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House Plants/exotic palms indoors and out


Im thinking of getting some verschaffeltia splendida, bentinckia nicobarica, calyptrocalyx forbesii,dypsis cabadae, and pritchadia affinis and forbesiana to grow for the kind of grow indoors then summer outside. Ive already gone thru majesty palm crap and i want some really exotic species. But if we have a drought, i wondered if any of these have any of these would survive from may-september outside. I mean i am a person that overwaters plants. but what about lack of humidity, can any of them tolerate that?


If you are saying you want potted palms that you can put outdoors in the summer in Minnesota and let Mother Nature do all the watering you will not find any potted plants, palms or other wise that will survive without you watering unless you want to go to cacti.

Your first one you inquired about, verschaffeltia splendida, requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings. It will also get way too tall to keep in a pot eventually so unless you plan to move it to a tropical region it will not work. It is a rain forest tree that needs high humidity.

Your 2nd, bentinckia nicobarica, is also a rain forest tree that needs high humidity, does not like to dry out and gets over 40 feet tall so would not do well in a pot for very long.

Your 3rd, calyptrocalyx forbesii, Native to the New Guinea Rainforest, Papua New Guinea is more cold tolerant than the others but also likes high humidity and even moisture. It is described as a Stone Age Kentia Palm. They prefer a quickly draining, humus-rich soil and shade or filtered light when young, though some will adapt to full sun as they mature. They also require protection from cold, dry winds which easily damage or kill them. It prefers a warm, sheltered and moist position.

Your 4th, dypsis cabadae gets 20 to 30 feet tall and is fast growing so it is not an ideal potted plant. Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater. Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings.

Your 5th, pritchadia affinis, this is native to Hawaii, gets 20 feet tall, Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater. It is difficult to find and will not survive without watering outdoors.

Your last choice, pritchadia forbesiana, also native to Hawaii, same as above.

A much better palm that will survive neglect and low humidity is the Chamaedorea seifrizii or Bamboo palm. It is Native to: Mexico: Yucatan. Growth habit: A columnar plant usually no more than 24" wider than it's container. The pictured plant is about 4 foot tall and 36 inches round. Large specimen plants can reach 8 to 9 foot in height. Flowers: Yes, but unsightly.
Temps: Normal indoor temps. Humidity: Not critical. Pests: Watch for spider mites Light: Shade to part sun.

Other interesting palms to consider are not really palms but cycads. Google cycads and see what you think. If you have more questions write again. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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