The travelers palm is native to Madagascar, this tropical beauty belongs to the Strelitziaceae family and is relative to the Bird of Paradise. You may probably be wondering why this plant was given the name travelers palm. History has it that the travelers palm got its name from travelers who traveled long distances and on became thirsty would look for one of these palms use a knife or sharp object to slice into the leaves and drink the water that was stored”. It is said that the traveler’s palm can store up to half a gallon of water. Now that’s a lot of water to quench one’s thirst when traveling long distances, especially during the summertime.
I have seen travelers palms used on so many landscape projects that looked so amazing, a few years ago I did a project at our international airport where some of these palms were also used that spruced up that area which needed some attention. What causes the travelers palm to stand out from other palms is its growth pattern or the way it grows which is so dazzling. We will be turning our attention however to growing these palms indoors.
Growing Travelers Palm Indoors
Travelers palms can grow anywhere from 30 to 50 feet with a spread of 18 feet so you may be asking can a travelers palm grow indoors? the answer to that question is yes. Though these palms can get pretty large you can have much success by growing them indoors however the indoor space should be large enough to accommodate your travelers palms allowing them to reach a certain height.
One thing to note however is that plants that are confined to containers, especially to containers that are not that large tend to grow slower or not as big because the roots are confined or restricted to the container vs a plant that was installed directly into the ground where the roots can spread and run freely.
I proved this fact many years ago, I had 2 bird of paradise that was the same size, one of them I left in the container for more than a year. The other one I transplanted directly into the ground and watched it to for more than a year. What were the results? the one that was transplanted into the ground grew to be 3 times the other bird of paradise that was left in the container.
Travelers Palm Indoor Instructions
1. Before installing your travelers palm indoors decide where indoors your travelers palm will be placed along with knowing the size of your travelers palm to be installed.
2. Next look for where the most sunlight is coming in, because these palms are tropical they need as much sunlight as possible. A south or west-facing window is ideal. So take advantage of areas that have the most sunlight for your travelers palms to survive.
3. Give your travelers palm’s roots lots of room to grow by providing the right container size, the container can be anywhere from seven- gallon or larger witg drain holes for water drainage.
4. The soil of these palms should be organic-rich soil that drains well.
5. Water your travelers palm once a week, however before applying water check the first top few inches of soil with a soil probe or soil moisture meter. The soil should be evenly moist not soggy or waterlogged which can lead to root rot.
6. Applying a liquid feed (water-soluble) fertilizer monthly will keep your travelers palm thriving, before applying fertilizers however read and follow the manufacturer’s directions that are found on the label.
Travelers Palm additional information
- To keep the leaves clean wipe with a damp clean cloth or use a feather duster
- Dry or dead leaves can be removed with a hand pruner
- If one side of the palm seems to be growing more than the other side then turn that side to get sunlight also or what you can do is every another day turn your palm
- As the plant gets a bit larger you can also switch to a larger container.
The final word on travelers palm
Growing these Gorgeous palms is that simple all it takes is some know-how and you will be well on your way to having success, this guide will help you to have that success. I believe that travelers palms are so amazing and can work wonders outdoors as well as an indoor garden setting.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.