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PlantFiles: Majesty Palm
Ravenea rivularis

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Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ravenea (ra-VEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: rivularis (riv-yoo-LAIR-iss) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Category:
Tropicals and Tender Perennials
Palms

Height:
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Danger:
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:
Grown for foliage
Evergreen

Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 60 photos.
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Profile:

22 positives
5 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Aussiepalms On Jul 27, 2014, Aussiepalms from Cranbourne
Australia wrote:

About 18 years ago I planted the first Majestic palm at my home . It was what I believe, a new and untried species in the southern areas of Australia near Melbourne and they were grown in subtropical southern Queensland. Expecting It to die, all these years later it is a beautiful healthy plant with a trunk measuring 1.5 metres or just over 4 ft. A slow grower as in that time my Kentia palm has grown a trunk twice that size. I don't know what the climate zone is here but the winter nights rarely ever drop below 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F. The second plant is not sheltered from the winds and weather extremes as the first is and has been growing well for about 10 years and finally developing a trunk. Last summer for 4 days in a row the temperature reached more than 41 degrees C or about 106 degrees F with just a small amount of set back to the outer fronds. The Kentia and bangalow palms were scorched by the hot winds and the Norfolk palms were almost devastated but fortunately survived. If this helps, I have both majestic palms growing beside good size fish ponds and I use that water for the plants topping up the ponds when needed. Growing Majestics in a sheltered area near water seems to be helpful in colder climates. I have just purchased a different palm species from Madagascar ( Beccariphoenix Alfredii ). It was discovered in the mountains about 1000 ft. above sea level and resembles a coconut but is much more cold hardy than the Majestic. Probably slow growing but worth a try.

Positive zachcjones On Oct 8, 2013, zachcjones from Hattiesburg, MS wrote:

Bought one sickly majesty palm from Wal-Mart and nursed it back to health. It now has a nice and full appearance. The second one I bought, I cut one of the tallest stalks to make it symmetrical with the first palm on the other side of the patio. It didn't really seem to mind, as it just sprouted up two more long rods in place of the first one.

I planted these in large planters with cascading sweet potato vine to give it the appearance of having a skirt, as well as some mexican heather, caladiums and other little plants that matched well with it.

My only concern is that winter is approaching, so we'll have to see how it'll hold up. We should stick around in the 50s to 60s range of temperature at night, so I think I'll leave them out for a little bit longer.

Positive gardenbysarasota On Jul 26, 2013, gardenbysarasota from North Sarasota, FL wrote:

At my old house I had a Majesty Palm that grew rather
slow. I moved to a new house and just planted a small
Majesty Palm. Is there a way to make it grow faster. I hope that it can have a large trunk like some of the big
specimens have. Does anyone have any idea on how to
do this?

Thanks

Positive Palm1978 On Aug 6, 2012, Palm1978 from Bonita Springs, FL wrote:

At present time, this is the most common palm sold at retail in Southwest Florida. It is often sold as a container plant for patio or indoor use, where it does suffer as Palmbob noted 9 years ago.

If planted in the ground, it does much better in partial shade and it needs very regular fertilization to keep healthy. It is not one of my personal favorites.

Positive cstart On Mar 15, 2012, cstart from Richardson, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Easily grown as a potted plant in my area. I bought it cheap from a garden center in 2007 and it struggled the first couple years until I researched soil composition. I stuck it into a decent self-irrigated pot with proper soil and it took off! Very fast grower that enjoys gallons of water per week and a quite a bit of fertilizer for the majority of the year. I bring mine indoors when the temperature is expected to drop below 35F and put it right back out at 40F. After this next year I don't think it will squeeze through the door any longer without damaging the spear so I'll have to find it a new home.

Positive CoconutFreak1 On May 11, 2011, CoconutFreak1 from Central Coast, NSW
Australia (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is an easy and attractive palm to grow in the Sydney area, at least in coastal areas. It does tend to yellow if not looked after properly, but most plantings look good. It does grow quite large, so give it some room.

Positive mmosley On Apr 15, 2011, mmosley from Pine Bluff, AR wrote:

I love my majesty palm. (: It's my very first palm tree. I've had it for over a year. Recently repotted it in a much larger pot, and it's doing great. I overwintered it inside in front of a north-facing window for a little over 3 months. Probably watered it once every 2 weeks inside. Now it's outside in a shady, bright location. I water it every other day. These palms pretty much grow in swamps in their native Madagascar. Loves a lot of water when it's growing, especially during summer. Lots of fertilizer, too. I mist it frequently, and I always bring it inside once temperatures drop below, like, 42 degrees F. If night temperatures pretty much stay in the 50s or warmer, it stays outside. Unless it gets infested with bugs, or something, the only way it could die is if you don't properly take care of it.

Negative SuburbanNinja80 On Mar 23, 2011, SuburbanNinja80 from Plainfield, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I Bount this Plant back January, I wish I never did. No, Joke this was Going to be For my Bed Room. Since it was a Very nice 21C(73F for two weeks) I put it outside it got down to 60F(16C) first night it was doing ok. second night woke up and it was Turing brown so I watered it... it keeps getting worst off as it go. Am Just about to the Point of just Throwing it out.

Update: It Died and I Got the Dwarf One also... IT DIED ALSO!!! Forget this Palms. Am going to the Cold hardly Palms the ones I can Keep alive without doing that much!

Positive DARKSTAR6941 On Jan 10, 2011, DARKSTAR6941 from Elizabeth, NJ wrote:

I live in New Jersey,Two years ago a got two majesty palm,1 to 2 feet high.I keep them indoors all year. They are now 6 to 7 feet high. They get 4 hr`s of full sun each day. Yes you need to water every day,fertilize 2 times a year. I made my own fertilizer mix my self. Its seems they don`t like the main line brands.Any yellow or brown leaves cut right away. If the leaves are not total dead or brown cut below that area.If it con`t to brown cut at the base 1 inch from the trunk. any-one who like to know my palm fertilizer mix ,please write- will reply

Positive x5h21q9 On Jun 13, 2010, x5h21q9 from Brooklyn, NY wrote:

love this palm. i have 5 of them, all from lowes. 1 is about 2 feet tall. 2 more are about 7 feet tall. and i bought the other 2, which are also about 7 feet tall, on clearance for $3 each. they have about 1 to 2 leaves each. they make excellent house plants as long as you provide it daily waterings and the humidity in the room is at least 70%. They really don't need any light as long as they have those two things. the only problem is they grow very big quite fast.

Neutral jerlands On Apr 12, 2010, jerlands from Houston, TX wrote:

This winter in Houston we had unusually low temps, reaching 18 deg for 4 hours, and this killed the beautiful majesty palm we had growing at our entrance. My wife however insists on another :)

Positive tangelog On Oct 23, 2009, tangelog from Moscow, PA wrote:

I live in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania-- a place and climate much different than any of the regions posted here. I purchased four larger and two smaller potted Majestics as a Mother's Day gift for my wife. They are used as ornamental pieces and adorned our inground pool area all summer. They really transformed our home's outdoor living area into a paradise and our friends and visitors frequently comment on the resort-type feel the palms provide. I repotted them in larger pots and they thrived well from May thru most of September, and I moved them inside prior to the first frost. Given my unique circumstances, I am going to attempt to "winter" them in my basement using flourescent grow lights. I purchased four shop-light fixtures, and plan to use a variety of lamp types to get the broadest range of wavelengths. I also plan on using timers to provide consistent intervals of light, simulating day/night cycles. I'll use 14 hours of light, and see how that works. I haven't been able to find any guidelines to go on, so any advice any of you can provide would be most appreciated. Maybe I'm just chasing rainbows, but I really want to save something that gives us so much pleasure. I'll post pictures if they survive.

Positive ArchAngeL01 On Mar 15, 2009, ArchAngeL01 from Myrtle Beach, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

i found out the secret too growing this beuty! YOU MUST NOT ALLOW THIS PLANT TOO DRY OUT or it is sure too die you see this plant is native too a rainforest so you must keep moist allways and do not exspose it too full sun or it will fry also it grows fast and easily if you keep moist so follow this rule! i have a huge 20 foot indoor majesty

Negative p5l2a8t On May 20, 2008, p5l2a8t from Vancouver, WA wrote:

I need to know what these strange bugs are that have inhabited my plant... when I water it there are little white milapeeds that come out of the soil... I live in the north west and it stands about seven feet and faces the east window... I just don't know what to do.. The color is good but yes the frongs get yellow on the tips... PLEASE HELP

Neutral SemiGreenThumb On Mar 30, 2008, SemiGreenThumb from Sandy Springs, GA wrote:

The info here is quite helpful. The info sheet I got with my palm said to let it dry out between waterings and I have been doing that, but it isnt fairning as well as I think it should. I'm going to start keeping it more consistently moist!

Negative tropicsofohio On Mar 2, 2008, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

many stores such as wallmart sell these palms as a kentia look a-like. the truth is, kentias are much better indoor palms than the majesty palm. majestys need alot of water and part- full sun, not low light, and a "forget about me, i'll be fine" attitude. growing one of these requires a close eye, and experience. i have killed 8 palms so far, and my only "succes" is starting to decline, and is infested with scale and mites, i can only hope that fast growth and sunny warm temps. will bring it back to its former glory. last summer i set it in the ground, and it rewarded me with fast growth. now im dealing with bleeching and dieing fronds.
spring better come soon :)

well here is a surprize.... it died, but because they are so cheep, i might go and kill another one, lol.

Neutral markinspringbor On Dec 9, 2007, markinspringbor from Springboro, OH wrote:

I've had a nice 3' 4 stalk Majesty Palm for about a year and a half, in a 8 gallon hemp pot. I've kept it inside in an east-facing window 100% of the time and it's done fine. Just recently though it's seemed to be going to " two directions " for some reason !!
The plant is suddenly throwing frons out like CRAZY out the top and looking wonderful from that perspective.
But at the same time, the general color of the thing has seemed to faded to 'lime green' from the nicer shade it had earlier, and also the older frons at the bottom are suddenly in decline.
I use an 8-7-6 liquid Miracle Gro fertilizer w / .10% iron with every watering, every 2 weeks.
What am I doing wrong?
Do these things need ACID amendmends to the soil, maybe?

Positive southern_IL_Boy On Jul 2, 2007, southern_IL_Boy from Belleville, IL wrote:

I have 2 potted Majesty Palms that I move indoors in winter. They need bright light through the winter to look their best come spring. While indoors I water them thoroughly once a week, but in summer I water them every day unless it rains. In winter I put them in front of a window that gives them direct sunlight. In summer I put them under some of my large oak trees with lots of filtered light and they do great. I've had them 4 years now and they grow slowly but have remained healthy. I trim off fronds when they begin to lean out too far. I prefer the upright look anyway.

Photo posted.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Mar 24, 2007, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

For all it's fame as a inexpensive feathery potted palm,it really does poorly in a pot. Majesty's dont take to being kept potted in the same way of a Howea or Rhapsis. A Majesty palm will only put up with a few years at best in a pot before the stunting starts a slow decline. That is why you don't see large Majestys for sale .At least not large ones in ordinary sized containers-say under 24". You can find many species of palm with trunks in manageable pots-Majesty isn't one of them. Mine in ten years has twice had crown rot and this year finally died from the cold when all others-including a in ground Majesty,did well.
If you really want a long term potted palm don't waste time on this one when so many others are better suited for the potted life.You get what you pay for.

Positive 1cros3nails4gvn On Feb 2, 2007, 1cros3nails4gvn from Bluffton, SC (Zone 9a) wrote:

in the lowcountry of SC it is very common to see people that have this palm planted outside in the ground it performs well in the summer, but in the winter it is defoliated, but soon recovers. I am not sure as to if they will ever get tall or mature, but other than the defoliation, they do well here
***UPDATE***
On Hilton Head Island, which is just acoss the bridge fom us, they do well, usually flying thru winter with no problems. still no trunk on these, but a full crown of leaves, and it seems like we'll see some trunk in a year or two

Positive marc_schuyler On Jan 22, 2007, marc_schuyler from Saratoga, CA wrote:

In Saratoga, CA, this palm has faired well through several winters, albeit in a partially canopied sun exposure. We typically have perhaps 10 winter night time freezes, typically into the high 20s perhaps every decade to the low 20s or even teens. I cheated this winter (teens 2 consecutive nights) by covering it with a tarp, but the palm has faired surprisingly well.

Positive tmccullo On Jul 28, 2006, tmccullo from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

We live in Houston, Texas and have had our palm for 3 years. It is doing great and is growing very fast. We wrap it if we ever have nights that drop below 32 degrees and have had no problem keeping the palm

Positive jungleboy_fl On May 11, 2006, jungleboy_fl from Naples, FL wrote:

This palm is "bulletproof" in Florida. Dig a hole, water occasionally, and fertilize infrequently. There is nothing you need to know to grow this species without any real concern. It is overplanted perhaps, and somewhat ordinary, but for places like California, where there are fewer options, it is no doubt a winner.

Positive katt41 On Feb 3, 2006, katt41 from Michigan City, IN wrote:

This one is very attractive, but demanding when grown in containers! My experience with this devil: I bought one two years ago at Lowes. It didn't do well the first winter. I had it in a south facing window, well watered and it got horribly infested with mites. From what I hear, this is quite common. The combination of low winter light levels, low humidity and mites nearly got this one. Soap insecticide was the only thing that worked on those bugs, and it did great over the summer on my deck in full sun(sunrise to sunset), 85+ temps, high humidity. We've since put in a whole house humidifier, and I've kept a tray full of water/rocks under the pot for a little extra humidity this winter and it's doing MUCH better. Oh, and I also used a tropical plant mix when repotting instead of the miraclegro with moisture retention that I started with. Definitely worth it if you've got the time to baby it, otherwise go find a different palm for indoors!

Positive Band123 On Jan 27, 2006, Band123 from Vacaville, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Grows great in zone 9b with care. Just need a small fan on occasions when it frosts or else some of the frons will get damaged. In a area where it frosts regularly you might not want to grow it outside. For darker frons it must be in the shade or it will lighten up in the sun. I have found that this plant does well under moist conditons. So keep its roots moist. In this climate it took a couple of years untill it acclimated. So don't be discourage if it looks pretty bad the first couple of winters.

Positive jester On Nov 24, 2004, jester from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Bought a small one cheap at the depot and planted it in the shade of
the house. Had an ice storm that seem to hurt it. It took a year off from growing but came back strong this year.

Neutral Kylecawaza On Aug 23, 2004, Kylecawaza from Corte Madera, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Give this palm as much water as you can, and make sure the soil is always wet, unless you are growing it in SAn Francisco. These palms can survive the whack freezes Florida gets every once in a while, so you can plant them all the way up to Orlando, and perhaps Jacksonville, and not have to worry about it dieing. There are some growing in teh worst microlimcates in San Fransisco, and survive. BUt if you want your palm to be green and robust, give it water all the time. It is a semi aquatic palm, and could actually be planted with its trunk partially submerged in water.

Neutral bethbriggs On May 14, 2004, bethbriggs from Asheville, NC wrote:

Bought this as a houseplant from the local Walmart....since then it is slowly declining in health....yellow leaves, etc. I'm going to place it outside this summer to see if that helps...the notes about the need for water and lower light are very helpful.

Positive amorning1 On Oct 28, 2003, amorning1 from Islamorada, FL wrote:

Saw one growing in 9A.

Positive palmbob On Jul 9, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the most commonly sold 'house palms' nowadays, and the sad thing is it performs terribly as one. It is a great outdoor plant, though in the continental US it's a bit hard to keep from yellowing at the tips, especially if planted in full sun. It is a relatively fast palm for Southern California, and grows faster the more heat and water it gets. It eventually grows to 50' or more in the US, but in Madagascar, it's home, it can get up to nearly 100'. As the name suggests, it grows along rivers and loves to have its roots constantly moist. The only major dangers to this palm are cold (can't handle temps below the mid 20sF) and snails LOVE it, and will quickly shred the leaves to bits. Watering the crown, particulaly in the cooler months of the year, and especially the cool months to warm month period, is risky (though rain water seems to be OK... tap water is the problem). Rot/bud damage is very common in this species, at it is in many of the non-crownshafted feather-leaf palms, from tap water on the crowns ANY time of the year... but mostly in late winter/spring, as the palm starts to grow again... so if you plant this palm in your lawn, try to avoid having the sprinkler hit the crown. It is nearly impossible to overwater the roots of this plant (unless maybe planted in a very heavy clay soil)... but the crown is very sensitive to being 'overwatered'. I can't tell you how often i see this happen around southern California (and happened to several of my own palms)... live and learn.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Grenoble,
Orange Beach, Alabama
Altadena, California
Brentwood, California
Chula Vista, California
Corte Madera, California
Encino, California
Fresno, California (2 reports)
Hayward, California
Lemon Grove, California
Martinez, California
Pasadena, California
Rancho Cucamonga, California
Reseda, California
Rialto, California
San Diego, California
San Marino, California
San Pedro, California
San Ramon, California
Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)
Vacaville, California
Ventura, California
Big Pine Key, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida
Clermont, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Kissimmee, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Ruskin, Florida
Safety Harbor, Florida
Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Houma, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana (2 reports)
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Bluffton, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (2 reports)
Broaddus, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Mission, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah



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