Parlor Palm Care

The parlor palm, known for its lush foliage and adaptability to indoor environments, is a popular houseplant that brings a touch of the tropics to any room. Caring for your parlor palm involves understanding its specific needs, such as light, water, soil, and more. By meeting these requirements, you ensure that your palm thrives, creating a serene and green atmosphere in your home.

Scientific Classification

Every living thing gets sorted into groups based on similar characteristics. This is scientific classification. For the Parlor Palm, these groups look like this:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Division: Tracheophyta
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Order: Arecales
  • Family: Arecaceae
  • Genus: Chamaedorea
  • Species: C. elegans

These groups start broad, like saying a Parlor Palm is a plant. As you go down the list, the groups get more specific until you reach the species, which is like the palm’s last name.


The Parlor Palm, also known as Neanthe Bella Palm, loves a spot with plenty of indirect light. This means you should place it where the sun’s rays don’t directly hit it. Too much direct sunlight can burn its leaves, damaging the plant. It can handle lower light conditions, but it won’t grow as quickly. A north-facing window can be a good location for your Parlor Palm since it provides a consistent amount of soft light. If you only have a sunny spot, you can use a sheer curtain to filter the light. This will protect your plant while giving it the light it needs to thrive. Remember, proper lighting is crucial for keeping your Parlor Palm healthy and making sure it grows well.


Watering your parlor palm correctly is key to its care. Parlor palms prefer their soil to be moist, but not soggy. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil feels dry. This usually means watering once a week, but it can change based on light and temperature. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot. Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant’s roots. In winter, cut back on watering since the plant grows more slowly. If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown, check the moisture of the soil. This can tell you if you need to water more or less. By watching your plant and testing the soil, you’ll figure out the best watering routine.


The soil you provide for your Parlor Palm is like a home for its roots. It needs the right balance to grow healthy. Imagine soil as a bed; it should be comfy and have all that’s needed for a good rest. For the Parlor Palm, this means soil that holds some water but also lets extra water drain away fast.

Here’s what’s important:

  • The soil should be well-draining to prevent soggy roots.
  • Use a peat-based potting mix, which is light and allows air to get to the roots.
  • Adding perlite or sand can improve drainage.
  • Don’t pack the soil too tight; the roots need room to breathe and grow.

If the soil is right, your Parlor Palm will grow bright green leaves and stand tall. If not, it might look sad and droopy. Therefore, pay attention to the type of soil you use. It makes a big difference for your plant’s health.


Parlor palms prefer to live in warmer conditions. They thrive when the temperature is between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should keep them away from cold drafts and sudden temperature changes. During the winter, it’s important to protect them from temperatures that drop below 50 degrees. If you keep your parlor palm indoors, try to place it in a room that doesn’t get too cold at night. Avoid putting your plant near heaters, as the constant hot air can dry it out. Just like you, your parlor palm likes to stay cozy, but not too hot.


Humidity is like the amount of invisible water in the air. It’s important because the Parlor Palm comes from a place that is usually warm and damp. This plant loves air that feels a bit like a steamy bathroom after a hot shower. Too dry, and the palm’s leaves might get brown and crispy. Not enough humidity can stress your plant. You should try to keep the room where your Parlor Palm lives as humid as they like it, which is about 40-50%. If your home feels dry, you can help your plant by spraying water in the air around it or placing a tray with water and pebbles near it to raise humidity. This kind of setting makes the Parlor Palm happy and healthy.


Fertilizer is like vitamins for your Parlor Palm; it gives the plant essential nutrients that it might not get from the soil alone. You should feed your Parlor Palm with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Be sure to dilute it to half the strength recommended on the label. This should be done every month during spring and summer. However, in fall and winter, your Parlor Palm takes a rest and doesn’t need fertilizer. Too much fertilizer can hurt your plant, causing the leaf tips to turn brown. Always follow the instructions and don’t overdo it, because your Parlor Palm prefers to eat less than other houseplants.

Size & Growth Rate

The parlor palm, also known as Chamaedorea elegans, grows slowly. It typically reaches about 2 to 6 feet in height when you keep it indoors. The plant’s growth rate will partly depend on its environment and care. With the right light, water, and fertilization, it tends to grow a little faster. Parlor palms don’t grow wide, so they fit well in tight spaces. They have slender stems and their leaves extend outward, giving a full, lush appearance. The palm’s size makes it perfect for rooms with limited space. It grows slowly, adding only about 6 to 10 inches per year. This means you won’t have to repot it often. Remember, the parlor palm will develop at its own pace, so patience is key.

Common Issues

When caring for a Parlor Palm, you might face some problems. Yellow leaves can mean too much sun or not enough water. Brown leaf tips might show low humidity or poor water quality. Sometimes, bugs like spider mites or scale insects could attack your plant. They suck on the leaves, harming the plant. Overwatering is also an issue; it can lead to root rot which is very bad for the Parlor Palm. This happens if the soil stays wet for too long. Remember not to place your Parlor Palm in a spot that’s too drafty. Finally, using a pot without drainage holes is a big mistake because it holds extra water and hurts the roots. Each of these issues can stress your Parlor Palm, but with the right care, you can keep it healthy.


Toxicity refers to how poisonous a substance is. When it comes to plants, toxicity usually means the plant can be harmful if eaten or sometimes even touched. For your Parlor Palm, you’re in luck—this plant is considered non-toxic. That means it’s safe for people and pets alike. If a cat or dog nibbles on your Parlor Palm, they shouldn’t get sick from it. However, it’s always best to keep plants out of reach to avoid any potential problems. Remember that just because a plant is non-toxic doesn’t mean it should be eaten. Eating any plant can lead to stomach upset, so encourage pets and small children to leave your Parlor Palm alone.

Pro Tips

Pro Tips are special hints to help you succeed. Think of them as insider secrets that you can use. Here are some for caring for your Parlor Palm:

  • Keep your Parlor Palm in bright, indirect light to let it thrive.
  • Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • Use a well-draining pot to prevent root rot, which happens if soil is too wet.
  • Clean the leaves with a damp cloth sometimes to keep them shiny and healthy.
  • Rotate the plant regularly for even growth on all sides.
  • Prune dead or yellowing leaves to keep your palm looking its best.
  • If your home is dry, use a humidifier or mist the leaves to increase moisture.
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