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Kenzia, a great plant for our apartments. Even if it comes from the other side of the world, from Australia, and neighboring countries, it is well warm in the winter in Italian living rooms, and in summer protected from the direct sun. It is a plant belonging to the great Palmae family, of the genus Howea, the most appreciated species is the Howea forsteriana, the other is the Howea belmoreana or Riccia Palm. In Europe the Kenzia arrives in Europe at the beginning of the 19th century but carries with it the origins of the name which derives from the capital of Lord Howe Island, east of Australia.
Kentia is in truth the correct name of this plant which shows a short stem with very long petioles, very large fronds formed by dark green bipinnate leaves, typical of this plant of the northern hemisphere. In nature the Kenzia it also reaches 18 - 20 meters in height and can produce flowers and fruits but only if it is completely at ease, in the apartment maximum reaches 3 meters and if it makes a flower or fruit throughout its life, there is something to celebrate.
Let's not worry if we see ours Kenzia always the same, almost it is: it has a very slow growth. The pace is a maximum of two new leaves a year and is an intrinsic characteristic of it, there are no tricks to make it accelerate, even when it is free, in its environment, it is not in a hurry.
To distinguish the two species of Howea, that Belmoreana has more numerous leaves and appears with a finer and more slender silhouette, it looks more slender than the Forsteriana which despite having fewer leaves is more impressive.
To best accommodate one Kenzia let's reserve a place for her in the apartment not with direct sun: it's really unbearable. In winter it does not withstand temperatures of 10 degrees and likes the dry heat typical of a heated house. As for the soil, trying to reproduce what it lives in nature, in Australia, we can get a slightly peaty but above all sandy substrate and then create a mixture of manure and flower soil.
Once the Kenzia it does not require abundant but moderate watering, never invasive but that they are regular, about every 20 days it must be fertilize and a generic complete liquid fertilizer is fine, but this only from April to October, then we can also not proceed and leave it to enjoy the domestic warm just by watering it.
Kenzia: yellowed leaves
It is quite common to run into the problem of yellowing of the leaves and for the Kenzia one of the most frequent causes is incorrect irrigation. Another reason may be a parasitic attack by red spider mites. But we realize it, if it is their fault, seeing them act, otherwise it is we who have made a mistake in regulating ourselves with water.
There Kenzia it is a plant that needs a lot of water and many forget it, but it suffers immediately and heavily when irrigation is insufficient. Show daughters yellowed and then spoiled by drying out. In addition to being as regular as possible to quench the plant's thirst, we can pamper it with sprays on the foliage which maintain high humidity.
Kenzia: dry leaves
When, or rather if, we see yellow leaves appear in the crown of the Home kenzia, let's expect that dry leaves will also arrive and we must do everything to prevent this from happening. We pay attention to the plant and when it seems thirsty, do not let it suffer.
In general it does not need pruning, but if there are leaves that dry up they must be eliminated because they can become an invitation to diseases and adversity various who are looking for an approach to then weaken and upset our beautiful flatmate.
Beautiful, elegant and undoubtedly furnishing houseplant, although I don't like to talk about furniture when the protagonist is a plant, alive, the Kenzia its price is not exactly low but it must also be seen in relation to the volume it has and the effect it has. We cannot expect it to cost like a geranium, with all the respect I have for the geranium and its contribution in many city balconies that would be very sad without it.
For a one meter Kenzia we can expect an honest price of 75-80 euros, to grow 100-120 euros for a one and a half meter plant e 200 or maybe more if we get to 2 meters. When we choose the size, we remember that it grows very slowly: bought a meter it stays more or less so it does not reach 2, or rather, not in a five-year period.
In an elegant and welcoming living room, a a green, lively, elegant and slightly boreal element. A 1.80 plant can be the solution both for a family and for a single who has a company almost as high as a roommate but who disturbs on average much less. He only asks for a drink.
If we don't even feel like making the commitment to quench our thirst, we can start doing some coexistence tests with Kenzia buying one Kentia Palm Elegance Luxe artificial always 1.80 m high for 180 euros. Then we will move on to the living one, I'm sure, and without regret.
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