House plant that looks like a palm tree

Bamboo Palms in the Reagan Oval Office.

The palm is an interior design classic, versatile and widely utilized to adorn spaces ranging from plush stately parlors to slick corporate office lobbies. This botanical family of plants are known for their fronds, trunks and stems. There are many plants that resemble palms—some of them even have the term “palm” in their name, but they may not be palms at all. We’ve put a list together to help you identify which plants are palms, which are not and how you can tell the difference.

INDEED, a Palm!

  • INDEED, A Palm! Adonidia Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Areca Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Majesty Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Kentia Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Bamboo Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Rhapis Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! Pygmy Date Palm
  • INDEED, A Palm! European Fan Palm
  • Adonidia Palm: This is the quintessential palm for tropical themed décor. The showy palm has smooth trunk and the foliage is glossy and arched with a feather-like appearance. These palms give off a classic Florida vibe commonly grown in groups of two or three. These palms require high light.
  • Areca Palm: The classic shape of the Areca makes it one of the most popular palms sold in garden centers. Its feathery, arching fronds are often confused with the more durable and more expensive Kentia Palm. The Areca Palm can do well indoors but is not a favorite among interior plantscape maintenance professionals. It is prone to leaf spots and mites.
  • Majesty Palm: This plant the most common palms sold in the USA. It has a classic palm shape and when presented as a houseplant, it is often confused with the more expensive Kentia Palm. The Majesty Palm is a high light and typically low cost plant, making it a sensible choice for outdoor summer patios or decorating for a special event. However, the Majesty Palm is not recommended as an indoor houseplant. These palms are often not acclimated for indoor use. When placed indoors, the palms weaken and are susceptible to pests.
  • Kentia Palm: The most elegant and graceful of all palms used in interior design. This classic palm is culturally iconic thanks to its appearance on Hollywood sets. It is used to decorate some of the most elegant hospitality interiors around the world. Native to Lord Howe Island, most of the Kentias in the United States are grown in Hawaii. The Kentia is shade-grown and slow growing, making it hardy for interiors but also more expensive. Large Kentia palms are adored for their longevity and may only be procured from a professional interior landscape provider.
  • Bamboo Palm: Also known as a Chamaedorea plam, the bamboo palm is in fact a palm and is often confused with bamboo because of its common name, Bamboo. The slim trunks are grown in clusters similar to bamboo. Each frond on this plant has between 10-14 feathery leaflets, which can resemble bamboo shoots. The palms have famously adorned the Oval Office at the White House in Washington DC. A tried and true office plant among interior landscape professionals, the Bamboo Palm is more resilient than the Areca Palm and less expensive than the Kentia Palm

  • Rhapis Palm: Commonly referred to as the lady palm, this multi-stemmed plant has glossy leaves. Its leaf ends are jagged and its stems are covered in a dark brown fiber that appears woven. Hawaiian-grown Rhapis palms are elegant and columnar in form. This palm is a favorite in hotel lobbies and is popular with interior landscape designers because of its hardiness and beauty.
  • Pygmy Date Palm: While this palm is related to the famous fruit-producing Date Palms of the Middle East, the Pygmy Date Palm – also known as the Phoenix Roebelenii – is grown for its ornamental foliage. Native to southeast Asia, the Pygmy Date Palm grows 4 to 12 feet tall and can be identified by its thick trunk, and crown of wispy palm frond leaves. Don’t expect date fruit from this palm, though. Indoor environments rarely have enough light to support reproduction. When it does fruit, it shows seeds with only a thin casing of fruit.
  • European Fan Palm: This elegant palm has long, fan-like leaves that come in shades of green, blue, silver and yellow. The trunks on the European Fan Palm have a scale-like texture and can grow up to 15 feet in height.

NOT a Palm!

  • NOT a Palm! Sago Palm
  • NOT a Palm! Ponytail Palm
  • NOT a Palm! Banana Palm
  • NOT a Palm! Bird of Paradise
  • NOT a Palm! Yucca Plant
  • NOT a Palm! Arborea Tree
  • Sago Palm: Commonly mistaken as a mini palm tree, it’s actually not a palm at all! The Sago Palm is a member of the cycad family, where feather-like leaves grow directly from their thick trunks.
  • Ponytail Palm: Just like its name, the Ponytail Palm has long, curly leaves that grow from the top of the trunk, resembling a ponytail. These have bulbs at the base of the trunk that are used to store water, which is also why this plant is called the Elephant’s Foot Palm. This plant is not a palm or a tree, but a part of the Agave family.
  • Banana Palm: Easily recognized by their large, ribbed leaves, the Banana Palm produces the fruit of their name — bananas! While this plant visually looks like a palm, it’s a member of the Musa family. It’s a fast-growing plant and has a bundled collection of leave stalks at its base, rather than a trunk.
  • Bird of Paradise: A favorite plant for residential and commercial interiors, the Bird of Paradise can be identified by its banana-shaped leaf. It is often mistaken for a Banana Palm. The white Bird of Paradise is commonly utilized as an office plant in lobbies or building entrances.
  • Yucca Plant: Another plant of the Agave family, the Yucca Plant grows on canes or large, woody stems. Large Yuccas have clear trunks and thick blade-lake leaves, which is why they are often confused with palms.
  • Dracena Arborea: These unique plants are a part of the Draceana family and are used in trendy home or office settings to achieve a unique Biophilic design. This plant can be identified by its spiky leaves which form at the top of the trunk. There are a few different varieties of the Dracena Arborea. Some grow in tree form while others grow in bush form.

Speak with a Planterra expert today.

50 Small Businesses to Start in a Shipping Container – Seriously!

Due to high construction costs and new innovations in architecture, more and more companies are turning to non-traditional facilities to house their business operations. Shipping containers in particular can be very utilitarian and cost effective.

Shipping Container Business Ideas

Here are some ideas for businesses that can work well in this type of space.

Clothing Retailer

Shipping containers can provide the space you need to run any kind of small retail business, like a clothing boutique. If you need more space, you can even stack them, like AETHER in San Francisco as seen above.

Gift Shop

Another type of small retail business, a gift shop can also be a perfect idea for a shipping container business, since the format could serve as an interesting attention getter for tourists.

Antique Sales

You could also open up a small antique store or refinishing space where you sell anything from furniture to collectibles.

Pop-up Shop

Perhaps you want to simply allow other businesses to use your space for special sales, holidays, or events. You could open up a pop-up location in a shipping container.

Shopping Mall

You might even consider setting up multiple shipping containers in a single area and working with multiple shops and other businesses to rent out the space.

Workshop Space

If you have a creative skill or thing to teach a small group of people, use a shipping container to serve as your workshop space.

Art Gallery

You could even use it as a gallery space to display your own artwork or those from others in the community. Photoville is an event in Brooklyn that has made use of shipping containers for this purpose.

Book Shop

Bookshops are popular with tourists and event participants. And since books don’t take up too much space, this is another retail concept that can work in a shipping container.

Ecommerce Business

You can also simply use your shipping container as an office and storage facility to run an online shop.


Use your shipping container as a small space to create flower arrangements, and set up somewhere where you can grow flowers or other plants right outside.

Farmers Market

Farmers markets are often held outdoors. But you could set up a series of shipping containers to provide a bit of extra shade and protection from the elements.

Equipment Rentals

You could also use it as a space to store and arrange the rental of equipment, ranging from tools for nearby homeowners to surf gear if you’re set up near a coast.


Smoky Park Supper Club in North Carolina has actually built around its initial shipping container model and become a destination in the area.

Meal Prep Service

Another type of food business, you could use the small space you have to create prepared meals that you can sell directly to consumers.

Event Venue

You might also use the space as an area that customers can rent out for small dinners or parties.


Or you could set up a small shop full of baked goods that people can purchase or enjoy at some small tables.

Coffee Shop

The space could also be used as a coffee shop or cafe where you serve a variety of beverage options.

Tasting Room

For a more events focused business, you could use the space as a tasting room and bring in different local beer, wine, or other drink options.


With a bar, a shipping container concept gives you the opportunity to build a small and intimate setting indoors and a more open outdoor area as well. The Gulf in Alabama is one example of this.


You could even distill your own drinks in the space to create a more unique feel and menu.

Visitor’s Center

If you want to create a business that attracts tourists in your area, you could set up a shipping container as a small space that people can visit to find information.

Tour Guide Company

Or you could use it as the home base for a tour guide company, where your guides and visitors can leave from to view different parts of the area.


For a more outdoorsy vibe, you could use it as the office of a campground.


Or you could set up multiple containers that people can actually stay in when they travel.

Tiny Home Community

Similarly, you could make each container into an actual home space and then rent them out to long-term tenants.

Hair Salon

Simple, one-on-one service businesses can also work in shipping containers. You could use the space to set up a small hair salon.

Nail Salon

Or you could choose a similar focus, like offering manicures and pedicures.


You could even offer a more well rounded group of services by opening up a spa in a shipping container, similar to what SOAK did in San Francisco.

Massage Therapy Service

Massage therapy is another type of service that can work well in a small space like a shipping container.

Soap Maker

A storage container can also serve as a place where you can make small products to sell, like bath and body products.

Candle Maker

Similarly, you can use it to make candles or other small home goods.

Ceramics Shop

Or you could set up a shop where you make ceramic dishes and other products out of clay.


It could also serve as a small wood shop where you make or refinish wood products.

Metal Sculpting

Similarly, you could use the space to make metal products or work with custom metalwork.

Etsy Seller

You can also set up an ecommerce shop on a platform like Etsy where you can sell your handmade items.

Alterations Service

If you’re able to sew and measure effectively, you can start an alterations business where people bring or send in their clothing.

Dog Grooming Service

A shipping container is also about the right size for you to set up some small dog grooming equipment.


An architect could also use a shipping container as an office space, which could also serve as a way to show off a unique architectural style.

Bicycle Repair Shop

Bicycle repair is also a service that only takes up a bit of room.

Firewood Sales

A shipping container can also work for storing or processing products you might not want to bring indoors, like firewood.

Recycling Service

Or you could start a recycling service and use a shipping container as a space to organize everything.

Computer Repair Service

Computer repair can be done in a small space, but it does help to have a location where people can bring in their devices.

Tech Refurbishing Business

Or you could use the space to work on refurbishing smartphones and other tech products that you can later sell.

Tutoring Service

A shipping container can also work as a home base for one-on-one or small group tutoring sessions.

Personal Training Service

You could even set up a small gym or workout facility and work with personal training clients there.

Yoga Studio

Or you could offer small classes, like Danyasa does with yoga in Costa Rica.

Music Lesson Service

Another subject that lends itself to one-on-one sessions or small group lessons, you could teach piano, voice, or another musical instrument.

Business Coach

You could also use the container as an office space where you meet with clients, even if you run a B2B business.

Storage Facility

Since storage containers are most commonly associated with storing items, you could also set them up to use in that capacity as a self storage business.

Office Building

Or you could set up multiple containers and offer them as space that businesses in the area can rent out.

Top Image: AETHER More in: Business Ideas, Popular Articles 8 Comments ▼

Parlor Palm Houseplants: How To Care For A Parlor Palm Plant

The parlor palm is the quintessential houseplant – the proof is right in the name. Growing a parlor palm tree indoors is ideal because it grows very slowly and thrives in low light and cramped space. It’s also an excellent air purifier. Keep reading to learn how to care for a parlor palm plant.

Parlor Palm Houseplants

Growing an indoor parlor palm is very easy and gratifying. Parlor palm houseplants prefer low light and may actually suffer in direct sunlight, so there’s no need to place them in your brightest windows. They do like a little bit of light, and will do best by a window that receives some early morning or late afternoon light.

Your indoor parlor palm will most likely survive completely away from windows if that’s what your space requires – it just won’t grow very fast. Even with sunlight, the parlor palm is a slow grower, often taking years to reach its full height of 3-4 feet tall.

Water your indoor parlor palm sparingly – underwatering is better than overwatering. Allow the soil to begin to dry between waterings, and water even less in the winter.

Parlor Palm Houseplant Care

If you’re planting a parlor palm tree indoors, opt for a few plants in the same container. Individual plants grow straight up and look more attractive and filled out in a group. Parlor palm houseplants have relatively weak root systems and don’t mind crowding, so don’t transplant more often than necessary.

You may need to repot once a year for the first few years if your indoor parlor palm is growing steadily, but after that point, top dressing should be enough to keep it healthy. Since parlor palm houseplants tend to be grouped together in one container, feed them a basic fertilizer every month or two to ensure the soil doesn’t get sapped of nutrients.

How to Care for a Parlor Palm

Use these instructions to care for a Parlor Palm. This guide will tell you how to water your Parlor Palm; its light, temperature, and humidity preferences; and any additional care your plant might need to help it grow.


Parlor Palms are considered low-light palms, but that doesn’t mean “no-light”. They prefer bright filtered light, but will adjust to low light areas.


Like many palms, they are sensitive to overwatering and cannot tolerate being waterlogged. Even moisture is ideal, but err on the side of slightly too dry rather than too wet. Water even less during the winter when the plant is not actively growing. Brown leaf tips often indicate overwatering, while yellow fronds tell you the plant needs a bit more water.


Your Parlor Palm will thrive amazingly well in average humidity.


Protect your palm from cold drafts from windows, air conditioning vents, or doors. This plant can tolerate a low of 50 degrees, but prefers normal room temperatures between 65-80 degrees.


Fertilize only once in the spring with a water-soluble fertilizer.


Your Palm will benefit from regular mistings a few times a week to boost growth and prevent insect infestations.


Completely non-toxic to humans and pets.

Your Handy Guide to Parlor Palm Plant Care: Palm Plants

Parlor Palm Plant Garden Infographic

Parlor Palm is also called Chamadorea elegans or Neanthebella Plam. It is a versatile and almost no-maintenance plant that is capable to grow in every indoor & outdoor condition possible with little help and care from you. This dark green plant can be grown inside or outside, in a pot as a table plant or as a tree in your garden. It is the perfect plant for your home and office that not only adds a touch of green to your premises but also purifies the air. The parlor palm has been included in the list of houseplants that purify the air of your home and office. The best part is that plant doesn’t need anything specific and the optimum conditions to grow can be conditioned easily.

An Overview:

The family of palm is although large but a few palm plants make it at domestic front. As it is capable to thrive in apartment space and low light, it is your go-to option if you are living in crammed apartment and still want the dash of nature and green to your living space. Even if you could just place it near by the brightest window where the planter could create a shadow of its own, it can manage the rest of the day brightening up the dullest and darkest corner of your home. However, they aren’t much of an active grower and can take years to grow up to a meter. These are closely related to bamboo plant and if you could take a trip down the memory lane, you could easily spot them in the movies or paintings of the Victorian Era. It is one plant that marks delicate and slender leaflets and hardiness, rolled into one.

The plants are said to be originated from Mexico and Guatemala’s dense rain forests where light hardly reaches and moisture levels are all-time high. The plant can do well in all sort of lights but fluorescent light conditions are the best for it. In today’s time, parlor palm plants have become the number one choice for offices and apartments in big cities where lighting and space is always a big problem. The plant can easily grow in the hardiness zone of 10 in the U.S. The green single stem produces slender leaves in a frond. Well-drained organic soil is the key to its well-being and if you are planning to plant it in an arid zone, spray the leaves and stem regularly. Parlor palm in outdoors make for wonderful tropical accent and can be planted in big containers. If your area receives frost and gets too chilly in winter, move it indoors as the winter approaches your region. Mulch the soil regularly to help it preserve the moisture and let it be evenly moist.

The parlor palm plants care don’t like bright sun much and hence, avoid it from noon sunlight and keep it under shade in summer.

The plant is sometimes called Bella Palm and is an easy going plant. It is inexpensive too and well-suited for almost every type of climate. It stays upright and reaches up to a height of 4 feet and the diameter of 3 feet. The leaves are slightly arched fronds and are slender. The arched fronds of leaves give the plants a shape of canopy. Since they grow slowly over the years, you can enjoy it from a generation to another. The plant loves filtered light but doesn’t do well in intense or direct light as the soil dry quickly and cause dehydration as well as wilting of the plant. Intense lighting condition can also cause pathogens and bug infestation in the plant.

In optimum conditions, a mature plant produces a spray of yellow flowers, which are small in size but grow on tall stalks. These flowers produce seeds that aren’t much useful because they are sterile and not capable of reproduction. So, whenever you spot a flower that is wilting or turning brown, just cut it or pluck it off the stem.

Misting also works wonders for the leaves and prevents bug infestation. Keep misting your plant a few times in a week to clean the leaves as well. Since the plant grows from a terminal bud, you aren’t supposed to prune it from a single point of growth as it can be detrimental for the life and growth of the plant. Hence, prune only the parts that are dead and have turned brown. Repotting of a parlor palm plant should be done in spring, when the roots have spread to the pot thoroughly. A pot with drainage hole should be used to prevent rotting of the root due to wet soil. These can grow amazingly well in low light conditions and low humid ambience or at room temperature, which make the perfect indoor plant.

The soil of the plant should be evenly moist yet well-drained and hence, you need to water it regularly. Reduce the watering during the winter season.

Fertilizing of the palm plant care should be done monthly. A liquid fertilizer in 20:20:20 is the perfect dosage for the plant. You can also reduce the strength of fertilizer by the quarter and use it weekly when you are watering the plant lightly. Other than pests like mealy bugs and spider mites, fungal leaf spots, stem cankers and root rot are the typical fungal and bacterial pathogen that can harm your parlor palm plants. Apart from the fertilizers and mild soapy water, prevention is the best way to keep them at bay. Excessive watering can also become a cause of pathogen too whole fungi and bacterial infection can be caused and spread by wind, animals and plant shears. A cankerous infection can be spotted by the infection that is in the form of a wound or opening, which eventually prevents the nutrition to the diseased part. Pruning can be your best option here. During the plant’s dormant period, take care of it by removing dead and diseased leaves or branches. If you think that the branches of your parlor palm plant could use some space and rubbing into each other, trim them as they can cause cuts. While trimming, make sure that you make small cuts so that the plant heals in shorter time period and effortlessly.


If your apartment or home doesn’t get much of natural light or there are corners that look dull and are deep inside, you can jazz them up and brighten the look of your ambience with a parlor palm. A parlor palm plant responds amazingly well in a bright filtered space though but don’t let this stop you from having this beautiful plant to pep up the look of spaces where light doesn’t reach much.


Like with every other plant, watering is the key to the life and lushness of a parlor palm plant. While overwatering can lead to the rotting of roots, you don’t want the plant to underwater as well because the plant can wilt and ultimately die. You need to focus on the surface soil and as it dries up to about 50%, it is time to water the plant. Water to an extent that surface is wet. However, if you are keeping the plant in bright light, you might require to water it twice or thrice in a day.

If your plant is dying or turning yellow despite you watering it regularly then it could mainly because of the soil is dry and you need to increase the frequency of water. If the leaves and their tips are getting brown even when the plant isn’t getting much of sunlight, it could be the result of overwatering or too much fertilization. Chemical in water can also cause the plant to turn brown, and to avoid this, it is advised that you use treated water for the plant as well.

Small palms’ soil should be dried before giving water whereas you should wait for the 1 inch down the soil to dry before giving water. Also, look out for dry spots in the soil as it can cause the plant to wilt. So, make sure to water it all the way till the base. It is better to plant them in a well-drained soil so that water seeps through and you can be sure of proper watering. However, you need to ensure that excess water should be drained from the saucer in an hour so that you could prevent the roots from rotting.


In winters and fall, fertilize it once in two months. For indoor parlor palm plant, you can maintain the same dosage in the summer as well. However, if it is in bright light, you can keep fertilizing it with half the recommended strength for a houseplant on a monthly basis.


The ideal temperature for the parlor palm is usually anywhere between 55 to 58F.


A parlor palm plant can sustain and survive amazingly well in normal humid condition.

Pest Control:

Bugs like spider mites and mealy bugs feed on the leaves of parlor palm plants. You can try spraying the leaves with warm and mild soapy water. However, more serious infestation would need professional insecticidal soap to debug the plant.

The web-like structure you see on the plants is due to spider mites. The mites can also cause pale color of leaves. Hence, as discussed, mild soap water should be sprayed on the leaves but refrain from using any solution that contains alcohol as a constituent because this can cause the plant to die. Parlor palm plants are very sensitive in nature and hence, don’t use anything that is working for some other plant. However, if you see sticky white spots on the back of the leaves, these are the result of a house pest, mealy bugs. Clear the white powder with the help of Q-tip dipped in alcohol after this, spray the leaves with mild soap water. This will help you to cease infestation. If you see any new growth or a young leaf curved up, make sure you have sprayed inside it. You also need to be careful of stem coverings and don’t forget to spray inside them. Three treatments with the gap of 10 days should help you to get rid of the infestation.

However, if you could still see the infestations even after this, it is recommended that you consult your gardener or use a professional insecticidal soap.


The soil of the plant should remain wet but not drenched in water so as to prevent root rot. For this, you are advised to use soil, which is fast-draining, loose and potted with extra sand.

Size of the Pot:

Containers of diameters from 4” to 14” are ideal for the plant.

Pruning of the Plant:

Please note that pruning of a parlor palm plant is different from other household plants. If you observe any wilting leaf, just remove it and leave the stem as-it-is. The new leaves come from the main stem.

Care of Parlor Palm Plant: Potting and Propagation:

Seeds and offsets are used to propagate the parlor palm. In nurseries, the plant is propagated via seeds but that is usually not recommended because it is usually done by separating the plants at the roots, which is very painful and traumatic for them. A plant would take long time to recover from the cuts and trauma. Hence, it is better if you want to see more parlor palm plants in your garden or home, simply buy parlor palm as it doesn’t cost much.

Parlor palms are the slowest growing plants. Adequate drainage and evenly moist soil is the key for their proper well-being.


This indoor palm plant is non-toxic and absolutely safe for indoors as well as outdoors.

Hope this write-up gives you information on how to care for parlor palm plant. The plant is easy to take care for and with little efforts; you can leave a wonderful gift for the generations to come. Since the plant also purifies the air, it is very important that you have it in your home and office.

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