Indoor plants

Kentia plant

The kentia plant: characteristics of the species

Howea forsteriana better known as kentia is the most widespread species in crops and appreciated for its large pinnate leaves. The Howea belmoreana better known as kentia belmoreana differs from the previous species due to the deportment of the fronds, more divided, and of a lighter green color. The kentia plant belongs to the palm family and like some palms it originates in the boreal tropics. The ancients already knew this plant. And apparently even in those populations that have filled the pages of history, kentia had a high ornamental value. The botanical name of the kentia plant comes from the tropical island of Lord Howe. The kentia belongs to the genus of Arecaceae which has several tribes within it. The class to which this plant belongs is that of Liliopsida.

The kentia plant: sowing-multiplication


Known in the past with the generic name kentia, today the genus is classified as Howea and includes only two species. The large and brown seed is buried in a peaty substrate, at 25-30 degrees of temperature. After its germination, the young kentia plant undergoes a first potting: it is placed at 18-20 degrees in a humid environment, especially in greenhouses. As the plant grows it is repotted in a container with a larger diameter using a good soil. During the winter the kentia can be placed in a bright environment at 8-10 degrees, at least. The kentia plants should be repotted every two years, changing, at least partially, the old soil with a fresh soil. In summer, the plants can be moved outdoors to a place that is well sheltered from the elements and quite shady.

The kentia plant: soil and fertilization


In temperate and Mediterranean climate regions, kentia plants are grown outdoors and are protected only during the winter with plastic tunnels or other removable shelters in the summer. The ideal soil of kentia should be prepared by taking in equal parts by volume the peat, the heather earth, the sand, the earth of leaves, to be used for repotting. The kentia plants should be watered according to the ambient temperature. A soluble fertilizer must be administered every 30-40 days from March to October, when watering, with moist soil. Mind you, kentia multiplies only and exclusively by seed that is imported from its places of origin. There are no other ways to reproduce the splendid houseplant. The outdoor plant in the

Kentia plant: The diseases of kentia


The kentia plant is of great prestige and of great ornamental value. The kentia is very delicate and must therefore be kept with care. Pay close attention to some diseases and some parasites. The spider mite causes yellowing of the beautiful green leaves of the plant. Another parasite enemy of kentia is the cochineal, whose attacks are very frequent. The cochineal must be preventively combated with suitable products. Products to be purchased in nurseries and specialized shops. One of the most dangerous diseases for kentia is a type of palm fungus. The disease causes necrosis and drying of the leaves. Sometimes it can happen that the fungus in combination with other diseases can cause the complete rot of the plant. The stagnation of water and environmental conditions can contribute to damaging kentia plants. Too much watering or cold drafts can cause the leaves to blacken.

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