How Big Does a Cat Palm Get: Growth & Care Tips

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Are you curious about the size potential of a Cat Palm? This popular houseplant is a favorite among many indoor gardeners, but understanding its growth patterns is essential for successful care. In this article, we’ll explore how big a Cat Palm can get and what factors affect its size. Whether you’re a seasoned plant parent or just starting, read on to discover some fascinating insights about the growth of this beautiful tropical plant.

Cat Palm Size and Growth

The Cat Palm, scientifically known as Chamaedorea cataractarum, is a popular indoor plant that brings a touch of tropical greenery to any space. To understand how big a Cat Palm can get and its growth pattern, let’s delve into the typical heights and growth rates of this fascinating plant.

Typical Height

In its natural habitat, the Cat Palm can grow up to 6 feet tall (1.8 meters), and indoors, it usually reaches a height of around 3 feet (0.9 meters). Its beautiful, feathery fronds add to its overall visual appeal and form a dense clump of stems as it grows. The Cat Palm does not have a trunk like a typical palm tree, which makes it a clustering palm plant.

Growth Rate

Known for being a slow-growing plant, the Cat Palm can take up to 10 years to fully mature (Plantophiles). The growth rate may vary depending on the growing conditions, such as the level of sunlight and soil quality. It will tolerate both sun and shade, but prefers shadier locations (South Florida Plant Guide). As it grows, the Cat Palm’s width can also extend from 3 to 5 feet wide, adding to its bushy and rounded shape.

Overall, the Cat Palm’s size and growth make it an excellent choice for indoor greenery, with its potential to add visual appeal without taking up too much space. Given the right care and conditions, the Cat Palm will thrive and become a stunning addition to any living space.

Planting and Maintaining a Cat Palm

Cat Palms, also known as Chamaedorea cataractarum, typically grow up to 3 feet tall as houseplants, with some reaching a height of 6 feet in their natural habitat. The plant has a bushy, compact appearance, and its leaves feature a rich, vivid green, pinnate shape (Evergreen Seeds).

Best Planting Conditions

The ideal planting conditions for a Cat Palm include a well-draining potting mix, as well as a combination of perlite, bark, sand, and potting soil. Ensure that the plant receives bright, indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight may cause scorching (Plantophiles).

Watering and Fertilizing

For optimal Cat Palm growth, water the plant regularly, ensuring the top 2-4 inches of soil feel dry before watering again (Plantophiles). A consistent watering schedule is crucial for a healthy Cat Palm. Chamaedorea cataractarum prefers moist, but not soggy, soil. Avoid letting the plant sit in a tray of water (GFL Outdoors).

Fertilize the Cat Palm with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every four to six weeks during the growing season. Additionally, reduce the frequency of fertilization during winter months when the plant experiences slower growth.


Pruning a Cat Palm helps maintain its bushy appearance and promotes healthy growth. To prune efficiently, snip off yellow or brown leaves at their base with a pair of clean, sharp scissors. Prune sparingly to avoid damage to the healthy plant and cutting too close to the stem.

Aside from regular pruning, Cat Palms require minimal maintenance. The plant should be rotated a quarter turn each week to ensure even exposure to light (Hobby Plants). This will help promote balanced growth and keep the plant healthy and robust.

Potential Challenges

While Cat Palms can make a beautiful addition to your home or garden, there are a few potential challenges that may arise when trying to grow and maintain these plants. In particular, Cat Palms may face issues related to pests and diseases, which can harm the plant’s health and affect their growth.


Cat Palms, like other plants, can be susceptible to various types of pests that could potentially hinder their growth. Common pests that may affect Cat Palms include spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. These pests can cause the leaves to yellow, wilt, or become discolored, affecting the overall health of the plant.

One way to manage pest infestations is by regularly examining the leaves of your Cat Palm for signs of pests and addressing them early. Pesticides or natural remedies, such as neem oil or insecticidal soaps, can be applied to help control and prevent these pests from causing further damage to the plant.


In addition to pests, Cat Palms can also be affected by various diseases that could impact their growth and overall health. Root rot, for example, is a common issue that can arise from overwatering or poorly drained soil. Root rot can lead to the plant’s roots becoming damaged, which in turn can affect the overall growth and size of the Cat Palm.

To minimize the risk of diseases, it is important to provide proper care for your Cat Palm. Ensuring that the plant receives adequate water, well-draining soil, and the appropriate amounts of sunlight can help prevent diseases and maintain its overall health. This will contribute to your Cat Palm reaching its full growth potential, growing lush and vibrant in your space.

Alternative Palm Varieties

If you are considering adding a palm to your indoor or outdoor landscape, understanding the size and growth patterns of different varieties in relation to the Cat Palm can help you make an informed decision. In this section, we provide you with alternative palm varieties categorized into smaller and larger options.

Smaller Varieties

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans): A popular choice for indoor spaces, the Parlor Palm, also known as Neanthe Bella Palm or Tabletop Palm, usually grows up to 2-4 feet tall (Leafy Place). Its elegant, feathery fronds make it an attractive addition to any interior space.

Ponytail Palm (Beaucarnea recurvata): Despite its common name, it is not a true palm but rather a succulent plant. The Ponytail Palm typically grows up to 6 feet indoors (Leafy Place). It features an enlarged, bulbous base with long, arching leaves, giving it a unique appearance.

Larger Varieties

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens): Similar in appearance to the Cat Palm, the Areca Palm has golden-yellow petioles and can grow up to 20 feet outdoors or 6-8 feet indoors (South Florida Plant Guide). This palm is an excellent option for those looking to create a natural screen or privacy hedge.

Majesty Palm (Ravenea rivularis): Majesty Palms can grow up to an impressive 20 feet tall outdoors and around 10 feet indoors (Gardening Know How). With its feathery fronds and tall, graceful growth, the Majesty Palm can become the focal point of any landscape design.

Considering the various palm varieties available can help you find the perfect plant to meet your space and aesthetic requirements. Keep in mind the desired size and overall appearance of the palm while selecting the one that suits your needs best. From the smaller Parlor Palm and Ponytail Palm to the larger Areca and Majesty Palms, there is a palm variety suitable for every preference and application.

Video Guide