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By Samjp

Staffordshire, West Midlands, United Kingdom Gb

Hi got a question about a houseplant. My OH brought this plant (in the picture below) about 1 - 2 years ago. When he brought it there were quite a few leaves, very lovely plant. Firstly does anyone know what its called and secondly any care tips? We can't seem to get more than 2 leaves on it at any one time. Please excuse the awful carpet in the photo its in the plans for removal :))

The soil is looking a little old and is on the cards for having the top layer removed an replaced, when I've got a spare five minutes.




It looks like a Kentia Palm. I've got one which I neglect. I think it will grow anywhere. If you repot it, it might buck up :o)

16 Jul, 2012


Thanks Hywel, just googled it and think your spot on with that one. Lol OH must have been using the wrong type of neglect :))) I'll try replacing the soil see if that perks it up any.

I had wondered if maybe it wasn't getting enough light. I think the chair its next to blocks a fair amount of the light. You would think being a south facing room we'd get loads of sun in here, but somehow it always seems a bit dark. Its better now the two big connifers are gone, but still not brilliant. In desperate need of re-decoration in here.

16 Jul, 2012


It should tollerate low light. Mine is in a dark corner.

17 Jul, 2012


These also like relatively cool conditions and reasonable humidity, so it might be that your home is too warm and the air too dry as well - I've got a massive one on the unheated landing outside my flat, window open most of the time. Repot, as suggested, but only to a pot just big enough to take the roots it has - best in John Innes No. 2, but multi purpose will do if that's what you have. They do better with higher light levels, but they don't need sunlight.

17 Jul, 2012


Actually, it looks like an Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens), which is somewhat pickier than a Kentia Palm. Arecas need brighter light, more humidity, and more consistent feeding than Kentias, and are more susceptible to pests, such as spider mites.

18 Jul, 2012


Thanks guys. Lol tugbrethil just as I thought I'd got it figured you throw a spanner in the works :-)). Googled the name and you could be right. But the two suggested by you and hywel look very similar any tips for distinguishing between the two?

It could be a humidity issue. I don't think this is usually a warm house although my OH does lol. I won't repot it fully as its planted directly into a planter. So I'll try changing the top layer of soil and misting it occasionally.

Thanks for your help guys much appreciated. Be nice if we can get it going stop it looking like a twig lol.

18 Jul, 2012


Oh I'm so sorry, Samjp - mine is an Areca palm, I didn't notice the Kentia bit at the top. Otherwise, everything else I've said stands - its out on an unheated landing, brightly lit, no direct sunlight, open window nearly all year round. Has to be, outgrew the sitting room in a year (it was 4 feet when I bought it...)

18 Jul, 2012


No worries Bamboo, if Tug is right its an Areca anyway. Perhaps it does need more light then. As I think I said its in a South facing room but the chair its stood beside blocks a fair amount of light. It needs some fresh compost so I'll give it some new compost and try moving it out a little so it gets a bit more light. See how it goes. Thanks for your help.

18 Jul, 2012

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