-27°C) Min: 35°F (2°C)
Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide
Did You Know ?
The Cat Palm is the most popular from the Chamaedora species of trees. The palm itself doesn’t have a trunk and it’s frawns have a downward growing pattern. They are often used as garden bed “bushy” plants in tropical and subtropical regions under tall growing trees that provide large amounts of shade. The scientific name for the Cat Palm is Chamaedorea (ky-mee-DOR-ee-uh) Cataractarum (kat-uh-RAK-tar-um).