It is small palm tree native to the shady forest beds of Mexico. It is a flowering plant which belongs to family Arecaceae.
The plant is easy to care for once established. It grows slowly so you don't have to re-pot it over and over.
It would be best to keep the palm away from direct sunlight as it may lead to leaf scorch. It performs best in shady, low-lit areas with little sunlight. You can provide it with artificial light when grown indoors.
The palm has unique dark bluish-green leaves which look like they have a metallic finish. The leaves are shaped like a fishtail hence the name.
It also has red, purple or orange flowers which lead to small greenish, oval-shaped fruits which turn black when ripe. The fruits are not edible, however.
Since the plant is very susceptible to waterlogged conditions, don't let it sit in wet soil. Don't over-water.
However the plant also doesn't like too dry soil so water when the soil feels dry.
The palm prefers a moist, organic soil which is well-drained. It grows well in chalky, loamy or sandy soils. Acidic or neutral soil should be used.
It can reach a height of 5ft to 10ft on maturing. It spreads about 2 ft to 5 ft.
The plant is not a big feeder and does not require fertilizers, but fertilizing monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer will yield best results. Yellow leaves are an indicator of potassium deficiency. Use a palm fertilizer with micronutrients, potassium and magnesium.
Although the size and thickness of its leaves make it safe from most pest problems, when grown as a houseplant it can get infected with pests. Common pests include spider mites and mealybugs.
Use organic pesticides and fungicides. The plant can develop root-rot if place in wet soil for too long so be cautious while watering.
They grow slowly and have a small size which makes them ideal houseplants. They are perhaps the only trees having leaves with metallic sheen making them a perfect specimen plant.
The leaves can sometimes reflect light creating a very dramatic display.