How to Grow and Care for Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) Indoors


Parlour palm, Chamaedorea elegans

Botanical name: Chamaedorea elegans
Family: Arecaceae
Sufamily: Arecoideae
Common name: Parlour Palm

Description

Chamaedorea elegans commonly called Parlour Palm is a popular indoor palm for the poorly-lit spaces which is easy to grow and is ideal for small (limited) spaces.

It has a high tolerance for low light and artificial light. However, it prefers bright indirect light, rich well-drained soils and warm temperature.

Size

Parlour Palm is generally a short palm which grows slowly to reach a height of 2 ft when grown indoors but in the wild it can grow to 8 ft.

The small size makes it ideal for small spaces, a bottle garden or a terrarium.

Flower

Once grown and mature apart from being attractive, Chamaedorea elegans also produces tin yellow flowers and small fruits if grown under good light.

Origin

Chamaedorea elegans is native to the dense forests of Guatemala and Southern Mexico an environment that is consistently warm and humid.

Air Cleaning

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Chamaedorea elegans was found to get rid of common VOCs like xylene, toulene, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloethylene and ammonia from indoor air.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add this delightful palm to your collection, various Parlour Plams are available online at Etsy. Buy Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) online from Etsy.

Parlour palm, Chamaedorea elegans

Photo Credit: ebay

Parlour Palm Care Indoors

Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) care indoors is easy if provided with the right growing conditions. It thrives in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with regular feeding.

Parlour Palm has no need for increased humidity apart from where the temperatures are very high. It requires warmth and needs to be protected from cold drafts. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Chamaedorea elegans grows best in bright, indirect light but it can tolerate some shade. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.

Keep it away from direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Parlour Palm liberally and keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season. Reduce watering in the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings as growth is minimal at this time.

Use chlorine-free water for watering Parlour Palm as like all palms, it is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water. Read more on how to water houseplants

Do not allow the palm to sit in soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and the eventual death of the palm.


Temperature

Chamaedorea elegans requires an average warmth with a minimum of 120C in order to thrive. If the temperature is comfortable for you is ideal for Parlour Palm.

Keep it away from cold draughts as it cannot tolerate cold temperatures. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Parlour Palm has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for the palm. However, when the temperatures are very high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Parlour Palm can also be grown in a terrarium where the humidity is consistently high. Check out this guide on how to make a closed terrarium for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the mature leaves (fronds) by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Chamaedorea elegans every 3-4 weeks with a balanced, liquid fertilizer during the growing period.

Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Regularly flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage holes. Let the stream run for several minutes and repeat several times.

Repotting

Repot Parlour Palm at the beginning of the growing season only when the palm has become root-bound; it does not like root disturbance.

Use a pot 1-2 sizes larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and the eventual death of the palm.

Soil

The best soil for Chamaoderea elegans should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal. Purchase quality Potting Mix for Parlour Palm from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Parlour Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the plant neat and tidy. Do not cut away any leaf with green in it as it continues to supply nutrients to the palm.

Where the seeds are required for propagation, allow the fruits to mature and drop then cut away the spent flower stalk.

Where the seeds are not required, cut away the flower stalk immediately to prevent the palm from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) propagation can be done from seeds, from offshoots or by plant division.

How to propagate Parlour Palm from seeds

Parlour Palm seed germination is difficult and may take up to 4-6 months. Sow the seeds in moist soil and place in a warm place, about 300C.

Keep the soil moist through out the period until germination of the seeds takes place.

Lower the temperature slightly after germination and maintain the soil moist until the new Parlour Palms are well established.

How to propagate Parlour Palm from offshoots

Parlour Palm propagation from offshots:

With a sharp sterilized knife or scissors, carefully cut the Parlour Palm offshoot from the mother plant. Ensure the offshoot has adequate roots before seperating it from the mother.

Pot the offshoot in its own pot, place in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out.

Allow the offshoot to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

How to propagate Parlour Palm by plant division

During repotting, divide the Parlour Palm into sections and plant the sections in individual pots.

Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and the new Parlour Palm is well established.

Parlour palm, Chamaedorea elegans

Photo Credit: FlorAccess

Parlour Palm Problems Indoors

Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) problems indoors are due to cultural faults in watering, humidity and temperature. Continue reading for the remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips

There are four reasons for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors.

One reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is dry air. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season and do not allow it to dry out.

Reduce watering during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

The third reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is cold draughts. Protect it from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

The fourth reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.

Yellowing fronds

Underwatering is the cause of yellowing fronds in Parlour Palm. Keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Brown leaf spots

There are possible causes of brown leaf spots in Parlour Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard. One cause is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season but not soggy.

Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of brown leaf spots in Parlour Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.

Protect the palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Browning fronds

The lower fronds in Parlour Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the fronds is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil.

Pests

Parlour Palm pests; Red Spider Mite, Scales and Mealy Bugs.

Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected palm to prevent spread to the other houseplants.

Is Parlour Palm toxic?

The foliage of Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is non-toxic to both humans and pets.

The fruits (berries) are highly poisonous to both humans and pets. It is important to prevent flowering by removing the flower stalks when they begin to form.

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