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Travelers Palm Care (Ravenala Madagascariensis) Tips For Growth

The maintenance of the unusual indoor plant Ravenala madagascariensis differs slightly from that of conventional palms. The Travelers palm resembles a banana tree or bird of paradise a little more.

However, it gets its name from the distinctive fan-shaped leaf that grows naturally in an east-west orientation, making it useful for travelers to recognize which way they are moving. This palm was taken from its natural habitat, like many other houseplants, and has been thriving in a lot of homes as a tropical accent to their d├ęcor.

Overview About The Travelers Palm (Ravenala Madagascariensis)

Anecdotally known as the east-west palm or the traveler’s palm, Ravenala madagascariensis. Its distinctive fan-shaped leaves, which grow in an east-west orientation by nature, give rise to its name. This tree, which is native to Madagascar, was once used to determine direction, much like a compass. 

The leaf bases and bracts of this plant also catch and store rainfall, making it a beautiful find for thirsty visitors who may subsequently find up to a half-gallon of fresh water contained within it. 

There is even folklore that says you may make a wish, and it will come true if you stand in front of a traveler’s palm, making it a very lucky discovery. Since then, it has grown to be one of the most popular indoor tropical plants for workplaces and homes.

Travelers Palm Caring Tips

Watering Travelers Palm

The traveler’s palm is a rainforest native that likes to be always damp. Despite the fact that this plant needs frequent watering, you should be careful not to overwater and wait until the top one to two inches of soil have dried up before rewatering. The plant should never be immersed in standing water in the plant’s tray, and your container should have good drainage.

The ideal soil for a Travelers palm

The Travelers palm will tolerate some sand but prefers slightly acidic loamy soil. A regular potting mix with additions of organic matter, such as compost, and additives to promote drainage, such as vermiculite or perlite, is an ideal growth medium for ravenala madagascariensis.

Fertilizer for Traveling palms

During the spring, summer, and fall, Ravenala madagascariensis will benefit from a single application of nitrogen-rich fertilizer for tropical plants and palms. Follow all label directions. Fertilize not throughout the winter.

Light Requirements for Travelers Palm

This big tree should get enough sunlight because it loves the sun. This plant thrives in a sunroom, greenhouse, or a large window with southern exposure. Low light is not tolerated well by Traveler’s palm.

Temperature & Humidity for Travelers Palm 

Because Ravenala madagascariensis prefers warm temperatures, temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit should never be allowed because they will cause the plant substantial stress. Temperatures between 65 and 85 F are ideal for growth. Being tropical plants, they prefer greater levels of humidity when cultivated indoors, such as those provided by a humidifier.

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Pruning and Maintaining Travelers Palm  

The traveler’s tree doesn’t need a lot of trimming. To avoid an untidy look and the production of leaves, root suckers may be removed from the base of the trunk. Branches will form when you pinch off new growth at the tip to encourage branching.


Every one to two years or when roots are visible peeking through the drainage holes, this plant has to be potted again. Always pot your plants in the spring. Choose a container with drainage holes that is one to two inches bigger than the original container.

To repot, fill the new container with fresh potting soil, gently remove the Travelers palm from the planter it is now in, insert the root ball in the planter, push down any loose soil, add more potting soil as necessary, and water well.

To prevent it from becoming top-heavy and toppling over, this tree should be kept in a fairly large container. When a plant reaches a size that makes it unsuitable for the inside, many people instead decide to move it outside if the climate permits.

How To Propagate Travelers Palm

The palm tree of the traveler may be simply multiplied via division. Simply pull the rooted suckers growing close to the trunk’s base apart and transplant them. You may need to gently untangle any roots that are tangled up with the mother plant. Make sure the mother plant is completely covered in dirt before planting the baby plant in a pot filled with wet, well-aerated soil.

Toxicity in Travelers Palm

Humans, cats, and dogs are all said to be harmful to the traveler’s palm tree. Keep this plant out of the reach of youngsters and domestic pets, and avoid consuming it.  The young leaves, seed oil, and fruits of Ravenala madagascariensis have all been used medicinally throughout history despite being bitter. 

Traveler’s palm, on the other hand, is thought to be only minimally harmful to humans and should never be taken in any form since it might have negative side effects, including upset stomach.

Toxicity to Dogs and Cats

Pets should never consume Traveler’s palm because it is thought to be only minimally poisonous to them. You should call your veterinarian if you think your pet may have eaten any of this plant.

Issues you may have with Travelers Palm Palm

Leaves Turning Yellow on Travelers Palm

The traveler’s palm’s leaves may frequently turn yellow from nutritional deficiency or overwatering. Before watering, make sure the top one to two inches of soil have dried off. To make sure the palm tree gets the nutrients it needs, fertilizes it once in the spring, summer, and fall.

Leaves Turning Brown on Travelers Palm

The Travelers palm may develop brown leaves as a result of excessive fertilizing, watering, and poor drainage. Make sure it doesn’t get too much fertilizer or water. If you are doing this correctly, check your plant’s drainage tray to make sure there isn’t any standing water since this might be the cause of the browning of the leaves.

Diseases of the Traveling Palm

The indoor plant Ravenala madagascariensis is regarded as disease-resistant. However, excessive irrigation could cause problems.

Pests in Travelers Palms

There are no documented pest difficulties with Ravenala Madagascariensis, which is pest-resistant. However, it might get an infestation, much like many indoor plants. When an infestation is discovered, separate the area and treat it with a pesticide according to all label directions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Travelers Palm

What is the growth rate of Travelers Palms?

A traveler’s palm takes 10 years to blossom due to its sluggish growth. Once flowering starts, it will bloom primarily in the summer but may also produce blooms all year long. The resultant edible seeds give this plant a wide range of useful applications.

Why do they go by the name Traveler Palms?

The Traveler’s tree, also known as the Traveler’s palm, is a member of the Strelitziaceae family of plants. It gets its common name from the fact that people have historically drank from the water that collects at the bases of its leaves during times of need.

Do Travelers palms spread?

Anywhere you plant, remember which way the foliage’s crown will grow. Place this plant no closer than 8 to 10 feet from the home since it grows to be a very huge and wide-spreading plant.

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