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Howea forsteriana is often confused with:
Howea belmoreana
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Epidendrum ibaguense Form in bloom
Neoregelia Leaves, flowers
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Howea forsteriana has some common insect problems:
Mealybugs Found on Flowers and Foliage
Howea forsteriana has some common disease problems:
Sooty Molds

Thatch Palm Howea forsteriana

Other plants called Thatch Palm:

Previously known as:

  • Grisebachia forsteriana
  • Kentia forsteriana
Phonetic Spelling
HOW-ee-ah for-stair-ee-AH-na
Description

Named after William Forster, a Senator from New South Wales, Forster Sentry Palm is a popular houseplant in temperate climates, this slow-growing palm requires little light, however can adapt to sunny locations when planted outdoors. Some sunlight is necessary for the plant to produce its flowers. 

As long as direct sunlight is avoided, it can withstand outdoor temperatures up to100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Although somewhat tolerant to heat, humidity and rainfall, this plant has a better chance of success in areas where the extremes are not reached.  It is also moderately tolerant of salt spray and drought.  

These palms are well suited to containers and have a track record for surviving low light, dust, central heating, rough handling, drought, and general neglect. The Kentia Palm may be planted near a sidewalk, house or fence. Due to their large size, they make a good focal point in an interior or exterior landscape. Although sometimes sold in groups within one large pot, this is not a "suckering" palm.

This slow growing plant grows more quickly when planted individually rather than part of a grouping. 

Its single trunk is prominently ringed with scars of its shed fronds.  Mature trees will have a trunk that is slightly swollen at its base.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The most serious issue for this palm is Potassium deficiency.  Necrosis (yellowing or wilting) can appear of the leaf tips on older leaves.  Younger leaves can suffer from manganese deficiency, which will appear as leaflet tip necrosis on the basal leaflets.  Boron deficiency can cause stunted or distorted new leaves.  

Fungal leaf spot, as well as spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects are common issues.

When planting in a container, choose one that has sufficient room for this plant to continue to grow.  Palms do not like to be repotted.  If transplanting to a larger container is found to be necessary, caution should be used in order to protect its roots.

Watering should be moderate, overwatering as well as extended dryness can damage this plant.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#arching#evergreen#small tree#full sun tolerant#houseplant#specimen#interiorscape#fronds#showy fruits#indoor#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant#showy
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#arching#evergreen#small tree#full sun tolerant#houseplant#specimen#interiorscape#fronds#showy fruits#indoor#humidity tolerant#partial shade tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#container plant#showy
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Howea
    Species:
    forsteriana
    Family:
    Arecaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Container or indoor plant.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Howe Island, near Australia and New Zealand
    Distribution:
    Coastal and low elevations
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Easy to Grow
    Textural
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The oval-shaped fruits will appear when the tree has reached approximately 15 years old. When ripened, they will be a reddish-brown and pointed at each end.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Inflorescence is about 3.5 feet long with flowers on 3-7 spikes, fused at their bases. Both male and female flowers are present in the same inflorescence. They will appear below the leaves.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves (fronds) are feather-shaped, arching, up to 10-12 feet long, with drooping leaflets. Each leaf can have up to 90 leaflets that bend in a downward fashion. Leaflets are dark green on the upper side and a lighter green on the underside and 2 1/2' long and 2" wide.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Bark Description:
    Its bark is dark green on young plants, that turns brown as the tree ages.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Pool/Hardscape
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heat
    Humidity