Today, in Gardenprue, we tell you the peculiarities of the Kentia or Palm of Paradise. Its scientific name is Howea Forsteriana and we owe it to an Australian island (Lord Howe) and a senator from the same country, defender of women’s rights (William Foster).
Let’s discover its characteristics and how to take care of it. Best of all, if you have an empty corner at home, you can put it there!
ORIGIN OF KENTIA ( HOWEA FORSTERIANA )
As we have already said, endemic from an Australian island highly appreciated for its elegant and slender bearing. Flexible green leaves, tapered and spiky in appearance. Those that develop in their natural environment, outdoors, can measure up to 18 m, a size that obviously we are not going to achieve in our home (thank goodness.).
In addition, Kentia is very slow growing , so it takes a long time to reach that size. To get a slight idea, a 1.5 m tall specimen takes around 10-12 years to develop. So buying one of that size to have at home already grown up can be a significant outlay.
It can be around € 60-70 a copy. If we buy them smaller, although cheaper, given their size, they are very decorative.
KENTIA PALM TREE CARE
Irrigation: It is not a very demanding plant in irrigation but we cannot neglect it. In winter every 10-12 days and in summer approximately every week. Also, if the summer is southern or very hot summer, the leaves can be sprayed with water to cool it.
Substrate: Demanding. Requires specific substrates. Above all it must be rich in organic matter. A mixture of equal parts of peat and mulch will give you a rich substrate. However, the best mix is 1/3 mulch, 1/3 garden soil, and 1/3 peat. This mixture is more draining and possibly more suitable.
It does not mean that the other is wrong. Since the development is slow, we can stimulate it with liquid fertilizer every fortnight from April to September to favor the development of the leaves. And to curl the curl, we will transplant the plant every 2 or 3 years at the beginning of spring, renewing the substrate.
Light: It is quite tolerant. Accepts a very wide range of brightness. In a shady area it will develop correctly but not optimally. If we want it to gain strength and leafiness, the best thing will be a high exposure.
Temperature: Obviously high. From 18 to 28ºC is its optimum. Its weak point is the cold. We must not lower than 10 ° C, especially and most importantly, n or expose the Kentia to drafts.
POSSIBLE PROBLEMS OF THE KENTIA
- It can be sensitive to spider mites, aphids and mealybugs but is not very common indoors.
- Dark, dry leaves: We may have a dry atmosphere. It needs moisture.
- The tips begin to yellow: Dry atmosphere and the previously mentioned air currents .
- The base leaves turn yellow: This is normal. They need to be pruned. Here you can see ours.
REPRODUCTION OF THE KENTIA
The multiplication is carried out by seeds and as we have mentioned before that growth is very slow, germination could not be less, of course. 3 months to germinate! But it will be worth it.
Finally, a little tip that will improve the appearance significantly. I particularly do it and the difference is enormous. Applying a little warm beer to the leaves gives them a spectacular shine. I also do it with ficus and it shows.
If you have tricks like this that improve this or any other aspect of the plant, do not hesitate to share it with the community. Greetings to all.