Palm Tree Houseplants That Are Not Actually Palm Trees

Palm trees when used as houseplants, add warmth, relaxation, and a hint of the exotic to the interior of a building.  These plants, known for their foliage, trunk, and stems can be used in both residential and commercial business interiors.  There are plants that look like palms and have the word “palm” in their name but they are not actually palm trees. 

Here are some of these popular houseplants and how they are not palms:


Banana Palm – This plant has wide, ribbed, fan-like leaves and produces bananas.  The Banana Palm is also known as Banana Tree, Plantain Tree, and Plantain Palm.  It is native to Southeast Asia.  It is a great houseplant that needs as much light as possible but be careful, it can get scorched if it gets too hot. It is a fast-growing plant with large green leaves that measure 4-6 feet long and 2 feet wide.  Since these plants can grow large, it is best to look for a dwarf variety.  During warm weather, which is its key growth time, the plant needs to have frequent feeding.  This plant is safe for pets.

Bird of Paradise – This is a popular indoor exotic houseplant known for its foliage.  It has glossy leaves that are shaped like a banana and look like a palm tree.  While these plants are known for their unique flowers, when planted outside, when grown indoors, they normally do not produce flowers. They tend to grow 3-8 feet and can grow in numerous light conditions but prefer a bright sunny spot.  Keep it away from air vents and drafts. The soil needs to be kept moist but not soggy to prevent rot. During its growth phase, the spring and summer fertilize once a month with an all-purpose liquid feed. No fertilizer is needed during the winter when the plant’s growth naturally slows.  The leaves can cause minor mouth and stomach irritation, so keep your children and pets away.

Ponytail Palm – This palm tree is an ornamental plant native to eastern Mexico.  It has a unique look with its curly leaves that grow from the top like a ponytail. Its thick trunk stores water. If you travel a lot this plant might be for you.  As long as you don’t overwater this plant, it is easy to grow.  Ponytail Palm is a hardy houseplant and not a true palm plant.  The plant is an evergreen perennial with succulent characteristics. It is a slow-growing plant, but eventually, over time it can grow a few feet tall.   The plant does best in full sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant.  If you find the leaf tips turning brown, simply snip off the brown parts with sharp scissors to keep the plant from looking unsightly.  This plant is pet friendly. 

Sago Palm - This plant is often mistaken for a mini palm tree.  It has dark green feather-like leaves that grow directly from a thick trunk.  This plant is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and dates back to prehistoric times.  It can take the direct sun on its foliage when grown as a houseplant.  When the top inch of the soil dries out the plant needs to be watered.  The plant does not need a lot of water and is drought tolerant it, so make sure it does not get overwatered.  When this plant dies, the reason is that it has been overwatered.  When leaves die, trim them off, otherwise, it does not need trimming. Sago Palms can be poisonous to humans and pets.

Let us know if you grow any of these non-palm, palm plants!

Leave a Comment:

Credit Card Processing