Majesty (Ravenea) Palm Care: How to Grow Ravenea Plant Indoors

majestic palm

Majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis), or the majestic palm, is an elegant tropical palm tree plant with large feathery fronds that can grace any home. When grown indoors, containers limit the size of the Ravenea rivularis (majestic palm). As a houseplant, majesty palms can grow in most bright locations. You can also grow a potted majesty palm outdoors if you live in warm climates.

How to care for majesty palms: Plant your ravenea plant in fertile, well-draining soil. Place the majestic palm tree in bright, indirect sunlight. Water the palm plant enough to keep the soil moist, provide plenty of humidity, fertilize every two to three months, and keep in indoor temperatures of 65°F to 80°F (18°C – 26°C).

Majesty palms (Ravenea rivularis) are a large type of palm tree in the plant family Arecaceae. The palm tree is native to Madagascar and grows in hot climates near riverbanks, where there’s plenty of moisture. When growing outdoors, the palms thrive in warm, moist air in bright sun and partial shade. These conditions can make it tricky to grow potted majesty palms indoors.

One common problem that blights indoor majestic palm trees is brown tips on the leaves. The long thin leaf tips can start browning and gradually turn yellow.

Why do the leaves of majesty palm turn brown and yellow? The most common reason why palm leaves start turning brown is due to lack of water or over-fertilizing. The brown tips on palm tree leaves can also be due to too much sunlight. The only way to rectify the palm leaves from turning brown is to improve the growing conditions. You may have to carefully trim off the brown tips to remove them.

When it comes to caring for palm plants indoors, the majesty palm can be more challenging than other palm trees. For example, the parlor palm, areca palm, or bamboo palm are plants that can tolerate growing in lower light than majestic palms. But only the parlor palm (neanthe bella palm) is a true low-light tropical plant. However, majesty palms can tolerate some shade.

In this article, you will learn about the best way to care for a majesty palm indoors. At the end of the article, you will find answers to some common questions about growing ravenea plants indoors.

How to Care for Majesty Palm (Ravenea) Indoors

Although majesty palms are robust plants and are relatively straightforward to care for, they do have some specific needs. If you get the conditions right, your potted majesty palm will grace your home for ten years or more.

Light Requirements for Majesty Palms

Majesty palms will thrive indoors if they get between four and six hours of bright light daily. The best location would be in a room with large windows that faces east, west, or south. However, these indoor palm trees don’t mind the shade. The main requirement is to keep them out of direct sunlight.

No plants can grow without light, and palms generally require bright light, but out of the burning sun’s rays. One reason why majesty palms are popular houseplants is that they adapt well to shade. So, even if you don’t have an ideal bright spot for your majestic palm plant, they should still grow well.

One piece of palm care advice: majesty palms don’t like frequent changes, so avoid moving them around too much.

The Best Soil to Grow Majesty Palms in Pots

Potting mix for your majesty palm’s pot should be airy, well-draining, and rich in nutrients. The perfect type of potting soil for palms would be a mix of commercial soil, peat moss, and either perlite or bark shavings. The goal is to get soil that retains moisture without being waterlogged.

The key to proper majesty palm care indoors is keeping the soil just right. You should never let the soil dry out—the palm leaves will get brown tips and possibly spider mites. But you should never have the pot sitting in water—for example, in a saucer of water.

One way to tell if the soil for your majesty palm is correct is when you water it. The water should quickly drain through without pooling on the surface. Soggy soil will lead to root rot and several problems with your palm plant.

How to Water a Majesty (Majestic) Palm

Watering your ravenea plant properly is essential to care for it properly. Majesty palm trees thrive in plenty of moisture, but not in constantly damp conditions. The best care advice for watering your majestic palm is to only water when the top one-inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry.

Here is how to water your majesty palm:

  • Wait until the soil is partially dry. This means that the bottom part of the potting mix is moist, but the top is dry.
  • Water the palm thoroughly until it drains out the bottom.
  • When the water has finished dripping from the drainage holes, place it back on the drip tray.

Remember to always check the soil first before watering. Some palm owners make the mistake of having a watering schedule—i.e., they always water their palms twice a week. But remember that temperature, air humidity, and size of pot all affect how often you should water your ravenea plant.

Here are some signs that you are not watering your palm correctly:

  • Brown tips on the leaves—Not enough water and the soil is too dry.
  • Yellow leaves—Too much water that is waterlogging the roots.

Humidity Requirements for Growing a Majesty Palm Indoors

To help your majesty palm grow healthy and thrive, provide it with plenty of humidity—ideally, between 40 and 60%. Although average room humidity is fine for your plant, it does better when there’s more air moisture. The majesty palm is a robust, hardy, and adaptable plant.

How can you get ideal humidity levels for a thriving majestic palm? Here are three ways to increase humidity for tropical houseplants:

  • Misting—Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and mist the palm fronds daily to provide adequate moisture for the palm.
  • Humidifying tray—Put a layer of small pebbles in a tray and half-fill with water. Sit the palm pot on the small stones, making sure it’s not in the water. As the water evaporates naturally, it humidifies the palm tree.
  • Room humidifier—Using a room humidifier is an easy way to keep conditions just right for your ravenea palm plant to thrive.

The Best Indoor Temperature for Majesty Palms

Average room temperatures are ideal for indoor majesty palm trees. The perfect temperature range for majesty palms is 65°F to 80°F (18°C – 26°C). However, being a tropical plant from hot countries, up to 85°F (29°C) is fine. If you want to move your palm container outdoors in the summer, make sure and protect it from the cold.

One thing to remember when growing a majesty palm indoors is to protect it from temperature extremes. In summer, this could be cold drafts from the air conditioning system. In winter, it could be a hot radiator. Don’t forget that the sun shining through a window directly onto the plant can scorch the leaves.

Majestic Palm Care: Pruning

Regularly pruning your majesty palm plant’s leaves can help to keep its appearance tidy. You only ever have to prune old or dead palm leaves that have turned brown or yellow. When pruning your palm, it’s important to remember that chopping off leaves doesn’t encourage new growth. So, if some fronds are looking old, it’s best to cut the entire frond.

What can you do about brown leaf tips on your majestic palm? Unfortunately, when the tips have turned brown and crispy, there is nothing you can do. You could carefully trim the leaf tips, keeping the original shape of the pointed leaf.

To avoid brown tips reappearing, make sure you water the palm correctly and don’t over-feed it.

Fertilizer for Majesty Palms

Ravenea palm plants have modest needs when it comes to feeding. The most you should feed a palm is two or three times in the growing season using a slow-release fertilizer. Majestic palms grow slowly indoors and don’t require too many nutrients. You may even find that too much feeding can harm, rather than help, a growing majesty palm.

The best type of palm fertilizer should contain more magnesium than the other nutrients. Ideally, the balance of minerals should be 8-2-12 for an NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) slow-release fertilizer. You can also buy special palm fertilizer which is ideal for majestic palms.

One issue with potted majesty palms indoors is that minerals and salts tend to build up in the container. Apart from being one of the reasons for brown tips, over-fertilizing can burn the roots. How can you prevent too much fertilizer turning palm leaves brown? The answer is to flush the soil every so often. Even if you only water your plant with tap water, salts from the water can still affect plant growth.

Here is how to flush excess minerals and salts from the palm potting mix:

  • Take your plant in its pot to the bath or outside.
  • Gently pour water through the soil, making sure that you flush all parts.
  • Continue pouring the water for two to three minutes.
  • After that, wait until all the water has drained from the pot.
  • Place your majesty palm in a bright location that is protected from direct sunlight.
  • Check for water accumulating in the drip tray and empty as necessary.

Repotting Majesty Palms

The slow-growing nature of ravenea plants means that they rarely need repotting. This is just as well because they can grow to 98 ft. (30 m) tall in the wild. Growing in a pot indoors means it will never reach anywhere near this height. In time, a majestic plant can become too rootbound and needs repotting.

To repot a majesty palm, choose a substantial, sturdy pot that is slightly larger than its current one. Gently ease the stems with the root ball out of the existing pot. Fill the new pot with enough potting mix so that the top of the root ball is about 2” (5 cm) below the rim of the container. Fill the remaining space with fresh potting mix.

After repotting your majestic palm, thoroughly water it and place it in bright, indirect sunlight.

Propagating Majestic Palms

Propagating majesty palms—just like other species of palm tree—is done by seed. It’s rare to get seeds from majestic palm houseplant because they don’t flower indoors. So, you will have to buy seeds to grow a new palm tree.

If you want to grow a majesty palm from seed, this is what you should do:

  • Put a few good quality seeds under a thin layer of soil in a small pot. Mist to moisten the soil.
  • Cover the pot with some plastic film to keep moisture in. Put the pot in a warm, humid location.
  • Lightly mist the soil every other day to help the seeds germinate.
  • When the palm seedlings appear, move the pot to a bright spot where the temperature is between 75°F and 80°F (23°C – 26°C).
  • When a few small palm leaves appear, repot the palm in a larger container.

If you look after your majesty palm well, it should grow for ten years or more indoors.

Are Majesty Palms (Ravenea rivularis) Toxic?

There are no issues of toxicity with Ravenea rivularis plants. So, you don’t have to worry about growing majesty palms indoors if you’ve got pet dogs, cats, or other household animals.

Majesty Palm Plant Indoor Care: Common Pests and Diseases

Majestic palms are hardy indoor plants that rarely succumb to pests and diseases. Most diseases are avoidable because they are due to moisture issues—over-watering, soggy soil, or sitting in water. Pests that can affect palms are mealybugs, spider mites, or scale.

What can you do to care for your majesty palm and treat pest infestations? Here are a few care tips:

  • Mealybugs—Look for small bits of cotton-like fluff under the fronds or on the stems. Get rid of the pesky bugs using a neem oil organic treatment for houseplants.
  • Spider mites—Tell-tale signs of these mites are thin webs on the plant and small speckles. Hose down the plant daily to get rid of the spider mites. Also, increase humidity to keep spider mites at bay.

Is a Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis) Easy to Grow Indoors?

It can be quite tricky to successfully grow majesty (ravenea) palms indoor. In order to successfully grow the majestic palm tree indoors you’ll need to balance a few factors: humidity, heat, light, and fertilization. If the balance is not right, your palm tree will suffer from issues such as scorching, yellow or brown leaves, and even leaf loss.

How Tall do Majesty Palms Grow?

Indoors, majestic palms grow up to 5 ft. (1.5 m). In their native habitat, these massive palm trees reach heights of 98 ft. (30 m).

Why Do Majesty Palm Leaf Tips Turn Brown?

The three main reasons why the tips of majesty palm leave turn brown are under-watering, too much fertilizer, or direct sunlight.

Why are Palm Leaves Turning Yellow?

Majestic palms can turn yellow due to over-watering, soggy soil, too much sunlight, pest or fungus, or if the soil lacks essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, magnesium and manganese.

Yellow leaves can also be a normal process of the palm growth. When the palm tree grows, the old fronds that are at the bottom of the plant turn yellow and fall off. If, however, the upper new fronds turn yellow, check for aphids or spider mites.

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