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Botanical name: Howea belmoreana
Synonym: Kentia belmoreana
Common names: Sentry Palm, Curly Palm
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.
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.
Howea belmoreana is endemic to Lord Howe Island, Australia. The palm grows to a height of 3-4 ft under good indoor growing conditions.
Sentry Palm is readily available online at Etsy. Buy Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) online from Etsy.
Photo Credit: Crocus
Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) thrives in bright, indirect light, average warmth and humidity and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.
Howea belmoreana requires pruning to to keep it neat and tidy as well as minimize pests and diseases. Repotting is only necessary when it becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Sentry Palm grows best in bright, indirect light but it can tolerate some shade though it will grow much slower.
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.
Rotate the pot regularly to make sure that the palm receives light on all sides for uniform growth.
Howea belmoreana can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not enough.
Water Sentry Palm thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist at all times.
Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
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.
Do not allow the palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.
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.
Sentry Palm requires a humid environment to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray in order to keep the fronds looking green and healthy. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Occasionally clean the mature leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and also discourage pests and diseases.
Feed Sentry Palm with a liquid fertilizer, rich in micronutrients on monthly basis during the growing period for a lush growth. 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.
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.
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. All-purpose potting mixes available at Etsy are ideal for Sentry Palm.
Pruning Sentry Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the plant neat and tidy as well as reduce pest and disease infestations. Cut away any flower stalk immediately to prevent the palm from wasting energy on developing the flowers.
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.
Photo Credit: Planting Man
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 in Sentry Palm are due to four possible reasons. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors to minimize spread of diseases.
One possible reason for brown leaf tips in Curly Palm is dry air. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
The second possible reason for brown leaf tips in Sentry Palm is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season.
Decrease watering during the cold season and keep the soil slightly moist but do not let the soil dry out completely.
The third possible reason for brown leaf tips in Curly Palm is cold draughts. Keep the palm away from draughts like windy doors and windows to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.
The fourth possible reason for Sentry Palm brown leaf tips is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.
Brown leaf spots in Sentry Palm are due to two possible causes. Remove the affected leaves and discard to reduce spread to the rest of the palm.
One possible cause of brown leaf spots in Sentry Palm is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season but not soggy.
Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
The second possible cause of brown leaf spots in Sentry Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.
Keep the palm away from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 100C.
Sentry Palm browning leaves are due to two reasons. The lower leaves may turn brown and droop due to age; remove them 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 disease in houseplants.
Sentry Palm yellowing leaves are due to underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season and slightly moist in the cold period. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Sentry Palm drooping leaves and stems are due to underwatering. Water the palm liberally during the growing season to keep the soil moderately moist.
Cut down on watering in the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist and never allow the soil to dry out completely.
The common pests in Sentry Palm are Spider Mites, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it with appropriate products like Neem oil or Insecticidal soap.
Sentry Palm (Howea belmoreana) is non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is safe to grow indoors.