Bamboo palms grow well indoors, making them a perfect choice for adding a bit of tropical flair to your home. They're easy to care for and widely available, and they even filter toxins from the air, making the oxygen in your home cleaner and easier to breathe. These tips will help you choose and care for a bamboo palm, which can grow up to seven feet tall.
Your local nursery or home improvement store will likely have a selection of bamboo palms to choose from, but it's important to pick the healthiest plant. Look for the plant with the fullest growth—the palm you choose should have shiny, dark green foliage. Avoid purchasing palms that have an abundance of dried or brown leaves.
It is likely that the palm you buy from the store will be root bound, meaning its roots extend to the edge of the pot. In order for your palm to continue to grow and thrive, you'll need to transplant it to a larger pot. Buy a rich, fertilized potting soil for indoor plants and a pot that is at least two inches larger in diameter than your original pot. It's also important to ensure that the pot has drainage holes—bamboo palms that stand in water will rot quickly. If your new pot does not come with a drip pan, you can buy one separately, which will help keep water from leaking onto your floor. When you're ready to repot your plant, remove it from its original container, place it into the new container, and fill in the empty area with loosely packed soil. Next, give it a thorough watering until you notice a significant amount of water leaking from the drainage holes. Don't be surprised if your plant loses several leaves within the first few weeks of repotting—it's simply adjusting to its surroundings. Leaf loss is a normal part of the process.
It's important to place your bamboo palm in an area where it will thrive. Though these plants are relatively low-maintenance, you'll want to make sure that yours receives bright but indirect sunlight. If you choose to place your plant in a corner or partially shaded area, make sure to turn it once a week so that it receives adequate sunlight on all sides.
Bamboo palms like moist soil, but they don't like to be wet. Watering thoroughly and less often will help achieve this effect. After watering, drain excess water from the drip pan. When the top half inch of soil is dry, it's time to water your palm again. Using a liquid or granulated fertilizer monthly during the summer will help keep your plant healthy.
Bamboo palms are highly susceptible to spider mites, which look like tiny bits of dust and love to attack palms during the dry winter months. To prevent or treat spider mite infestations, use a spray bottle to mist the leaves with a mixture of four cups of water and a tablespoon of dish soap.