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Majesty Palm

Ravenea glauca or Ravenea rivularis

click pic to enlarge

Zone 10-11 or Houseplant

Our volume of Majesty Palm email is #2 only to sago palm questions.  About 95% of questions are from folks who purchased a Majesty Palm at a chain store garden center as a houseplant and are experiencing troubles.

  • Ongoing loss of fronds
  • Fronds won't open, or open partially
  • Fronds turning yellow / brown

Sorry to say Majesty Palm is often a poor indoor palm.  It simply requires more sunlight, hot weather and/or tropical humidity to grow properly.  The fact you were sold Majesty Palm as a houseplant should tell you something about your retailer.  Our theory is that because it's a very fast grower, they are being pushed to the (indoor) public as indoor plants

Bottom line, Majesty Palm will usually not work indoors - except if you have a greenhouse or other better environment.  Literature we read says the opposite, but that is our experience.  (If you have been successful with Majesty indoors, please email us your secret)

However...we have received some VICTORY emails from folks who have been successful:

I saw your site, and just wanted to respond- I have about 8 majesty Palms indoors- we live in Northeast Ohio about 10 miles from Lake Erie, and they are growing wonderfully. They all started out in planters we received at various funerals, and we repotted them and they have really taken off. I'm not really doing anything too special, they DO stay in front or to the side of the double French doors, and I'm careful about watering. They really look terrific.  Lori

I'm writing to let you know that I'm over wintering two Majestic Palms in the sunroom, which are doing fabulous. I soak them once a week, and there are three or four new fronds opening up in each plant now.  Donna

Hi , thought you might like to know that the secret to growing majesty palms indoors is just lots of bright light the brighter the better and a reasonable stable temp (around 20 -25 degrees Celsius ) but don't mind a cold drop now and then I have two which put out a new leaf almost every month, the reason they go yellow is that they are rather bad at taking up certain nutrients and need a dose of epson salts about once a year this will stop them yellowing.  Stuart from Australia

Outdoors, Majesty Palms are native to Madagascar.   They grow quickly and top out at 15-40 feet.  The wide range for height is unusual.   We suspect there is more than one "Majesty" variety.  The two in the pic at top (tall, fat ones, left and right) are the tallest we have seen

Even these well fed outdoor specimens in Miami are complaining yellow

two palms in center are Majesty palms, click pic to enlarge

 More and more Majesty Palms are being planted.   Most often they are relatively small.  But due to quick growth and mature height, don't plant any like this

They are said to be adaptable to most soils, like their soil a little wet, must be watered faithfully during dry spells and prefer a good dose of sun or partial shade

One thing for sure is they are fussy for food and demand proper fertilization or they turn yellow fast.  As with any underfed palm, recovery is often slow, sometimes two years, so feed Majesty Palm 6X a year with palm food

We received some growing advice from Susan Craig who said, "I use garlic water and spray them for mites.  The best and only help is to take them outside and hose them off.  No Miracle Grow during the winter and fall months.  Water only once a week and bright indirect light.  I use super soil for potting and use a terra cotta pot or like material.  Come summer they love to be misted with water"

Joe Barnes is very successful with his Majesty Palm as well.  Joe told us, " I have had excellent luck with my majesty palm.I have had it about 9 months and had 5 new fronds. I trim the older fronds as soon as they begin to yellow (we do not agree with that practice),right at the stem, at an angle.  Mine is currently about 5' tall, a full 2' above what it was whenpurchased and is in a 17" or 18" pot (it rapidly outgrew the 12" and 15"pots). I used a mix of 33% cactus soil and 66% regular miracle grow potting soil. It gets watered twice per week, taken outdoors on days above 75 degrees when possible and I mist it a couple times per week....Sorry to say, but this is the only plant I have ever successfully grown, it requires little work"