Indoor Palm Plant Identification – Tips To Identify This Plant

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Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Griselda M.

Indoor palm plant identification is an excellent skill to master if you are an aspiring plant mom or dad, or just an indoor plant fanatic. Palms are some of the best house plants to grow. Their ease of maintenance and beauty are enough to make you want to have them in your home. They can transform any indoor space, giving it a tropical paradise feel.

There are different types of palm plants available for you to have your pick. Let’s go on this journey of learning about types of palms and indoor palm plant identification, shall we?

What kind of houseplant looks like a palm tree?

8 Most Popular Indoor Palm plants

1. The majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis)

 The majesty palm is a truly majestic-looking plant. With its arching fronds and vibrant green color, it is sure to bring a royal feel to any indoor space it is placed in. This variety of palm can take over your room because it can grow up to 98 ft. in height. This will however happen over a long period of time because this plant is slow growing.

2. Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

The parlor palm is another slow-growing palm variety. It has beautiful crescent-shaped, light leaves and gets quite bushy. It can grow up to 6 ft. tall in indoor spaces. This plant has a single green stem with white rings around it. This feature adds to its decorative appeal.   

3. Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)

The fronds of the areca palm are arched and feathery, resembling a butterfly. That is why this palm is also known as the butterfly palm. It also has long thin stems and foliage that make it resemble a bamboo plant. 

4. Chinese Fan Palm (Livistona chinensis

The Chinese fan palm has dark green fronds that are shaped like a star. It is a fast-growing palm variety and grows up to 10 ft. in indoor spaces.

5. Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

The small size of the cat palm makes it a suitable indoor plant. It does best in bright and sunny locations. The leaves of the cat palm are green, long, slender, bushy, and grow on multiple stems. This decorous plant can grow up to 3.3 ft. tall.

6. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)

As the name suggests, the foliage of the bamboo palm resembles that of growing bamboo. The stems of this palm are long and slender. And have leaves that grow in clumps, creating a beautiful green plant. The bamboo palm only grows up to 2-3 ft., which makes it an ideal plant for small indoor spaces.

 7. Kentia Palm (Howea forsteriana)

The dense, feathery fronds of this palm give it a quintessential palm tree look that we all love! Put it in any room and will bring about a tropical, relaxing feel. The Kentia palm can grow up to 7-10 ft. tall in indoor settings.

8. Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvate)

The ponytail palm plant has a thick trunk from which arching leaves emerge. This small-sized indoor palm plant only grows up to 4 ft. indoors.

What to Look for in Indoor Palm Plant Identification

As you will have seen from the information provided above, certain species or varieties of palm plants can be quite difficult to tell apart while others are completely unique. To tell the ones that look similar apart, you will need to look at key distinguishing features that these plants have.

The first and probably the most important feature to look at is the leaves. The shapes of palm plants can be quite distinct and can definitely help to identify the different palm varieties. The three different shapes of palm leaf are palmate, pinnate, and costapalmate.

The second thing to know in indoor palm plant identification is to differentiate between the different fronds. Fronds are the leaf-like part of the palm. These vary between palm varieties and are an important feature in identifying palms.

The trunk of a palm plant is another key feature in differentiating different palms. Take note of their different appearances and you’re well on your way to knowing how to identify palms.

Another, maybe not so obvious feature is the size in height of the palm plant. I say this may not be so obvious because palms grow at different rates and you may not be able to tell their age just by looking at a tree. However, learning these size differences from the palm descriptions above or other guides can be a great tool for identifying these beautiful plants.

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Can you have indoor palm trees

Read more about Cat Palm vs Majesty Palm – Interesting Things


There you have it. A complete guide on indoor palm plant identification. We hope this article helps you get started on identifying and growing those palms. 

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How do I identify my indoor palm tree?

Indoor palms are usually distinguished by key features such as the shape of their leaves, fronds and appearance of their trunks.

What kind of houseplant looks like a palm tree?

Houseplants that look like palm trees are smaller palms such as the Areca Palm, Chinese Fan Palm, European Fan Palm and Pygmy Date Palm.

Can you have indoor palm trees?

Palm trees are often considered a symbol of luxury. We think of them as a lush tropical oasis in our homes. The truth is, though, there are many different types of palms that can grow indoors. The trick is finding a type that will thrive in your climate. Once you’ve identified the kind of palm you want, you can start shopping around for a palm plant to grow indoors. They come in a variety of sizes and price ranges.

What are the top 10 best house plants?

These are the top 10 best house plants out there:

1. Majesty palm -- A favorite in our house.

2. Spider plant -- Our favorite in the office.

3. Peace lily -- For people who don't like houseplants because they get too big.

4. Fiddle leaf fig- A good choice for living room.

5. Aloe Vera -- A low maintenance option.

6. Boston fern -- A good choice for those who don't like houseplants because they look messy.

7. Anthurium -- A beautiful, easy to care for plant

8. Rubber plant -- Another stunning, low maintenance plant

9. Hoyas -- Exquisite blooms!

10. Bamboo palm -- A favorite at work.

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