Chamaedorea Elegans (Parlour Palm)
Parlor palm is a popular house plant and easy to care for. Although the Palmae family is large, only a few make good house plants. Chamaedorea elegans is one of those few, adapting beautifully to average indoor conditions. It has elegant, green leaflets on arching fronds, giving this palm a feathery, canopy shape. This is one of the few palms that grows well in low light. Its tolerance for lack of light and moderate humidity make it an ideal office plant.
Origin: Mexico and Guatemala
Height: Slow-growing. Fully mature plants may reach 3-4 ft (90 cm - 1.2 m).
Light: Low light to moderately bright light. If leaves are yellowish-green, this palm may be getting too much sunlight. Parlor palms grow well under fluorescent light, making them popular office plants.
Water: Water thoroughly, allowing the top 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) to dry out before watering again. Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent root-rot. Leaves and stems that turn black are caused by over-watering. Cut any affected black stems off at the soil level and water less often. Houseplants need less water in the winter because growth is slower.
Humidity: Although this palm will tolerate dry indoor air, it will be healthier with 40-50% relative humidity. Mist the foliage regularly or set the pot on a humidity tray, if needed. I mist mine a few times a week with room-temperature water. Misting also keeps its leaves clean and helps to prevent spider mites that may attack this plant.
Temperature: Warm room temperatures (65-80°F/18-27°C) year-round. Keep your parlor palm away from heat/AC vents and cold blasts from doors in the winter months.
Soil: 2 parts peat moss-based potting mix and 1 part sharp sand.
Fertilizer: Needs more fertilizer than most palms. Feed monthly in spring and summer with a slow-release fertilizer specially made for indoor palms. Yellow spotted or streaked leaves are a symptom of potassium or magnesium deficiency. Pale leaves may indicate it's suffering from iron deficiency. You can revive it quickly with a foliar fertilizer spray that includes iron.
Propagation: Can be grown from seeds, but they are slow to germinate and grow into a good-sized plant.