Known also as the crested or tufted fishtail palm, this palm is distinguished from all others by its fronds. They are made up of roughly triangular segments, each of which is ragged at the edge, like a fish’s tail.
With age, the fronds arch over and develop their distinctive double division. Indoors, Caryota mitis is unlikely to grow more than 3ft/90cm-long.
FACT FILE Fishtail Palm
ORIGIN Burma; Malaysia; Java; Philippines.
HEIGHT To 6ft/1.8m indoors.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING Every other year, when the plant is starting into growth, move it into a pot one size larger until the maximum desired size is reached; the plant prefers to be slightly pot-bound.
PROPAGATION By sowing seed, in heat, during spring or summer; or by potting up offset divisions.
KEEPING PLANTS Move the palm outdoors in summer. It cannot be pruned and so should be discarded once it has outgrown its allotted space.
Plant Care Fishtail Palm
- Bright indirect sunlight.
- Ideally, warm room temperature between 65°F/18°C at night and 85°F/29°C during the day.
- Water thoroughly, but allow the surface of the soil to dry out before rewatering.
- Increase humidity around the plant by standing the pot on a tray of moist pebbles.
- Apply a weak liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks while growth is active.