Chamaedorea Elegans

Parlor Palm

The parlor palm is the most popular of the indoor palm plants variety grown today indoors...

It grows to a manageable height of approximately 2-4 ft which is suitable for any room, although it grows at a slow pace. A grower needs to be patient with this one!

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picture of parlor palm in pot

Easy to grow: Parlor palm tree's are quite an easy plant to grow and care for, which makes them suitable for those new to growing indoors. They tolerate low light and colder conditions pretty well. They also don’t need a great amount of feeding or watering.

Fronds (leaves): The fronds on this palm grow and kind of droop or arch over from the stems once its matured, although it takes quite a bit of time for them to develop.

Flowers: Some will sprout yellow flowers after a few years of growth and produce seeds, however, the seeds are not likely to grow future plants.

Growth rate: These do take time to grow to a full size plant, as mentioned above. The amount of time may depend on its light conditions. They all need a few years regardless of conditions.


Origin: Mexico.
Names: Parlor, Parlour palm (British English), Neanthe bella, (common). Chamaedorea elegans (botanical/scientific)
Max Growth (approx): Height 4 ft.
Poisonous for pets: Non-toxic to cats and dogs.

Parlor Palm Plant Care

Temperature: Average warmth 65°F (18°C) and above is fine and no less than 50°F (10°C) at night.
Light: These are not demanding for the grower when it comes to providing enough light. Any shaded type room will suffice with indirect sunlight.
Watering: Watering the parlor palm too much will cause growing problems and could possibly kill it off. My plant is now fully grown and has enjoyed just a small amount of watering once the soil starts to dry. Very little is needed in the winter. Making sure the roots have good drainage is something they like.
Soil: Any decent potting mix will suffice (soil or soilless).
Re-Potting: Re-pot only when necessary, like when it becomes pot bound, because these do not like being disturbed too often .
Fertilizer: Once every 2 weeks with a diluted liquid plant food from spring until fall will do the trick.
Humidity: Spraying a water mist is advisable to improve humidity.
Propagation: The parlor is propagated by seed, usually by processional growers.

Potential Problems

  • Fronds browning: If the fronds start to go brown at the tips make sure they have been watered enough, spray mist them, and check they are not getting too much cold air from windows or doors.

  • Yellowing fronds: Under-watering is likely. Replenishing them with water should do the trick...not over watering though.

  • Brown fronds: Normal browning of the leaves occur naturally and need to be removed by cutting. If they are also rotting, you could be over-watering.

  • Insects: Red spider mites and mealy bugs are a potential insect that can cause problems. Misting and cleaning with a damp cloth can prevent or remove these from the plant. Malathion or systemic insecticide may also be needed.

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