The kentiawhose scientific name is Howea forsterianait’s one of the most popular palm trees both indoors and in gardens. Its rusticity, its tropical appearance and its elegance make it possible. Its trunk is rather thin; in fact, it does not usually exceed 30cm in diameter. It has a rather slow growth, and when young it prefers to grow in places with little light.
However, sometimes questions may arise regarding its cultivation and / or care. On this occasion we will try to solve the most frequent doubts so that you can have your Kentia in perfect condition all year round, for many years.
To know how to take care of it, we must first know where it comes from. This beautiful palm tree lives in the jungles of Lord Howe Island, hence its name. It spends its first years growing as if it were a herbaceous plant, sheltered from shrubs and trees. During this time it does not get direct sunlight, but once it gains height little by little it also gives it more direct light, which forces it to produce leaves that are increasingly resistant to sunlight. Once adult, when it has reached 10-15 meters, it is already perfectly adapted to its new conditions.
This in cultivation translates as follows: the palm trees sold in nurseries and / or garden centers normally come from greenhouses where macro-production of plants is made, where they always have the ideal conditions to grow. This means that once we have the palm tree at home or in the garden, may weakenespecially if we have bought a pot in which two or more Kentia have been planted together. It is highly advisable that we do not accustom it to the sun until at least one year has passed, and always bearing in mind that this process has to be done little by little.
The million dollar question: at home or in the garden? Well, all the plants must be outside, but the truth is that, although the climate is favorable for it throughout the year (it resists mild frosts down to -4º), we can have it indoors without problems. We will place it in a very well lit roomotherwise it will be weakened.
To ensure that you can photosynthesize properly, we will wipe the leaves with a damp cloth (distilled water) to remove dust from time to time.
As for irrigation, we must let the substrate dry between irrigation and irrigation. Remember that it is much easier for a plant to die from overwatering than by default. Once a month we can add specific fertilizer for palm trees to the irrigation water; so it will grow more vigorously.
And finally, the transplant. Perhaps the most delicate and questioned subject. It is said to have a delicate root system. It is so. But it is also true that if we remove the entire root ball without it falling apart, from the pot, success is assured. Really.