They are available in many different shapes and sizes. While most palm trees are planted outside, some can be kept in a house if there is adequate light and room. Inside palm trees can provide beautiful decoration. Palm trees can also be given as gifts for birthdays, certain holidays, or just to show kindness to someone.
Palm trees provide the best of all worlds in many settings. Many palms are "understory" plants in their natural habitats, meaning that they are shaded by taller plants and cannot tolerate strong, direct sun. This adaptation makes various types of palm trees attractive for indoor use, or in outdoor settings where they can be protected from strong, direct sun.
Palms are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. Short, bushy palms have their place in the plantscape, as do taller palm trees. Various types of palm trees often are referred to as "parlor palms." These include standard varieties such as plumosa, areca or kentia palms, each of which fills a specific role. The plumosa palm is tall and narrow, lending height to the corner in which it sits. The areca palm can be tall in its native settings, but in a pot it can be kept at four or five feet with a full and leafy body. Others, such as the kentia palm, offer a narrow base and a full, leafy crown. The bamboo palm provides a more overall leafy shape and is shorter than some other palm varieties. Still others, such as the Chinese fan palm, are short with broad, solid leaves.
The point is that there is a palm for every interior setting. Most can move outside for the summer, as long as they are not in full, direct sunlight for extended periods. Palms are highly effective at cleaning the air, which is increasingly important as we continue to reduce ventilation in our homes in an effort to conserve energy.
Pests generally do not plague most types of palms. Spider mites can cause problems in dry winter weather, but it is easy to discourage them by keeping humidity higher around the plant. Simple spraying with nontoxic insecticidal soap quickly dispatches light infestations.