Plant Facts

Kentia palm (Howea forsteriana)

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  • Name - Howea is pronounced HOW-ay-a and was named after Lord Howe Island in Australia. Balfouriana is from Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour (1853-1922), professor of botany and keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. It is commonly called Kentia palm (the genus it used to be thought to belong to) or sentry palm.
  • Description - It is a slender upright palm with single stems carrying attractive arching green fronds.
  • Family - Palmae
  • Origin - Lord Howe Island, Australia
  • Care Tips - It is a very easy palm to grow. Filtered sunlight is best, though it will tolerate poor light but not grow so well. Temperatures between 13° and 25° C (55° to 77°) are needed. Water it well in summer, but allow the top of the growing medium to dry out between waterings. Feed every two weeks in the growing season. In winter in centrally heated rooms, mist it often and keep the compost just moist.
  • Trivia - This palm is one of the plants which Dr Ronald Wood has used in ongoing research on toxin removal, alongside peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) and dracaena "Janet Craig". The interesting thing is that all of these plants have been shown not only to absorb toxins, but also to increase their rate of absorption as the toxin levels are increased.

  • Kentia palm