One of the most elegant palms you can grow indoors or outdoors, the Majesty Palm, also known botanically as Ravenea rivularis, is a fabulous plant with long fronds that will soften any space.
But it is a slow-growing plant, and if you’re not the most patient person, you may want to start off growing an older specimen to skip some of the waiting time, if you’re envisioning a huge palm in your living space.
Interested in growing your own Majesty Palm? Not sure if this plant will do well in your home? Here’s everything you need to know.
Majesty Palm Care Guide
It’s worth knowing that palms have a reputation for being tricky to care for indoors, and the Majesty Palm is no exception.
You need to have a careful balancing act between the different care elements of sunlight, temperature, soil, and fertilizer.
It largely grows better outside rather than inside as the roots need plenty of room, and while it will grow about a foot a year to start with, as it matures the growth rate slows down dramatically.
Outdoors, this plant can reach between 10 and 100 feet tall, but indoors this is likely to be between 4 and 6 feet tall on average.
Sunlight And Position For Ravenea Rivularis
One of the most important aspects of care for Ravenea rivularis is getting the light right. This plant needs bright light to thrive, so put your plant within a few feet of a large window.
You must think about exactly how much sunlight your window gets, as this can mean the difference between your plant thriving, and declining quickly.
For example, a Northern-facing windowsill will provide enough light, provided that you have your plant within a foot or two of the window.
An Eastern-facing one would be better, as this allows your plant to get morning sunlight, which gives the plant plenty of energy, without the risk of burning the plant.
Southern-facing windows may do for this plant, provided that you have a sheer curtain or blinds to help diffuse the fiercest of the sunlight, otherwise the plant may scorch.
If your plant starts to stretch, or some of the fronds bleach, this means that the plant needs more light.
As for temperature, this plant does well in a stable room between 65°F and 85°F, away from sources of heat and drafts.
Ideal Compost For Ravenea Rivularis
Ravenea rivularis needs an acidic houseplant compost mix, preferably with some added perlite to help aerate the soil and improve drainage.
If you like, you can also add a layer of fine horticultural gravel to the top of the soil to lock in moisture and prevent pests.
When To Water A Majesty Palm
It’s a good idea to keep your Majesty Palm evenly damp at all times, but do not keep it wet.
There is a delicate balance when it comes to watering a Majesty Palm, as it shouldn’t dry out completely as this will damage the lower fronds, but you shouldn’t keep the soil so wet that it gets root rot.
Make a habit of checking your plant’s soil every few days to a week to decide if your plant needs water or not.
Depending on the size of the pot, you should let the first inch or two of soil dry out in between watering.
Should You Give A Majesty Palm Higher Humidity?
Most palms enjoy higher humidity and need at least some level of humidity in order to thrive, and this plant is no exception.
Using a humidifier will help especially during winter if you live somewhere that gets colder winters, and you have to run the heating, as this dries out the air.
If you don’t want to use a humidifier, you can place a tray with no holes beneath the pot, fill it with pebbles, and then pour water into it, making sure that the water line sits below the pebbles by a touch.
As the water evaporates, this raises the humidity.
One thing you should avoid is misting your plant to increase humidity. This only boosts humidity for a moment or two, and it does nothing for the surrounding area.
The added moisture can also be dangerous: causing fungal problems and even sun scorching if water droplets are left on the fronds when the sun shines directly on the plant.
When To Feed A Majesty Palm
Majesty Palms are not demanding when it comes to extra nutrients.
It is worth feeding the plant once or twice during spring and summer, to give it an extra boost of nutrients, which will especially help if the plant has exhausted all the goodness in the soil.
Use a good-quality fertilizer, preferably one for palms or even cacti. Don’t be tempted to fertilize more than once or twice in the growing season, as this can make the plant go leggy.
Can You Propagate A Majesty Palm?
The only way to propagate a Majesty Palm is to divide an existing plant. Seed propagation is too difficult, as you would struggle to get hold of the seeds and then get them to germinate.
Should You Cut Back A Majesty Palm?
The only reason you’ll need to cut bits off your Majesty Palm is if some of the fronds have turned yellow or brown.
Then you can simply remove them from the plant, keeping the rest healthy.
Problems To Watch Out For
If your plant is turning yellow, this is a sign something isn’t right. This is usually caused by watering problems, too little light, a lack of nutrients, or the humidity being too low.
You may also want to look out for spider mites and mealybugs, which will move in on the plant when the humidity is too low.
A Note On Toxicity
This plant is classified as non-toxic to pets and humans.
The Majesty Palm is somewhat finicky, but it is a gorgeous plant that will add an architectural feel to any home. Just make sure that the humidity isn’t too low, and you don’t let the plant dry out completely.