Houseplant Girl

The Parlor Palm: Chamaedorea elegans

Parlor Palm

The parlor palm is one of the few palms which make a good house plant, able to adapt to the indoor lifestyle, the parlor palm lives well to its name and will make a wonderful addition to your parlor (do people have parlor rooms these days?).

Made popular in the Victorian era when they still used parlors, the Neanthe bella (another name) has kept its popularity since the times of corsets and extravagant prudishness.

A Victorian Indoor Garden

Victorian Era Palms

Originating from Mexico, you’ll be sipping on margaritas in the winter while you lovingly look at this exotic house plant.

A slow growing plant, you can pass this from generation to generation creating a new family heirloom. It can range from a few inches to a few feet, making it a great indoor palm tree. It’s so slow growing that it may take decades to reach just above a meter of height. For this reason, you will not have to re-pot it frequently.

The parlor palm will tolerate dry air, but it prefers higher humidity, where it thrives. Mist yours a few times per week with room-temperature water to give it a humidifying misting.

Lighting: One of the few palms that will grow well in low light, it tolerates lackluster amounts of sun, which makes it ideal for the office or rooms with low lighting.

Watering: Keep the soil lightly moist, and provide it with good drainage. Make sure it doesn’t sit in water. Water freely during the growing season (spring and summer) but reduce the amount of watering in the winter. Brown leaves are a common problem with these plants and are usually indicative of excessive watering or a lack of humidity.

Humidity: Mist the leaves to create a humid environment.

Soil: Use a well-draining soil with these plants.

Fertilizer: You will need to fertilize this palm more so than most. Once per month in the spring and summer with a slow-release fertilizer.

Pruning: Never prune the parlor palm. It grows from a terminal bud, and pruning will cause it to stop growing. However, it’s fine to trim off old fronds that have turned brown.

NASA Approved: This is another one of NASA’s top air cleaning plants able to remove pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide from the air. This is another reason to start an indoor plant regime, as it will filter your stale indoor air not only in summer months but the much-needed winter months.

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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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