Palms are common houseplants that easily turn a room into a tropical sanctuary. Their feathered, arching habit provides textural and architectural interest. They are easy to take care of and are generally happy with the conditions inside the average home. They also represent a milestone in plant evolution: through fossil records dating back 65 million years, scientists believe they are among the first plants to reproduce by producing flowers and seeds.

Fan Palm

Fan Palm (Chamaerops humilis) This plant is known for its flat, spiked, fan-shaped fronds that can grow up to two feet across. They grow slowly, and generally stay under four feet tall. They are usually labelled as European (stiff fronds) or Chinese (fronds droop). They need at least four hours of bright sun during the day.

Date Palm

Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelinii) Arching fronds of narrow leaflets give this palm a delicate texture. They tend to stay under 36 inches tall when kept indoors. While they like bright light, they can handle filtered sun.

Bamboo Palm

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) This palm features arching fronds with thicker leaflets than the date palm. As it matures, the stems thicken to resemble bamboo canes. They usually grow to six or seven feet indoors. They like bright, indirect sunlight.

Majesty Palm

Majesty Palm (Ravenea glauca) These are known for growing quickly, and can reach up to ten feet indoors. The fronds are similar to the bamboo palm, but majesty palms tend to have a more pronounced arching shape. They can handle less light than the other varieties, but still need fairly bright, indirect light.

Fishtail Palm

Fishtail Palm (Caryota mitis) These palms have unusual leaflets with irregular edges that resemble fishtails. They need very bright light. In sunny rooms they can reach ten feet tall.

Parlor Palm

Neanthe Bella/Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) These are the traditional palms, popular since Victorian times. They tend to be around three or four feet tall when mature. They adapt well to lower levels of light.

ZZ Palm

ZZ Palm (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) This one isn’t a true palm, but it is often labelled as one and has the arching stems that are characteristic of palms. It has thick, fleshy leaves on thick stems. ZZ palms are very slow growers, but can eventually reach up to three feet. They prefer bright, indirect light, but can handle low light. Be careful not to overwater, they would rather suffer neglect than over-care.