She likes moist air, so give her a good spray with a mister every few days. It will keep her leaves nice and fresh.
Try to keep her soil lightly moist, watering her whenever the top two inches of soil are dry.
She enjoys a good amount of light through the day, but not too much direct sun as it scorches her leaves.
Those striking leaves can get dusty. Dust makes it harder for her to absorb light, so give her leaves a gentle wipe if they look grubby.
Plant height (including pot)
Mildly toxic if ingested
Nursery pot size
About fishtail palm
A close look at its leaves will tell you exactly how the fishtail palm got its common name. Its bright green leaves have a gently ragged edge and a softly pointed shape, making them look like a fish tail or fin. It grows tall and compact, so it’s a perfect choice if you want a large indoor plant but don’t have lots of room for it to spread out.
In the wild, you’d mostly find the fishtail palm across Asia, though it’s also become very common in Florida, USA. It likes anywhere warm and humid. A wild fishtail palm could grow as tall as 10 metres in the wild, with leaves as long as 3 metres, but as an indoor plant it probably won’t grow to even a quarter of that height. It’s a big plant, but it’s not going to burst through your living room ceiling.
When caring for it indoors, try to remember the conditions it likes in the wild. It’s used to tropical humidity and wooded areas. That means it likes bright light, but not lots of direct sunlight (it’s used to some shade from other trees) and lightly moist conditions. Water it when the top two inches of soil feel dry - no more than that; it won’t like being soggy - and give it a regular misting to keep the air humid. It will also appreciate a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month through spring and summer. Don’t use fish food. It only looks fish-like, it doesn’t eat like one.
Did you know?
In the wild, the fishtail palm grows fruits that tumble in huge cascades, like enormous bunches of grapes.