The Indoor Houseplant Martha Stewart Doesn't Recommend

On a recent episode of her podcast, Martha Stewart invited Kevin Sharkey, Executive Director of Design of her brand, and Ryan McCallister, the head gardener at her Bedford farm, to discuss gardening. They swapped tips and strategies for plant care, and Kevin talked about working hard on his new palms with little success. Martha Stewart then explained that they don't do well indoors and it was better for them to be outside given the climate.

Even though there are over two thousand palm varieties in the world, very few of them make good houseplants because of their specific preferences. "They don't get enough air [inside]. They do not like air conditioning... but there are other plants that would do better," says Martha Stewart (via The Martha Stewart Podcast). If you're seeing brown leaf tips or just finding it hard to maintain your palms despite pulling out all the stops, consider that you have a variety that is simply unsuitable as an indoor houseplant and it needs to be moved outside.

Don't grow your palms inside

Palms can add a nice touch of the tropics to your interior, but most are not the best choice due to their need for moist air. True to their tropical origins, palms thrive in high humidity and need a humidity level over 50% to do well in an environment. This isn't always feasible indoors, however, as you might prefer the comfort of cool, dry air whether through the windows or the air conditioner but the palms won't like those drafts. Instead of having them as indoor houseplants, they'll do much better outside.

Martha Stewart transplanted hers to the terrace where they began to flourish with the heavy rains and the 90-degree, 90% humidity weather, per The Martha Stewart Podcast. Growing palms outside will allow them to get all the air they want and allow you to enjoy your ideal home temperature. A bonus is you'll get rid of any pests that follow palms like mites or mealybugs. If you really want to keep one inside, choose a variety that's fine with your indoor conditions such as a ponytail palm.