If you’re after a tropical look for your garden, then palms are a must. Their long arching and graceful foliage adds a vertical dimension to garden designs or creates a tall leafy backdrop or dappled shade for smaller plants growing underneath. There is a wide variety of palms to choose from, whether you have a large sunny garden or a small shady spot that needs some tropical pizzazz.

Palms for sunny garden spots include:

Golden cane palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Bangalow palm (Archonontophoenix cunninghamiana)

Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis)


Palms for shaded gardens include:

Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)

Cascade palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

Walking stick palm (Linospadix monostachya)


Here are the key steps to help keep your palms lush and healthy:

  • Plant into well drained soil or a pot with good drainage holes filled with a good quality potting mix like Yates Premium Potting Mix.
  • When planting a new palm into the garden, enrich the soil first by mixing in some Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Palms don’t like having their roots disturbed, so when planting, don’t be tempted to tease out the root ball, even if it looks compacted. 
  • During the warmer months keep the soil or potting mix moist and feed outdoor palms each fortnight with Yates Dynamic Lifter Liquid Concentrate.
  • Yellowing palm leaves can be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Applied as a foliar spray, Yates Leaf Greener Magnesium Chelate is a fast acting source of magnesium to help green up palm foliage.
  • Regularly remove any brown palm fronds, to keep the plant looking tidy.

Indoor parlour palms

Parlour palms (Chamaedorea elegans) make fantastic indoor plants. Young plants don’t take up too much space and a potted parlour palm is a lovely leafy addition to a work space or humid bathroom. Multiple plants are often grown together in the one pot and their small fronds are lined with lots of green leaflets, creating a lush miniature rainforest effect. Parlour palms prefer a moderately to well-lit spot indoors that is protected from direct sunlight. They can grow up to 1.5m tall, though grow slowly and will take several years to reach this height.


Parlour palm growing tips:

  • Choose a pot with good drainage holes and use a good quality potting mix like Yates Specialty Potting Mix Indoor Plants & Ferns.
  • Don’t disturb the palm’s root system when planting it into a new container.
  • Parlour palms like the potting mix to be kept only slightly moist. They don’t like wet feet! You can check the moisture level in the potting mix by gently digging around in the top few centimetres with your finger.
  • To promote lush healthy foliage growth, from spring to autumn feed every 2 months month with Yates Thrive Plant Food Spikes Plants & Ferns. It’s as simple as pushing a spike into the potting mix towards the edge of the pot. The spike is out of sight and there’s no mixing or measuring required.
  • During hot dry weather, to help create a more humid environment the parlour palm foliage can be misted with water.
  • Monitor for signs of sap feeding scale, which can infest palm stems and leaves and look like small raised white, grey, brown or black bumps. Control by spraying the scale with Yates Nature’s Way Citrus & Ornamental Spray.
  • Remove any dead fronds to keep the palm looking tidy and gently wipe the leaves regularly to remove any dust.
  • If fungus gnats (annoying tiny winged insects that fly around the house) are a problem in your indoor palm, apply a layer of Yates Gnat Barrier granules over the surface of the potting mix. This deters the female fungus gnat from laying her eggs and helps break the fungus gnat life cycle.

Related Articles


With the tropical look taking over gardens (even in less-than-tropical climates), Palms have come right into vogue.

Top 10 Herbs To Grow In Your Garden

As spring is in full bloom, now is the 'thyme' to gather your pots and get your herb on. But with so many herbs to choose from, where do you start?


Lavender are hardy perennial plants known best for their silvery aromatic foliage and spikes of flowers, most commonly in purple to blue flowers - also available in whites and pinks.

Top 5 Australian Native Plants To Add To Your Garden

You can create a backyard that's brimming with Australian native plants, providing food and shelter for our native insects, birds and animals. And our unique range of native flowers and foliage plants help create inviting outdoor spaces for humans too.