Botanical name: Chamaedorea elegans
Common name: Parlour Palm
Chamaedorea elegans commonly called Parlour Palm is a popular indoor palm for the poorly-lit spaces, is easy to grow and is ideal for the small (limited) spaces.
Parlour Palm has a high tolerance for low light and artificial light. However, it prefers bright indirect light, rich well-drained soils and warm temperatures.
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.
Chamaedorea elegans also produces tiny yellow flowers and small fruits, once grown and mature if grown under good light.
Chamaedorea elegans is native to the dense forests of Guatemala and Southern Mexico an environment that is consistently warm and humid.
According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Chamaedorea elegans was found to be a good indoor air cleaner in getting rid of common VOCs like xylene, toulene, benzene, formaldehyde, trichloethylene and ammonia.
The foliage of Parlour Palm is non-toxic but the fruits (berries) are highly poisonous to both humans and pets as indicated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Therefore, it is important to prevent flowering by removing the flower stalks when they begin to form.
If you are looking to add this delightful palm to your collection, Parlour Plams are available online at Etsy. Buy Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) online from Etsy.
Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) thrives in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.
Chamaedorea elegans has no need for increased humidity apart from where the temperatures are very high. Repotting is done at the beginning of the growing season only when the palm has become pot-bound.
Pruning is needed to keep the Parlour Palm neat as well as reduce pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on the best growing conditions for Parlour Palm and how to achieve them.
Chamaedorea elegans grows best in bright, indirect light but it can tolerate some shade but the growth will be much slower.
Keep the Parlour Palm away from direct sunlight as it can cause scorching which results in brown marks on the leaves.
Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the palm receives adequate light on all sides for even growth.
Parlour Palm can also grow under a grow light where the natural lighting is not adequate.
Water Parlour Palm liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not let it dry out completely.
Use chlorine-free water as like all palms, Parlour Palm is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.
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.
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 the palm.
Keep the Parlour Palm away from cold draughts as it cannot tolerate cold temperatures which cause brown leaf tips and spots.
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 to increase humidity. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Owing to its small size, Parlour Palm can also be grown in a terrarium where the humidity is consistently high.
Occasionally clean the mature leaves (fronds) by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest and disease infestations.
Feed Chamaedorea elegans with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing period for a lush growth.
Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and therefore the plant does not need it.
Once in a while 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.
Repot Parlour Palm at the beginning of the growing season only when the palm has become pot-bound as 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.
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 online from Etsy.
Pruning Parlour Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the plant neat and also minimize pest and disease infestations.
Do not cut away any leaf with green in it as it continues to supply nutrients to the palm.
If 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.
Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) propagation can be done from seeds, from offshoots or by plant division.
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 at 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.
With a sharp sterilized knife or scissors, carefully cut the Parlour Palm offshoot from the mother plant.
Ensure that the offshoot has adequate roots before seperating it from the mother.
Pot the offshoot in its own pot, place in a warm, brightly lit place away from direct sunlight and maintain the soil moist through out.
Allow the offshoot to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.
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.
Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and the new Parlour Palm is well established.
Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea elegans) problems indoors include leaf spots, brown leaf tips, yellowing fronds, browning fronds, pests and diseases. Keep reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.
There are four possible reasons for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors.
One possible reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is dry air (low humidity). To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier.
The second possible reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season.
Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but do not allow it to dry out completely.
The third possible reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is cold draughts like windy doors and windows, air conditioning units among others.
Keep the palm away from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.
The fourth possible reason for brown leaf tips in Parlour Palm is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.
Yellowing fronds in Parlour Palm are due to underwatering. Water the palm liberally until water comes out through the drainage holes during the growing season.
Lessen watering in the cold season to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
There are two possible causes of brown leaf spots in Parlour Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard.
One cause of brown leaf spots in Parlour Palm is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season but not soggy.
Always ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy.
The second cause of brown leaf spots in Parlour Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.
Keep the palm from cold draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.
The lower fronds in Parlour Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove them by cutting with a sharp knife or pair of scissors and not by pulling to avoid unnecessary injuries.
If the browning of the fronds is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease which is enhanced by soggy soil due to poor soil drainage.
Make sure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy. Read more on how to treat root-rot in houseplants.
The common pests in Parlour Palm are Spider Mites, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests and keep the palm properly pruned to discourage their infestation.
Isolate the affected palm to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.