Are you looking for a houseplant that gives a dramatic backdrop while purifying the air? Give Majesty Palm a try. Read on to find how to grow and take care of it so that it can thrive well both indoors and outdoors.
Majesty Palm Tree
Majesty palm, also known as Ravens rivularis, is a top-notch choice for a novice, an expert, or an avid gardener. It creates a dramatic backdrop instantly, which is perfect to fill in the awkward space in the corner or behind the couch.
This palm features long arching green fronds that top the multiple stems. They spread out and fill in space dramatically, and give tropical vibes instantly.
Although majesty palm adds a tropical look to space, it fits any other style nicely. Whether you love modern interior design, Boho chic style, or classic cottage look, this plant will have your back.
Many people use it as an indoor decorative plant due to the spreading fronts and being a slow-growing variety. It only adds less than 1 foot per year until it reaches its maximum height, which is approximately 10 feet.
Although it mostly becomes an indoor houseplant, its actual habitat is swampy outdoor areas in Mangoky and Onilahy river systems located in south-central Madagascar.
It became an indoor houseplant for the very first time in Florida in 1990. Soon afterward, it was getting more and more popular, although there were no cultivars at that time.
When it grows indoors, it tends to be small. But if you let it thrive outdoors, it can reach heights of more than 50 feet since its root system has the opportunity to expand. In Madagascar, the Ravens rivularis can be as tall as 80 feet or more.
You might think that it is a huge size. Actually, it is not. The truth is that majesty palm is rather small. It happens because this variety lives under larger trees in its native habitat. Therefore, it has learned how to survive in areas with a combination of shade and light.
If you think this plant is like most palms, which are drought-tolerant, you are wrong. This variety is native to swampy areas in Madagascar, so it loves wet – but not soggy – soil.
Growing a Majesty palm indoor would be easier than outdoor because it can only thrive well in USDA zones 10 to 11, which comprises a few areas, such as Florida, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Texas.
This palm can grow well at temperatures of 45 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also put up with cold-weather at 250F. The soil has to be acidic with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0.
Many people say that the majesty palm looks like the Kentia palm when it is young, and it is similar to the royal palm when it becomes mature. It means that this variety is worth growing since the two aforementioned plants are renowned for being attractive.
However, some people find it hard to grow the majesty palm because it is not drought tolerant. Therefore, if you are not willing to go the extra mile, you had better opt for kentia, bamboo, or parlor varieties.
An extra hurdle that you have to face when growing this plant indoors is the humidity level. Majesty palm likes to live in a humid area.
If your home has typical average humidity, it will be just fine. It would be better if the room had a higher level of moisture in the air because it enables this palm to thrive well. However, a dry climate is not suitable for it. So, you can choose another variety.
Majesty Palm Care
You can grow Majesty palm indoors or outdoors, but you have to know the required conditions for it to thrive well. So, read on to know how to plant and take care of it.
Majesty Palm Indoor
Majesty palm is used to living under bigger trees in its natural habitat in Madagascar, which makes it tolerate indirect light. Therefore, this variety would be perfect for an indoor houseplant.
Furthermore, majesty palm does not like the hot afternoon sun because it can burn the leaves and fronds, which turns them yellow.
It does not mean this plant loves to dwell in an extremely dark area, though. The lack of light will stop growth. As a result, the leaves are turning yellow and aborting due to insufficient light for photosynthesis.
So, putting your majesty palm near a sunny window would be your greatest bet because this area obtains sufficient indirect light for about six to eight hours per day, which makes it thrive well.
Keep the Soil Swampy
As stated above, Ravens rivularis dwells in wet areas in Madagascar. To make it grow well, you have to emulate its natural habitat. Therefore, growing it in poorly draining soil that has plenty of clay would be nice.
Nevertheless, it does not imply that you can eliminate drainage holes in your pot. Although majesty palm likes swampy conditions, it will eventually rot if the roots stay constantly submerged. In short, excess water must be able to escape.
If you are not sure whether your majesty palm is getting too little or too much water, you can check the fronds and leaves.
Choose some of those tips of the fronds. If they begin drying out, and the leaves are turning brown, it means your plant is too dry. However, if they are turning yellow, your palm might get too much water because the soil is too wet.
Keep the Air Humid
The majesty palm belongs to tropical plants, which require humid air. It cannot thrive if the environment is too dry.
If you happen to live in a home with cold, dry air, you can still grow a majesty palm by keeping a humidifier in that room. Unfortunately, it can be a bit pricey. For this reason, you can DIY it to salt away your money as well as keeping your plant robust.
First, get a wide, shallow tray. Fill it with gravel and water. Set your pot on top of the gravel. The fronds of your palm will get humid air since the moisture in the container evaporates.
Feed It Properly
Just like many other plants, Ravens rivularis can thrive better if you fertilize it properly. Simply fertilize it in spring and summer. Once winter comes with cooler and dimmer conditions, you do not need to feed it at all.
It is Time to Repot
Although stays inside the living room or patio all the time, your majesty palm can grow big, and the pot will not be able to hold it any longer. If that is the predicament, it will be necessary to repot it.
Repotting this plant is not supposed to be a big deal. You just need to increase the container size by 2 inches when you do it.
Kindly water the plant two days before repotting it so that it is ready for the process and the soil becomes loose.
Water it again on the day you repot it to keep the roots hydrated and soften the soil.
Bear in mind that you should repot the majesty palm in spring or early summer so that it will not harm the roots.
Prune to Promote Beauty and New Fronds
Pruning a majesty palm is just a piece of cake. You only need to cut off the fronds that have turned yellow or brown. By doing this, your plant will stay stunning. Furthermore, it allows for more fronds to grow.
Majesty Palm Outdoors
Majesty palm makes a great decorative indoor plant, but it does not mean you cannot grow it outdoors. Consider the following requirements before placing it in your yard.
Choose the Location
As stated above, majesty palm loves wet areas, but it does not like being immersed. You can grow it nearby the pond so that it can get sufficient water. Just make sure it is not overwhelmed.
Bear in mind that it cannot put up with direct light for a long time. Therefore, growing it near a stream or water feature under a stand of tall trees would be perfect because it enables your majesty palm to obtain partial sun for several hours per day.
Prepare It for a Different Condition
A majesty palm raised in a nursery usually stays in shaded areas so that it will be ready to live indoors. That is why, if you are going to raise it outdoors, you better to acclimate it to the sunlight.
You can do this by putting your majesty palm in the sun for a longer period every single day before planting it.
Also, you better add regular houseplant fertilizer in early spring and late summer. Doing it twice will be enough. If you overdo it, the fronds will turn yellow as the result of burned roots.
Majesty palm may require intensive care. But the tropical vibes and the dramatic look that it provides to your home have made it worth the time and effort. So, do you dare to try?