The Indoor Plant You Should Avoid Buying

There are a few plants where almost every plant parent starts their nature-loving journey; one of those is the majesty palm. They can be found in virtually any garden center and nursery and are often reasonably-priced for their size. The majesty palm is a beautiful plant with large leaves that bring a tropical vibe into your home. However, due to its specific needs, you'll likely be throwing it out and wasting your money if you bring one home. 

If you've had one of these plants in your home, you've probably watched it slowly die and wondered what you did wrong. While most palms love a lot of sun, are drought tolerant, and can typically be grown indoors, the majesty palm is not. This TikTok video shows how this plant's reputation is getting around.

If it's not a good idea to grow them indoors, Sunday Gardener says, why do these stores sell them? It's basic supply and demand. People buy them, so the stores supply them even though they will only last for a while.

Why do majesty palms die?

The majesty palm requires conditions to thrive that are nearly impossible to recreate within your home, depending on where you live. For example, they love to have moist soil (via Costa Farms). In fact, they like their dirt so wet that they often do well near ponds. And while they don't want to be submerged in water, this amount of moisture is hard to control or provide in an indoor pot. In an effort to keep the soil ideal, you'd likely drown the plant and cause root rot.

Majesty palms also have particular light needs. Although Costa Farms says they like a bit of shade, the majesty palm won't thrive without lots of full or bright and indirect sunlight. Unfortunately, the amount that they prefer isn't typically available when grown indoors, which is why they do best outside in tropical climates such as South Florida, says Sunday Gardener. Here they can get ample amounts of sunlight, water, and humidity.

Do any palms do well indoors?

If you're craving some tropical vibes within your home but you're now discouraged by this news about the majesty palm, don't worry: Plenty of other beautiful palms can be easily grown and thrive in indoors. For example, the parlor palm is a smaller plant that grows in a compact fashion and is perfect for indoor pots and decorating, as noted by Petal Republic. It likes bright and indirect light and prefers its soil to dry out a bit between waterings.

You could also consider the Chinese fan palm with distinctive fanning leaves that reach up and out for a more dramatic look. It can reach up to 7 feet tall when grown indoors and can be the perfect larger plant for empty corners. Don't put this plant in direct sunlight, but be sure it gets bright indirect light all year round. It also loves to be soaked when watered but only slightly dried before watering again.

The ponytail palm is another smaller palm ideal for indoor growing and smaller spaces. Its unique shape and growth pattern make it eye-catching, and the name suits it with its ponytail silhouette. It likes its soil almost dry before getting a good soaking. The ponytail palm also prefers full sun for nearly six hours a day.