Apartment plants

Kenzia - Howea forsteriana


The Howea genus owes its name to the Isle of Howe, from which they originate; only two species make up the genus, quite similar in appearance, H. forsteriana and H. balmoreana. These are medium-sized palms, in nature they reach a maximum height of 12-15 meters; the specimens grown in pots instead remain below three meters, widening often for about 250 cm, so they need plenty of space to be able to develop at their best. They are evergreen palms, very slow growing; they have a short woody stem, smooth, furrowed by parallel rings at regular intervals. The fronds are arched, carried by a long flexible petiole; the segments of the fronds are dark green, leathery, pointed, and they also tend to arch over time. It rarely happens that the plants grown in the apartment produce flowers during spring: they are long cylindrical panicles that bear whitish flowers, followed by oval fruits, of yellow or brown color. Each plant produces only 2-3 new fronds each year. These plants are easy to grow, and are very common as house plants.


In nature the plants of Kenzia they live in sunny places and with a temperate climate; in fact they are less demanding plants, which can develop even in non-ideal conditions and simple to grow even by those who are less experienced in gardening. In the apartment we try to cultivate the Kenzia in a bright place, even if they can easily stand the half-light or the shadow. During the winter months it is good to avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 12-15 ° C. If you take them outdoors during the summer months, it is advisable to avoid exposure to direct sunlight, or expose the plants to the sun very gradually to prevent the leaves from being burned by the sun's rays.


From March to October water the Howea forsteriana quite regularly, waiting for the soil to dry between one watering and another; during the cold months water occasionally, keeping the soil mainly dry, as the season, being colder, allows the plants to live quietly even without regular watering. They can endure even prolonged periods of drought without problems, but they develop best if watered regularly. During the vegetative period, provide fertilizer for green plants, every 15-20 days, dissolved in the water used for watering.


The Howea forsteriana prefer loose soils rich in organic substance; it is advisable to repot the kenzia every 2-3 years, placing them in containers that are not excessively capacious as they do not have a particularly extensive root system.


The multiplication of the kenzia generally takes place by seed, in spring.

Kenzia - Howea forsteriana: Parasites and diseases

The Forge Howea can be affected by mites or cochineal. Often the foliage becomes stained due to blows of air or an excessively dry climate, in the case of very large spots we intervene by removing the damaged leaves by hand.