With its large, arching fronds borne on upright stems, the Howea is one of the most impressive and elegant palms. It is fast-growing and attains a height of 250cm (98in), so requires plenty of space. In most indoor locations it is best displayed in the corner of a room, either on the floor or on a low plant stand. The Howea is reputed to tolerate quite difficult conditions but it only really thrives when treated with great care. It is very susceptible to over-watering, which causes root failure and the collapse ofthe plant. Pests can also be a problem and a constant watch should be kept for red spider mites, mealy bugs and especially scale insects, which camouflage themselves well against the spots on the leaves and stems.

Plant type : Palm with erect habit
Season of interest : All year round
Size : 100-250cm (39—98in)
Flower : None indoors
Leaf : Erect fronds, 25-60cm (10—24in) long, on sturdy, green stems; each frond is comprised of leaflets, 15-30cm (6-12in) long, 2.5cm (1 in) wide
Temperature : 18—21°C (64-70°F)
Aspect/Light : Moderately to reasonably well-lit situation, but out of direct sunlight
Humidity : Moderate to high
Watering : Evenly moisten compost in spring and summer, taking care never to make too wet, and allowing to dry a little before re-watering; keep on dry side in autumn and winter
Feeding : Once every two to four weeks with houseplant fertilizer in spring and summer
Propagation : Sow seeds in seed and cutting compost at 27°C (80°F) in mid to late spring
Potting : Houseplant potting compost
Problems : Scale insect, mealy bug, root mealy bug, red spider mite, root rot due to over-watering
Availability : Commonly available throughout year
Uses indoors : Floor-standing feature plant in lounge, dining room, large hall or office
Other varieties : H. belmoreana -fronds more erect