How to Propagate Cat Palm: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

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Have you ever wanted to expand your collection of cat palm plants without having to spend a fortune at the nursery? Well, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to propagate cat palms in a few simple steps. Whether you’re a seasoned plant propagator or a beginner, our guide will help you successfully propagate your cat palm and grow a thriving collection in no time.

What Is Cat Palm Propagation?

Cat Palm propagation is the process of multiplying your Cat Palm plants by creating new ones from the existing plant. It is usually accomplished by separating new growth, such as side shoots called suckers or offsets, from the mother plant. These suckers grow from the main root ball and develop their own roots over time, making propagation an achievable task for home gardeners.

Propagating cat palms is best done during spring, preferably at the same time as repotting the plant. To ensure success, it is essential to use well-draining soil and sterilized tools to prevent the spread of bacteria or diseases. There are a few methods for propagating this plant, including division, offsets, and growing from seed. Whichever method is chosen, patience and proper care will yield healthy, thriving Cat Palms.

Methods of Propagation

There are various methods one can utilize to propagate a Cat Palm plant. This includes:

  1. Division
  2. Stem Cuttings
  3. Seeds


One of the most common ways to propagate a Cat Palm is by division. This technique involves separating new growth, also known as suckers or offsets, from the main plant (Evergreen Seeds). These young plants usually have their own roots, making the process relatively straightforward. Carefully remove a section of roots along with the offset and replant it in a separate pot, watering gently (Get Busy Gardening).

Stem Cuttings

Although not mentioned as a popular method among the sources, another way to propagate plants, in general, is through stem cuttings. This involves taking a portion of a healthy stem and encouraging roots to grow before planting in new locations. For Cat Palm, it may be more challenging, but could still be a possible option for propagation under the right conditions.


Propagation through seeds is another method used for Cat Palm; however, it requires two plants for pollination and may result in unreliable germination (Get Busy Gardening). Despite the challenges, you can still attempt to grow a new Cat Palm from seed by providing optimal conditions for germination, such as appropriate warmth and humidity.

Choosing the Right Time

The optimal time for propagating a Cat Palm is during the spring season. This is when the plant experiences a surge in growth, providing an opportunity for healthier and more successful propagation.

When propagating, it is advised to separate new growth called suckers from the mother plant(source). These suckers grow out of the main root ball and eventually develop their roots over time. It is important to ensure adequate humidity and maintain a temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) to facilitate the development of new roots(source).

To make the propagation process easier, you can choose to water the Cat Palm thoroughly before separating the suckers(source). This helps in loosening the soil around the root system and facilitates the division of the plant.

Preparing for Propagation

Gathering Materials

Before beginning the process of propagating your Cat Palm, gather the necessary materials to ensure success. You will need a suitable pot, standard potting mix combined with perlite, and plastic wrap to cover the new plant for maintaining humidity(source).

Selecting Healthy Plant Parts

Choose the appropriate time, preferably early spring, to propagate your Cat Palm(source). Look for side shoots called suckers, which grow from the main root ball and have developed their roots over time. These healthy parts will give the new plant the best chance at thriving and growing successfully(source).

After gathering the materials and selecting healthy plant parts, you’ll be ready to begin the propagation process. Follow the proper steps and techniques to ensure the new Cat Palm thrives and grows into a beautiful addition to your indoor jungle.

Step-by-Step Propagation Process

Dividing Cat Palm

Dividing your Cat Palm plant is the simplest method of propagation. Choose a mature, well-established plant with multiple strong stems during the spring or summer growing season. Thoroughly water the plant to loosen the soil around the root system, then gently remove it from the ground or pot, shaking off excess soil (Hunker).

Identify and separate the individual stems that have their roots to create divisions. Carefully plant each division into a separate pot or space in your garden, filled with appropriate soil, ensuring a smooth transition for their growth.

Propagating from Stem Cuttings

Propagating Cat Palm from stem cuttings is not commonly practiced due to the clustering growth habit of the plant. However, if you decide to attempt this method, take healthy stem cuttings with leaves still attached. Place them in a container with water, keeping the base submerged. Replace the water frequently to keep it fresh, and wait for the roots to develop. Once a healthy root system is visible, transfer the cutting to a pot filled with well-draining soil and continue to provide optimal care to ensure successful growth.

Growing from Seeds

When propagating Cat Palm from seeds, begin by placing the seeds in a small container with a thin layer of soil, or only half-buried(The Spruce). Palm seeds do not sprout well if buried too deep. Maintain a warm and humid environment for the seeds, and be patient as they can take several weeks to germinate.

Once the seedlings have developed a few leaves, transplant them into individual pots or suitable locations in your garden. Provide proper care, including appropriate watering, feeding, and temperature conditions, to ensure their healthy growth.

Caring for the New Plants

Potting and Soil Requirements

Once a new cat palm plant has been propagated, it is important to provide the proper potting setup and soil mixture. A good soil mix for cat palms consists of two parts standard potting mix and one part perlite, ensuring proper drainage and aeration for the young plant’s roots (Plantophiles).

Watering and Fertilizing

Young cat palm plants require consistent watering, as allowing the soil to dry out completely can harm the plant. Water the new plant gently and regularly, while ensuring that the soil does not become overly saturated (Get Busy Gardening). As for fertilizing, apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer during the growing season, typically spring and summer, to support the plant’s growth and development.

Light and Temperature Requirements

Cat palms prefer bright, indirect light, which helps them grow properly without experiencing scorching from direct sunlight. In terms of temperature, cat palms thrive in conditions around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) (Plantophiles). Make sure to maintain these conditions as you care for your newly propagated cat palm, adjusting as needed to ensure the plant’s continued growth and overall health.

Common Issues and Solutions

When propagating cat palms, gardeners may encounter some common issues like root rot, poor germination, and plant diseases. In this section, we will discuss these problems and provide solutions to ensure the healthy growth of your cat palm.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common issue affecting cat palms, especially when they are over-watered or planted in poorly drained soil. To prevent root rot, ensure your cat palm is planted in well-draining soil and follow proper watering techniques. If you notice signs of root rot, such as yellowing or wilting leaves, gently remove the plant from its pot, trim away the affected roots, and replant it in fresh, well-draining soil [source].

Poor Germination

Germinating cat palm seeds can be unreliable, especially if pollination is not possible. Instead of seed propagation, it is best to propagate cat palms through division by separating pups from the mother plant when they are at least 1 foot tall and carefully replanting them with a piece of the root system [source]. This method increases the chances of successful propagation and new plant growth.

Plant Diseases

Cat palms can be susceptible to various plant diseases, including fungal infections and pests. To prevent these issues, maintain a clean growing environment, provide proper air circulation, and monitor your plants for signs of infestation or disease. If you detect any problems, treat your cat palm immediately with the appropriate fungicides or insecticides, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.


In summary, propagating a cat palm is a relatively simple process for plant enthusiasts. The most effective method involves separating new growth, known as suckers or offsets, from the base of the plant taking care to ensure that each offset has its own roots (Leafy Place). Springtime is the ideal period for propagation, as it coincides with the optimal time for repotting the plant (Evergreen Seeds).

With proper care and attention, cat palms can thrive in separate containers, providing lush greenery for any indoor or outdoor space. By adhering to these guidelines and maintaining a healthy environment for the newly propagated plants, cat palm propagation becomes an enjoyable and rewarding experience for gardeners of all levels.

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