Kentia palms are low-maintenance plants with beautiful fronds and several surprising benefits. As such, it’s no surprise that they are some of the best indoor palm trees to grow. However, Kentia palms need the right temperature and humidity to thrive. In this article, I’ll look at the ideal temperature and humidity requirements and tolerances for Kentia palms grown indoors.
- Kentia Palm Temperature and Humidity Requirements – Key Takeaways
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Levels That Kentia Palms Receive in Their Native Habitats
- Signs That Your Kentia Palm is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Kentia Palms
- How to Increase Ambient Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Kentia Palms in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Kentia Palms During the Winter
- Kentia Palm Temperature and Humidity Requirements FAQs:
Kentia Palm Temperature and Humidity Requirements – Key Takeaways
Kentia palms grow best in warm temperatures between 60 and 80ºF (15 to 25ºC) with moderate humidity levels between 50 and 60%. However, Kentia palms struggle in cold or dry conditions and may lose leaves if nighttime temperatures drop below 50ºF.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Levels That Kentia Palms Receive in Their Native Habitats
Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana) are native to Lord Howe Island, situated off Australia’s eastern coast. As such, these palms come from tropical or subtropical climates. This means that they need warm temperatures and moderate to high humidity levels. Kentia palms can be grown outside in USDA Zones 9 to 11, as these areas provide warm conditions and moderate humidity levels.
Signs That Your Kentia Palm is Exposed to the Wrong Temperature and Humidity
Although Kentia palms are reasonably easy to care for, they can be sensitive to the wrong temperature or humidity levels. Thankfully, you can look for a few signs to determine whether your palm is exposed to the wrong temperature or humidity:
Brown Leaf Tips
Kentia palms can develop brown tips on their leaves if the ambient humidity is too low. This is more common during hot summers or dry winters. Check whether the soil feels dry and use a humidifier to increase the humidity. Cut off any brown tips, as the leaves won’t turn green again.
Curling or Drooping Leaves
If Kentia palms get too cold or too dry, they may end up with curling, yellowing, or drooping fronds. Again, use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase ambient humidity. Keep your palm away from cold or dry drafts caused by air vents, open windows, and heaters.
Leaves Falling Off
In extreme cases, Kentia palms may start dropping their leaves if they get too cold. This commonly occurs when palms are exposed to cold temperatures for long periods. Move your plant to a warmer location and ensure the ambient temperature stays between 60 and 80ºF.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Kentia Palms
Kentia palms grow best in warm, stable temperatures throughout the year. They prefer daytime temperatures between 60 and 80ºF (15 to 25ºC) and can tolerate nighttime temperatures as low as 50ºF (10ºC).
However, they will struggle in cold temperatures, especially when grown outside. Although Kentia palms thrive outdoors in Zones 9 to 11, they will need winter protection in colder areas. If you live outside of Zone 9, growing one of these palms as houseplants is best.
These popular indoor palms also require moderate humidity levels between 50 and 60%. That said, they can tolerate more humid conditions. However, they cannot handle dry conditions where humidity levels drop below 40%.
Keep these palms away from cold or dry drafts to maintain warm temperatures and moderate humidity levels. Air conditioning units, air vents, heaters, and open windows usually cause these drafts. If the air gets too cold or dry, your palm may develop brown leaf tips or curling leaves.
How to Increase Ambient Humidity in Your Home
Although these palms are easy to care for, it’s vital to maintain the proper humidity levels. If the air gets too dry, your palm could really struggle. Thankfully, humidifiers are the easiest way to boost ambient humidity.
Pebble trays are a good option if you can’t get a humidifier. Fill a shallow, watertight tray with some small pebbles. Add some filtered, room-temperature water until the water level is just below the surface of the pebbles.
Once the tray is ready, place your Kentia palm’s nursery pot on top of the pebbles. The gradual evaporation of the water in the tray helps increase the ambient humidity around your palm. Keep the water topped up, especially during hot, dry summers.
Misting is a limited way to increase ambient humidity around your plant. Although misting provides a short humidity boost, the water usually evaporates too quickly to be a long-term solution. Humidifiers or pebble trays are often a better option.
Caring for Kentia Palms in Spring and Summer
During the spring and summer, it’s important to maintain the correct humidity levels around your palm. They can dry out more quickly during hot, dry summers.
Water whenever the top two inches of soil feel dry. Provide plenty of bright, indirect light by positioning your palm approximately 3 feet away from an east or south-facing window.
For optimal results, grow Kentia palms in well-draining soils with plenty of organic matter. Fertilize your every two to three months during spring and summer using diluted liquid fertilizer.
Caring for Kentia Palms During the Winter
Like many tropical houseplants, Kentia palms slow down during the winter. However, you still need to maintain the right temperature and humidity levels. Remember that the air can be drier during the winter, so use humidifiers or pebble trays.
Water your less frequently in winter, and stop feeding it. This allows your palm to go dormant. Plus, keep your palm away from cold, dry drafts.
If you’re growing Kentia palms outside in Zones 9 to 11, your plants should thrive with minimal winter protection. Apply a thick layer of mulch to conserve heat and moisture. In colder areas, bring your palm indoors during the winter months.
Kentia Palm Temperature and Humidity Requirements FAQs:
What Temperature Is Good for a Kentia Palm?
These palms grow best in warm temperatures between 60 and 80ºF. They can also be grown outdoors in Zones 9 to 11. However, they do not fare well in cold conditions where nighttime temperatures drop below 50ºF.
Do Kentia Palms Like Humidity?
Kentia palms are subtropical indoor palms that like moderate humidity levels between 50 and 60%. That said, they can tolerate higher humidity levels. However, they cannot tolerate dry conditions where humidity levels stay consistently under 40%.
What Are the Best Conditions for Kentia Palms?
These palms grow best in warm, stable conditions with moderate humidity levels. They also thrive in bright, indirect light but can tolerate some shade. These popular palms can also be grown outside in Zones 9 to 11.
Can Kentia Palms Survive Cold?
Although Kentia palms are relatively hardy, low-maintenance plants, they cannot survive in cold conditions. These palms will start to struggle if nighttime temperatures consistently drop below 50ºF. In cold outdoor climates outside Zone 9, they will need winter protection.
Should I Mist My Kentia Palm?
One of the best ways I find to increase humidity is to mist them. However, although this provides a brief boost, it isn’t a viable long-term solution. Use humidifiers or pebble trays to increase ambient humidity around your palm instead.
Kentia palms are tropical plants that thrive in warm temperatures and moderate humidity levels. Maintain temperatures between 60 and 80ºF and humidity levels between 50 and 60%. Use humidifiers or pebble trays to increase the ambient humidity. Kentia palms struggle in cold, dry conditions, so keep them away from drafts.