Caryota leaves

Caryota (Fishtail Palms) - Expert tips

How to Care for Fishtail Palm (Caryota) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

When we want a tropical landscape, vacation feelings and a white sand beach atmosphere, palms are the first thing that comes to mind! We mostly hear about Areca palm… but have you ever heard about Caryota palm? It's also known as the Fishtail Palm because its leaves resemble Fishtails. How cool is that?

Cool fact! The young leaves of the Caryota Mitis palm tree start out as a lovely, bright green, and they turn a deeper shade as they get older. This creates a really beautiful contrast.

Fishtail Palms are from warm and humid forests in Asia and northern Australia. They can grow super tall in the wild, up to 12 meters. But don't worry, as a houseplant, they're way shorter, reaching about 2 meters.

Caryota leaves

Fishtail Palm Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Fishtail Palms enjoy bright natural light. Choose a spot with bright indirect sunlight. A little morning or evening sunlight is good. The harsh midday sun can be a bit too much and can burn its leaves.
  2. These plants are pretty good at handling shady spots. Just keep in mind that they might grow a bit slower and have smaller leaves than if they were in brighter light. But don't worry, they’ll still stay green and look gorgeous.
  3. Water when the top soil has slightly dried out. They like their soil moist but not too soggy. Make sure you always check the soil’s moisture before giving it another drink.
  4. As tropical plants, they love high humidity. If your home air is too dry, consider raising humidity levels with a humidifier or tray filled with pebbles and water.
  5. Feed your Caryota palm some houseplant fertiliser once a month when it's spring and summer. This will help promote new, healthy growth and supply your plants with all the nutrients they crave.
  6. Wipe its big leaves from time to time. Some dust will accumulate on the leaves with time, and this extra layer can block light and reduce photosynthesis efficiency. Wipe them gently with a damp cloth, but be careful not to damage the leaves.
  7. Keep your eye on pests regularly. Fishtail Palms can be susceptible to common houseplant pests like spider mites and mealybugs. If you spot any signs of these tiny troublemakers, make sure to act fast!
  8. Monitor any leaf changes. If you notice its leaves turning yellow, it might be a sign of overwatering. If they turn brown, your plant could be underwatered, in low humidity or exposed to cold drafts.
  9. Give your Fishtail Palm lots of room to grow. They can grow up to 2 meters and need room to shine and show off beautiful lush leaves.
  10. Be patient with growth. Fishtail Palms are relatively slow growers. Don't be alarmed if your plant seems to be taking its time - this is normal.

Caryota care tips

Light requirements

For your lovely Fishtail palm, bright indirect sunlight during the growing season is the best. That will make this green beauty thrive quickly and create a beautiful dark green and thick foliage. However, it is important to avoid too intensive direct sunlight, especially during the hot afternoon hours, as it can scorch the palm's leaves.

Expert tip! Rotating your Caryota palm from time to time is a good practice. By doing this, you ensure that all sides of the palm receive an equal amount of light exposure and its shape will be more beautiful.

Caryota palms are pretty adaptable when it comes to lighting conditions compared to other palm trees. They can tolerate medium to slightly darker spots in your home. However, in too dark corners its growth will slow down, and the leaves might start to droop or turn yellow. It may also become more susceptible to pests and diseases.


Fishtail Palm isn't a demanding plant when it comes to watering, but it does enjoy having consistently moist soil. The best time to water it is when the top half soil has dried out. Generally, giving it a nice splash of water once a week is perfectly fine.

During the winter season, you can reduce the frequency of watering your plants. They are most likely in a hibernation and won't dry out as rapidly as they would in the summer.

Caryota leaves


Give your Caryota palm liquid plant food during the growth season (spring and summer). You can use PLNTS Nutrition every 1-2 months. This will support its healthy growth so it can thrive and get beautiful foliage quickly!

Temperature & humidity

Fishtail Palm loves warm and humid conditions. It likes temperatures between 20-27°C and appreciates humidity levels of about 50-70%. Although it can handle less humidity, it truly flourishes when things feel a little more tropical. Don't worry if your home is typically a bit dry, your Caryota will still feel at home. However, you might want to think about increasing the humidity around it for optimal happiness.

Repotting & soil

Caryota plants can grow quite large, so it usually needs repotting after every 2-3 years. You'll know it's time for a new pot when you see roots peeking out of the drainage holes. These plants love well-draining soil, so try using organic PLNTS potting soil for the best results - it's designed to drain well and provide all the nutrients they need to thrive.

Caryota propagation

Propagating Caryota is complicated as this is a tree-like plant. The only real way is by planting seeds in spring or summer. Just sprinkle them on some potting soil and give them a light dusting of soil on top - they're not fans of being completely buried. Once it’s sprouted, your future new green babies are ready to meet you! To propagate correctly, you can divide the stems that rises from the clumps at the base. Repot the offsets, and voila! Here are your new babies.

Caryota plant

Most common pests on Caryota

The most common pest on Caryota is spider mites. So if you spot little ‘thingy’ walking on the leaves of your palm tree or a little web is starting to be built, you can be sure spider mites make a feast of your plant.

If you want to be sure of what is going on with your green lady, you can check our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests! If you are interested in biological pest control, you can take a look at our blog: Which natural and biological pest control against which pest?

Is Caryota poisonous for your pets or children?

Despite the harmless appearance of your favourite palm tree, be aware that the berries it can grow are truly poisonous. Pets and children are more at risk than others. When a person encounters these berries, they experience an itchy, burning sensation and dermatitis. Pets and young children are most at risk, so be careful with the plant.

Buy your new Caryota online at

At, we have the beautiful Caryota Mitis and the incredible dark green foliage with the Fishtail leaves! This beauty is easy-going and will for sure add some depth and exotic vibes to your indoor jungle! Buy Caryota online at

Huisstijl author banner-05 (2).jpg