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Growing-Travelers-Tree.jpg

Growing Traveler's Tree

I have a traveling palm in my living room under the skylights.  Although the stem rises to a very great height, the abundant leaves never unfold.  I have been unable to find information on this type of palm.  Should I be giving it more or less water or light?

Ravenala often called the Traveler's tree does resemble a palm or banana plant.  It is native to Madagascar and South American where it receives good light, ample moisture and humidity.  You will have to do the best to provide similar conditions indoors.  Try supplementing the skylight with artificial lights.  There are many grow lights or cool fluorescent bulbs that can be used as indoor spotlights.  Either type of bulb can provide the plant with the needed light and you with added enjoyment.  Keep the soil evenly moist spring through summer as the plant is actively growing.  Allow the soil to dry before watering during slower periods (usually winter) of growth.  Group your traveler's tree with other plants, place shallow pans of water nearby or set it on pebbles in a saucer filled with water to increase the humidity.  If the plant has been in the same container for several years it may be time to transplant.  Move the plant to the next size pot.  Carefully loosen the pot-bound roots and fill with any well-drained potting mix.  Adjust your watering schedule as needed.        

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