Majesty Palm: Plant Care and Grow Guide

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A member of the Aracaceae family, Majesty Palms can be a bit temperamental and difficult to cultivate as a houseplant.

The majesty palm is still a popular houseplant for its unique shape and size. 

It is more for home gardeners with experience who have the time and patience to dedicate to this palm. But as long as you keep an eye on environmental conditions and care, you’ll get a green thumb quickly and grow the majesty palm successfully. 

In this guide, I will teach you how to care for and grow majesty palms.

Majesty Palm Overview

The slow-growing Ravenea rivularis, commonly called “Majesty Palm” is one of approximately twenty Ravanea genus species. Often said to resemble a Kentia palm in its youth, and a Royal Palm in its maturity, its name “Majestic“ refers to the crown pattern formed by its arching leaves.

It is adaptable to any type of décor, and will add elegance and texture to the interior decorating of any home or office, even adding a tropical touch to the space. 

It is most often grown as an indoor palm and can reach a height of ten feet tall indoors. Its slow-growing nature will allow it a growth rate of no more than a foot in height per year.

Except in its natural habitat, this can be a difficult palm to successfully cultivate outdoors. Native to particular spots in Madagascar that are humid and swampy, as opposed to the generally dry climate of the country, it can grow to 90 feet when grown outdoors.

This is a plant that will definitely be noticed with its long, regal leaves feathering gracefully in a beautiful green tint that grows on numerous stems.

The fronds grow directly from the trunk of the palm, curling at the tip. The trunk boasts a grayish-brown hue.

Majesty palms need the correct balance of water, light, fertilizer, and humidity for successful growth. While it is a popular indoor palm, cultivars have yet to be developed.

Majesty Palm Care Tips and Guide

To successfully grow an indoor majesty palm, there needs to be a good balance of light, heat, and feeding. These plants will react to any one of these three factors if not balanced correctly.

With too little light, the plant will stretch out in search of it. With too much sunlight, they may scorch. Ideally, your majesty palm needs a location with bright light, lots of water, and occasional feedings.

The placement of your palm is important. An ideal location would be a bathroom with a nice large window. This way, your palm will have access to sufficient light and humidity. However, an office, living room, lobby, or any room with a large and bright space will do fine.

When cultivated indoors, it is a non-flowering houseplant. Outdoors, it will produce petite yellow flowers that are fragrant with red berries.

The majesty also needs magnesium to thrive. If it receives insufficient magnesium in its diet, its leaves will yellow. It can also use a dose of iron to beef up the immune system to prevent leaf loss.

So, a well-balanced feed with supplemental elements is essential to its well-being.

Soil for the Majesty Palm

The ideal soil bed for majesty palms will be a mixture of cactus soil mix with some peat added. The soil must be well-draining to prevent water-logged roots and root rot.

They love acidity and do well with a pH of 5.0, although they can tolerate a pH level in the 5.0 to 6.0 range. 

Light for the Majesty Palm

In their native habitat, the majesty palm will often grow under large trees and plants where they receive bright indirect light.

It’s best to try and replicate the bright and indirect sunlight when growing them indoors. If your palm is stretching, it is looking for light, and you should move it to a brighter location.

However, it should not receive direct sunlight as that can lead to the leaves scorching.

Six to eight hours of bright light per day is ideal.

Water and Humidity for the Majesty Palm

The soil should be moist throughout, but never soggy. Remember that the majesty palm hails from moist and swampy areas in its native Madagascar.

Its pot container should have sufficient drainage holes to prevent root rot. Also, don’t let your palm become too dry, or you will see the lower leaves begin to drop.

If the leaves produce brown tips, the plant probably does not have sufficient water. If there’s too much water, the leaves will start to yellow.

The majesty palm does like a humidity level that’s 50% or higher, but can still thrive in normal household humidity. If you live in a colder climate with heating, and the air starts to get dry, a humidifier will help.

Another solution is a pebble or gravel tray underneath your plant and with the palm’s container set above the waterline. Daily misting of your majesty palm is also a good idea.

Humidity is important for these trees because too little can encourage pest infestations.

Warm wet air is the perfect climate for them to thrive in.

Temperature for the Majesty Palm

The majesty palm prefers temperatures that range from 65° to 85° Fahrenheit. It should be protected from drafts coming from air conditioning or heating vents, or space heaters of any type.

Fertilizer for the Majesty Palm

During the majesty palm’s growing season, a couple of feedings will be more than adequate. Do not fertilize in the winter.

When fertilizing, it is wise to use a fertilizer for cacti or succulents. A monthly treat of Epsom salts will furnish the right amount of magnesium and help you avoid yellowing leaves.

Should your palm begin stretching, you’ll want to scale down or avoid fertilizing.

Pruning and Repotting the Majesty Palm

Prune the majesty palm when you start seeing leaves that don’t appear healthy. Simply remove them whenever they have turned brown or yellow.

This is a slow grower, so it may not need to be repotted annually. Check the roots to know when you should repot. If you notice a root peeking out from the soil, it’s time for a new pot.

Increase the container by two inches in size for each repotting. Be gentle when repotting, so you don’t damage the root ball.

A heavy clay pot is recommended because you will need a large pot that is heavy enough to prevent your majesty palm from tipping over. 

Propagating the Majesty Palm

The majesty palm trees are cultivated exclusively using seeds, but you can also purchase baby majesty palms. 

As commercialization of seeds is still very limited, it is unlikely that they can be found for purchase. Should your majesty palm’s flowers bloom, they’ll produce seeds to harvest.

When you harvest your palm’s seeds, plant them immediately in a container that is not excessively deep. Germination should be quite rapid.

Majesty Palm Toxicity and Pets

According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the majesty palm is non-toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. This plant is also non-toxic to humans.

As a houseplant friendly to pets and children, it will not cause you any worries if touched or chewed.

Majesty Palm Pests, Diseases, Problems, and More

All houseplants are subject to pest infestations and the majesty palm is no exception. These are at risk for aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale insects, and whiteflies.

If you think your palm has pests, it is important that you identify which pest is present and treat it with a preferably organic pesticide. Organic pest control is better than using potentially harmful chemicals indoors. 

It is important that this palm not be subject to low humidity, because that can cause a greater chance of pests, mealybugs and spider mites in particular. A good organic pesticide to consider is neem oil.

Spider mites will cause tiny white webs, while mealybugs will form very small cotton ball-like deposits on the stems underneath the fronds.

Good airflow will help avoid pest growth. Also, an occasional hosing down to remove insects and dust is recommended or wiping off the palm’s leaves on both sides with a damp cloth.

This houseplant does not enjoy being moved a lot, so if you see any issues soon after the plant was repotted, it could be a result of the move.

Majesty Palm Care Final Thoughts

If you find the right location for your majesty palm, and the light and humidity are sufficient, it can be a low-maintenance plant.

It’ll only require regular watering, an annual repotting, and an occasional feeding. The majesty palm will become a problem only if the humidity, light, and temperature are lacking in some way.

For its elegance and beauty, it is a must-have plant for interior decorating. Its attractive foliage will be a great accent for any corner of your home.

For other palm houseplant guides, here are some great to grow: 

Majesty Palm Care FAQs

Is a Majesty Palm a good indoor plant?

The Majesty Palm is a great indoor plant for its beautiful appearance and long, flowing leaves. They are elegant and will brighten up any indoor space. 

Can you put a Majesty Palm outside?

Yes, you can put a majesty palm outdoors as long as there’s shade. Don’t put them outside in hot and bright sunlight as that will scorch the plant, and it won’t survive.  

How often should I water my Majesty Palm?

Water the majesty palm when the soil is dry. If there is excess moisture, then let the soil dry out a little between waterings. The soil may not be well-draining, so you’ll want to check that water is draining correctly. 

How long will my Majesty Palm live?

In the correct conditions, a majesty palm can live as long as ten years.

How much sunlight should the Majesty Palm receive?

Six to eight hours daily of bright indirect sunlight is best. 

Why are the Majesty Palm leaves turning yellow?

On the majesty palm, when the leaves turn yellow, it is usually an indication of overwatering. Let the soil dry out before the next watering. Don’t let excess water remain in a tray underneath the plants. It may also be an indication of too little sunlight.

Why are the Majesty Palm leaves brown with crispy tips?

Majesty Palm leaves that are brown with crispy tips are common when growing them indoors. It is an indication that the soil is too dry. You may not be providing sufficient water to the palm, or the soil needs replenishing because it is drying out too quickly.

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Written by:

Amy Walsh
Amy Walsh is a passionate indoor gardener, deeply engrossed in the world of houseplants and herbs. Her apartment is a lush sanctuary of foliage, reflecting her journey from hobbyist to devoted botanist. She's constantly exploring the latest in smart garden technology, eager to share her insights on nurturing green spaces indoors. Alongside her botanical pursuits, Amy enjoys connecting with nature and friends, continually enriching her lifestyle with greenery and growth.

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