8 Types of Palm Plants to Grow Indoors

With simple care tips, these palm plants can add lush greenery to your space

an areca palm growing indoors

The Spruce / Alonda Baird

Perhaps because of their association with tropical environments, indoor palm plants can elicit feelings of peace and relaxation like no other houseplant can. Palms are good indoor plants if you can provide the proper conditions for them. So indoor palm plant identification is key to know what your exact species needs.

Several types of indoor palm trees, including the areca palm and parlor palm, tolerate most household environments quite well. But there are some important factors to consider about indoor palm plant care.

Indoor Palm Plant Care Tips

How you care for an indoor palm plant is similar to many other houseplants that come from the tropics. Most types of indoor palm trees like the same conditions we find comfortable: warm temperatures, average humidity, and moderate light. Some indoor palm plants can even tolerate low light, though this usually will result in weaker growth.

Palms are generally slow-growing and need minimal pruning to clean up dead and broken fronds. They'll require a quality palm fertilizer to help maintain lush growth. And you must watch out for common houseplant pests, such as spider mites and scale.

Here are eight of the easiest palms to grow indoors to add a breezy, tropical feel to your home.

  • 01 of 08

    Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis)

    Chinese fan palm with feathery frond leaves in white ceramic pot next to houseplants

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    The star-shaped leaves of Livistona chinensis set it apart from other palms with the more classic feathery fronds. While it's slow-growing, this palm species' mature height can reach 15 feet or greater. So it's worth seeking out the subglobosa dwarf cultivar if you plan on growing the palm indoors.

    Chinese fan palms do well in bright light, but younger plants can tolerate shady locations. Water when the top of the soil feels dry. Choose a large pot that will accommodate the long taproot that the Chinese fan palm produces. And feed this palm once a year in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light; tolerates some shade
    • Water: Moderately moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Emerald green foliage
  • 02 of 08

    Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

    an areca palm growing indoors

     The Spruce / Alonda Baird 

    Also known as the bamboo palm, the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is one of the easiest palms to grow indoors thanks to its tolerance for low light. It produces large, feathery green fronds that have a gentle curve.

    The areca palm prefers a moderate amount of water. Plant your areca palm in fertile soil, and give it a monthly fertilizer application to maintain a lush look.

    • Light: Sun or shade but looks its best in bright, indirect light
    • Water: Moderately moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Yellow-green stems and light green leaves
  • 03 of 08

    Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis)

    Majestic palm in wicker basket with tall dark green fronds

    The Spruce / Kara Riley

    The majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis) has two positive qualities that make it an ideal palm that will grow indoors: It is very shade tolerant, and it is a slow grower. However, you must be aware of two drawbacks of this palm: It needs constant moisture and humidity, and it will outgrow an indoor space over time. 

    If you can keep your majesty palm in a reasonably moist area, such as the kitchen or bathroom, then you can look forward to cultivating a graceful stand of dark green fronds that will add life to an empty corner of your home. 

    • Light: Bright, indirect light for the entire day
    • Water: Consistently moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Bright green to dark green leaves
  • 04 of 08

    Cascade Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

    Green palm foliage tree isolated
    hongquang09 / Getty Images

    As opposed to some palm trees that feature a central trunk, Chamaedorea cataractarum is a very full palm with clumps of fronds eventually reaching 6 feet tall. You'll be able to separate mature clumps, giving you new plant material to propagate by division

    In its native habitat, the cascade palm thrives along streams and in wet lowlands, so you must irrigate it frequently when growing it indoors. Fortunately for indoor growth, cascade palms are understory plants, so they can tolerate limited light.

    • Light: Bright, indirect light; tolerates shade; avoid direct sunlight
    • Water: Consistently moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Dark green leaves
    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

    Parlor palm in gold pot with small green fronds on shelf next to decor items

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    As the name suggests, the parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is one of the easiest palms to grow indoors. It grows in average indoor light (or even artificial light) and typical room temperatures. And it requires no pruning other than an occasional tidying of dead branches.

    Parlor palms flourish in above-average humidity. Be aware they might attract spider mites if conditions are very dry. 

    • Light: Indirect light; avoid direct sun
    • Water: Consistently moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Light green leaves
  • 06 of 08

    Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

    Ponytail palm in white pot with long wispy fronds next to gold watering can and patterned pillows

    The Spruce / Lisa Ruschioni

    Indoor palm plant identification should be fairly easy for the ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata), with its short, sturdy trunk and gracefully arching leaves. In fact, this plant is not a true palm at all but rather a succulent.

    The swollen trunk base isn't just ornamental; it functions as a water reservoir for the plant, making it very drought tolerant. Give your ponytail palm a sunny location for optimal plant health. Moreover, it's fine for the ponytail palm to become pot bound; in fact, this can keep growth manageable for a tabletop specimen. 

    • Light: Full sun; tolerates bright, indirect light
    • Water: Moderately moist soil, will tolerate dry conditions
    • Color Varieties: Light green leaves
  • 07 of 08

    Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

    Sago palm in white pot with shaggy pineapple-like trunk and feather-like fronds next to white watering can and window

    The Spruce / Anastasia Tretiak

    If the sago palm is your first introduction to the world of indoor palm plants, you're in for a treat. Stiff fronds grow in an upright habit from a short, shaggy trunk that resembles a pineapple. This plant (which is not a true palm but more closely related to conifers) is very slow-growing.

    Choose an indoor location that receives filtered sun for four to six hours per day. The sago palm needs regular and consistent moisture, but make sure the soil surface is nearly dry between water applications.

    • Light: Full sun or bright, indirect light; tolerates some shade
    • Water: Moderately moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Light green leaves


    The sago palm is toxic to humans and pets. So be mindful about its placement as a houseplant if you have kids or animals.

  • 08 of 08

    Yucca Palm (Yucca elephantipes)

    Yucca palm with sharp leaves in corner of living room

    The Spruce / Krystal Slagle

    Indoor palm plant identification is very important when it comes to yucca palms. Yucca aloifolia, also known as the Spanish bayonet, has razor-sharp leaves and belongs outdoors. Yucca elephantipes is the spineless yucca palm, and while its leaves do have a pointy tip, the plant is unlikely to draw blood like its spiny cousin. 

    You might also see the indoor yucca palm sold under the name "stick yucca." Tough strappy green leaves emerge from an attractive trunk on the yucca palm. The plants are very drought tolerant and grow in full sun or part shade.

    • Light: Full sun to part shade
    • Water: Moderately moist soil
    • Color Varieties: Light green to bluish-green
Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Chamaedorea Elegans. North Carolina State University.

  2. Cycas revoluta. NC State Extension.

  3. Sago Palm. ASPCA.