How to Grow and Care for Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) Indoors


Sentry Palm, Howea belmoreana

Botanical name: Howea belmoreana
Synonym: Kentia belmoreana
Family: Arecaceae
Common names: Sentry Palm, Curly Palm

Description

Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) also called Curly Palm is a slow growing Indoor Palm with soft, drooping leaflets which is ideal for adding an exotic feel in any space.

Howea belmoreana belongs to a group of palms (called feather palms) which produce fronds which are divided on either side of the midrib into leaflets.

Curly Palm has a thin, slender trunk with feather-shaped drooping fronds which produce wide leaflets. The trunk is dark-green when young and turns brown as it ages.

Size

Sentry Palm can grow to a height of 6 ft. The canopy of a mature Sentry Palm can spread 5-10 ft in diameter.

Curly Palm's fronds are more drooping and is generally smaller than its close relative Howea forsteriana (Kentia Palm) which grows to a height of 8 ft.

Origin

Howea belmoreana is endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia. The palm grows to a height of 3-4 ft under good indoor growing conditions.

Where to Buy

Buy beautiful healthy Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) from Etsy.

Sentry Palm, Howea belmoreana

Photo Credit: Crocus

Howea belmoreana Care Indoors

Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) thrives in bright, indirect light and consistently moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Curly Palm requires an average room temperature and a humid environment. Repotting is only necessary when it becomes pot-bound. Regular pruning is needed to keep it neat and tidy. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Sentry Palm grows best in bright, indirect light but it can tolerate some shade. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.

Do not expose the Curly Palm to too hot direct sunlight as it can cause the fronds to develop a yellowish color instead of the attractive green color.

Watering

Water Sentry Palm thoroughly and keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Curly Palm like all palms, is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water. Therefore, water the palm with chlorine-free water only.

Avoid getting the base of the palm wet as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the palm. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Do not allow the palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.


Temperature

Howea belmoreana thrives in average warmth with a minimum of 100C. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is ideal for this palm. Keep it away from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop.

Humidity

Sentry Palm requires a humid environment inorder to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray in order to keep the fronds looking green and healthy.

Occasionally clean the mature leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Sentry Palm with a liquid fertilizer, rich in micronutrients on monthly basis during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as the growth is minimal at this time.

Take care not to overfeed Curly Palm as it can lead to yellowing. To prevent fertilizer build up which is indicated by leaf burn and brown spots, water thoroughly until water comes out through the drainage hole.

Repotting

Repot Sentry Palm only when it is extremely root-bound and take care not to damage the roots. Avoid repotting the palm too frequently as is sensitive to root disturbance.

Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.

Soil

The best soil for Howea belmoreana should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients. Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for Sentry Palm.

Pruning

Pruning Sentry Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Cut away any flower stalk immediately to prevent the palm from wasting energy on developing the flowers.

Propagation

Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) can be propagated from seeds but this is difficult and the palm rarely produces seeds when grown indoors. It is advisable to buy a new plant from the breeders.

Sentry Palm, Howea belmoreana

Photo Credit: Planting Man

Howea belmoreana Problems Indoors

Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) problems indoors include brown leaf tips, browning leaves, yellow leaves, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips

Sentry Palm brown leaf tips are due to four reasons. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors.

One reason for Curly Palm brown leaf tips is dry air. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.

The second reason for Sentry Palm brown leaf tips is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

The third reason for Curly Palm brown leaf tips is cold draughts. Protect it from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

The fourth reason for Sentry Palm brown leaf tips is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.

Brown leaf spots

Sentry Palm brown leaf spots are due to two possible causes. Remove the affected leaves and discard. One cause of brown leaf spots is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season but not soggy.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of Sentry Palm brown leaf spots is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts. Protect the palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 100C.

Browning leaves

Sentry Palm browning leaves are due to two reasons. The lower leaves may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the leaves is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil. Read more on how to deal with root-rot here.

Yellowing leaves

Sentry Palm yellowing leaves are due to underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Drooping leaves and stems

Sentry Palm drooping leaves and stems are due to underwatering. Keep the soil slightly moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Pests

Sentry Palm pests; Red Spider Mite, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants.

Is Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) toxic?

Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow indoors.

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