Ravenea Species, Majestic Palm, Majesty Palm

Ravenea rivularis

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ravenea (ra-VEN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: rivularis (riv-yoo-LAIR-iss) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Tropicals and Tender Perennials


Water Requirements:

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

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade

Partial to Full Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Dark Green

Light Green


over 40 ft. (12 m)


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Orange Beach, Alabama

Phoenix, Arizona

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(3 reports)

Vacaville, California

Ventura, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Boynton Beach, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Inverness, Florida

Kissimmee, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Pensacola, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Safety Harbor, Florida

Sarasota, Florida(2 reports)

Zephyrhills, Florida

Shepherdsville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Houma, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana(2 reports)

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Elizabeth, New Jersey

Brooklyn, New York

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Bluffton, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina(2 reports)

Clarksville, Tennessee

Broaddus, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas(4 reports)

Mission, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 3, 2019, hotbuthumid from Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Tough beyond belief! In the ground already in 2016-17 when we bought the house. They had planted a lot of tropical, non-hardy stuff to make the house show well. That winter (28F, 23F, 27F) 3 consecutive freezing nights froze them to the ground. I didn't even bother to cover them (there are 3 in different locations) but they returned! Winter 2017-18 there was a freezing rain which covered everything with ice. Then a drop to 18F (we are 9a but that kind of thing happens occasionally) and then another freezing night. I may or may not have covered them but I know I didn't provide supplemental heat to the more sheltered one. And they still came back. We had only light frosts this winter so they I'm having to prune them back to keep them from shading out their neighbors! One gets only a... read more


On Feb 19, 2019, Plantnerd1998 from Shepherdsville, KY wrote:

I live in zone 6 Kentucky, I left it out for winter this year with a lot of protection, just to see what would happen. Surprisingly it has survived temperatures 7 degrees Fahrenheit
And is still green and solid at the trunk, hopefully will be alive until spring. I will keep you guys posted. 😀


On Sep 7, 2018, smashedcricket from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Nice looking palm tree which requires filtered sunlight, and slightly acid soil with monthly fertilizer to maintain color. Water
regularly, but make sure drainage is sharp, and make sure not to water the trunk too much. Mist daily, and should be just fine. Does well under a canopy of a tree.


On Jun 15, 2017, Rickid173 from Hollywood, FL wrote:

I love this palm tree and find it to look beautiful, but it is a little too high maintenance for me. I had one in a pot, where it fared fine. When I planted it into the ground , it did ok for several years but was a painstakingly slow grower. It also required frequent watering despite the fact that I live in South FLorida and get quite a lot of rain down here (67 inches per year). I left the country for a year, and when I returned, it was dead. I'm not sure whether it was lack of irrigation or lack of fertilizer that led to its demise. I have since planted a Carpentaria palm in its place, and it has been thriving, getting 20 feet of trunk in 5 years with a beautiful dense dark green crown. The carpentaria doesn't need any supplemental irrigation, just frequent fertilization to get the maxi... read more


On Mar 18, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In the big box stores, this is among the most commonly sold palm for use as a houseplant---not because it's suitable for growing as a houseplant (it isn't!) but because it's easy and cheap for Florida nurseries to propagate and grow to a suitable size. I killed several before reading that its environmental requirements are not compatible with most homes.


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 10... read more


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.


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?



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.


On Mar 15, 2012, cstart from (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.


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.


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 ta... read more


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!


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


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.


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 :)


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... read more


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


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


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!


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.... read more


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?


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.


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.


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
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


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.


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


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.


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 t... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Saw one growing in 9A.


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... read more