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Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm)

The classic Parlour Palm – ubiquitous in Victorian drawing rooms, tea rooms and concert halls along with Aspidistras, old lace and velvet. It’s actually a large palm native to Lord Howe Island in the South Pacific. God knows how it ended up in Victorian drawing rooms but it did – presumably because it was found to be tolerant of low light, neglect, polluted air and cigarette butts.

Its elegance and tolerance have made it a favourite as an indoor plant. Also because it’s fairly upright so doesn’t get too much in the way.

You could give it a spell out doors in the shade (not in the sun – it will bleach the leaves) but indoors, water and feed from time to time and dust the leaves.

These are grown from seed. The tradition is to put several plants in the same pot which give the impression that this is a multistemmed plant – which it isn’t.

Hardiness traffic light green

Hardiness level Red

Find out more

Hardy in Atlantic Seaboard gardens, The Channel Islands, gardens in Central London (and other large cities) and conservatories.

This is only meant as a guide; there are some plants with red labels that would only survive in extremely favoured spots such as The Isles of Scilly or coastal south-west Ireland.

We're always on hand to give advice about plants and their frost hardiness.

Please remember that these coloured labels are only a rough guide.

General Point about Plant Hardiness: The commonly held belief that it's better to 'plant small' is perfectly true with herbaceous plants, but not necessarily true with woody plants. They need some 'wood' on them to survive severe cold - so plants of marginal hardiness in very cold areas should really be planted LARGER, rather than smaller, wherever possible.