Specialty Palms: houseplants of the month for February

Create a fabulous ‘jungalow’ feel with specialty  palms and bring the summer a step closer during the darkest days of the year: paradise found!

Dreaming of far-off places
For starters, they have green umbels, fan-like leaves and elegant trunks. They also have amazing names like Cycas (Fern palm) , Livistona, Caryota (Fishtail palm)  and Rhapis (Lady palm). With just a little imagination you can picture yourself in Africa or Asia just sitting in your living room. And if you build up a good bond, they will be friends for life, since these palms have real staying power with the pure paradise factor.

Nature on a pedestal
Specialty palms fit perfectly into the interiors trend in which living indoor greenery is becoming ever more important as an oasis into which you can retreat when the outside world gets a bit too clamorous. The best way to highlight that harmonious feel is to literally put the plants on a pedestal or to combine them with symbolic elements from nature. This might include pots with wood carvings or pots decorated with semi-precious stones.

Unusual properties
Specialty palms are not just a green jewel in your home – they also offering some extras. Cycas is an excellent plant for the novice palm lover. Livistona filters quite a few harmful substances out of the air so that your home enjoys better air quality. And they all have a positive effect on the humidity.

Caring for specialty palms

  • Cycas is happy anywhere, Livistona likes to be out of the sun and Caryota and Rhapis actually prefer a shady spot.
  • None of the specialty palms like to be too dry, but nor do they like to have wet feet: slightly damp soil is ideal.
  • Specialty palms like to be freestanding. If the tips of the leaves aren’t pressed against anything they will stay nice and green.

Family tree stretching back to prehistory
Specialty palms are members of a family which includes nearly 4000 species. These are plants that have been growing on Earth for a very long time – the oldest remains found are some 40 million years old. Most originate from the tropics and subtropics. They have a typical southern look with a fabulous green palette which creates real peace indoors. They’re also big personalities: just one specialty palm can bring loads of southern atmosphere into your home.

Specialty palms trivia

  • Cycas is one of the oldest palm species in the world.
  • The palm branch is a symbol of Nike, goddess of victory.
  • Specialty palms can also shine on your patio or balcony in the summer.
  • Rhapis is a particularly unusual palm because this palm has bushy stems rather than a trunk.
  • Palms have played an important role in various cultures for centuries. They are mentioned more than thirty times in the Bible, and at least 22 times in the Koran.

Houseplant of the month
Specialty palms are the Houseplants for February 2017. The ‘Houseplant of the Month’ is an initiative from the Flower Council of Holland. Every month the Flower Council works with representatives of the floriculture sector to choose a plant which is particularly popular with consumers or is not (yet) well-known, but does have the potential to do well in the living room.

For more information see: www.thejoyofplants.co.uk

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