Christmas Palm Tree – Indoor Plants
Christmas Palm Tree (Veitchia merrillii) is one of the most popular palms. It has a single, smooth slender grey trunk that is slightly swollen at the base and ringed with old leaf scars. Bright green crownshaft supports a crown of 10 – 12 pinnate, or feather-shaped, fronds. Short crownshaft is about 3 ft long. Leaves are glossy, strongly arched, grow to a length of 5 feet with sharp-edged leaflets that are up to 2 feet long by 2 inches wide. During summer months the Christmas Palm produces light green bloom buds that turn into creamy blossom. In December blooms are followed by green oval fruits that turn bright red as they ripe. Berrie-like fruits are 1 inch long and 1/5 inch wide. The fruits are hanging in clusters that resemble Christmas ornament, therefore this palm’s common name is Christmas Palm. It has a lot of similar characteristics with Royal Palm Tree and sometimes is even called dwarf royal palm. Christmas Palm Tree is perfect for indoors.
Scientific name: Veitchia merrillii
Synonyms: Adonidia merrillii, Normanbya merrillii.
English: Dwarf Royal Palm, Manila palm, Christmas palm, Kerpis Palm, Adonidia Palm, Dwarf Royal Palm, and Veitchia Palm
French: Palmier de Noel, Palmier de Manille
Japanese: Manira yashi
Malay: Palma Manila
Spanish: Palma de Manila, Palma Manila, Palma de Navidad
Thai: Paam nuan, Maak nuan
How to grow and maintain Christmas Palm Tree (Veitchia merrillii):
It thrives best in bright light with some direct sun to partial shade.
It grows well in a moist, well-drained soil with peat moss-based mix. Mix 1 part sand to 3 parts African violet mix.
Water Christmas palm regularly, always keep the soil evenly moist but never allow your plant to sit in water. It can tolerate drought for a short time when mature enough.
It prefers moderate humidity. If the relative humidity drops below 50%, use a humidity tray or room humidifier.
It prefers an average room temperature of 60°F – 75°F / 16°C – 24°C year-round.
Most indoor plants like a steady diet of liquid plant food, however not palms. Palms are slow-growing, particularly 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.
It can be propagated by seed. Seeds will take around 1-3 months to germinate, so be patient. Sow seeds in spring or summer, covering them lightly with soil.
Pests and diseases:
Christmas Palm Tree is very susceptible to mealy bugs and lethal yellowing disease.