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Christmas Palm Tree · Wiki

Botanical Name: Veitchia merrillii

The Christmas Palm tree looks like a miniature of the Royal Palm; the giant palm trees that you see lining the boulevards in South Florida and California.

It grows from a single trunk, which supports a crown of arched, pinnate leaves; at the base of the crown, clusters of flowers emerge. In autumn, these flowers are turn into 1 in (2.5 cm) green fruits that ripen to a bright red around the end of December; they look reminiscent of red Christmas lights, which give this tree its common name.

This Southeastern Asia native is surprisingly tolerant of growing in a pot and will thrive indoors as long as it gets plenty of sunshine throughout the year.

You can move this palm outdoors to the patio for the Summer, but you'll want to bring it back inside if the temperature drops near 40°F. This tropical palm doesn't like the cold at all.

Repot in the spring only when the palm becomes severely root-bound. Pots should be deep enough to give roots room to grow; be sure to use a heavy pot as this palm will eventually get tall and become top-heavy.

Try your best to keep this palm clean as the palm fronds tend to be dust catchers. To clean, move your palm outdoors on a warm day and spray it with tepid water and allow it to dry outdoors in a semi-shaded spot, which is protected from the wind.

Christmas Palm was formerly known as Adonidia merrillii and is sometimes still referred to by this name. It's rare and difficult to find outside of Florida, but you can buy Christmas Palm trees online.


Care Tips

Origin: Philippine Islands

Height: Up to 6 ft (1.8 m) indoors

Light: Bright light with some direct sun.

Water: Water regularly, but don't allow soil to get soggy as it can cause root rot; always use a pot with drainage holes.

Humidity: Moderate humidity. If the relative humidity drops below 50%, use a humidity tray or room humidifier.

Temperature: Average room temperature 60-75°F (16-24°C) year-round.

Soil: Use a peat moss-based mix that drains well. Mix 1 part sand to 3 parts African violet mix.

Fertilizer: Most indoor plants like a steady diet of liquid plant food, but not palms. Palms are slow-growing, especially indoors, and don't need much fertilizer. Feed with a slow-release fertilizer, such as Jobe's Indoor Palm Fertilizer food spikes once in spring and again in summer; it contains the micronutrients that palms need to keep them healthy, lush and green.

Propagation: Christmas Palm seeds can take months to germinate, so be patient. Sow the seeds in spring or Summer, covering them lightly with soil; be sure that you keep them warm, between 75-80°F (24-27°C) and moist.
Posted By Gremelin Posted on September 3rd, 2018 · Updated on September 2nd, 2020
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