How To Grow Parlor Palm?

parlor palm

Parlor Palm, scientifically named Chamaedorea elegans, is native to the rainforests in Guatemala and Southern Mexico. This plant is a species of a small palm tree. This small tree can grow to be 6 or even 9 feet (2-3 m) tall indoors and up to 16 feet (4.9m) tall outdoors.

This palm can also flower yellow and orange blooms. These flowers appear on the trunk of the tree in little clusters. These blooms can turn into berry-like fruit. The tree’s trunk is green in early stages, when the tree grows and ages the trunk will turn into a more deep brown. The leaves are long and bright green, as the palm ages the amount of leaves will grow.

The leaves are slender and long and resemble that of a regular palm tree cluster of leaves. This palm is also pet-friendly, meaning it is non-toxic to any animal. The Parlor Palm can live over 20 years if taken care of correctly. 

How To Grow?

This small tree can be grown outside in the USDA Hardiness zones ten through twelve. The Parlor Palm will be comfortable in regular home temperatures. To be exact, the temperatures should be around 65 to 75°F (18-23.9°C) or even 85°F (29°C).

This plant is cold-hardy and could withstand temperatures as low as 25°F (-3.9°C). Humidity levels should always be above 40%. Mist the palm every so often so the leaves don’t dry out. 

parlor palms
Parlor palms Source: Starr


This Parlor Palm is not well suited for intense direct sun. The best light for this plant would be medium to bright indirect sun. The Parlor Palm can also tolerate a bit of shade now and then. If you notice black spots on your Parlor Palm tree leaves, then the plant has sunburn. Remove the leaves with these brown spots and make sure the plant doesn’t get too much sun. 


The Parlor Palm will need watering once every one or two weeks. It is important to let the soil dry out between watering. When the first few inches of the soil are dry you can water it thoroughly. In the winter, water the palm less frequently, making the soil just moist when watering.

To make sure when to water you can poke your finger into the soil to see if the first few inches are truly dry or is it just the soil on top. Make sure not to overwater as the Parlor tree is sensitive to it. 

Soil and Fertilizer

The best soil for this palm would be compost-rich and well-draining. Don’t use any extra drainage materials because the plant likes moist soil. You can even use well-draining cactus soil. A peat-based soil mix is also a very good choice for your Parlor Palm.

The best fertilizer for this plant would be a high-nitrogen slow-release fertilizer. You can fertilize your plant monthly. You can also water down the fertilizer to half strength and use it when watering. Fertilizing is done mostly in spring and summer to ensure that the plant gets all its needed nutrients.

small parlor palm
Small Parlor Palm Source: ume-y


The best way to propagate your Parlor Palm is by using a technique of dividing the plant:

  • Use sharp and clean scissors or shears;
  • Choose a stem or clump from the edge of the plant; 
  • Cut the stem or clump, making sure there are some roots attached;
  • Repot the clump or stem into fresh potting soil.
  • Water the soil consistently, keeping it moist;

Keep taking care of the plant as usual.


Repotting, if needed, should only be done in the spring. Parlor Palm trees like to be snug in their pot so repotting isn’t usually needed. Repotting should only be done when the plant is rootbound. You can make sure if the plant is rootbound or not by checking the drainage holes of their pot. If the roots are crawling out of the drainage holes then the plant is rootbound. Repot the palm into a slightly larger pot. 


Because the Parlor Palm is a slow-grower pruning is not recommended. If pruned too much the plant might stop growing all together. However, during dormancy feel free to prune any dead leaves. Parlor Palm goes into dormancy in the winter. 


When growing a Parlor Palm you may come across diseases such as stem cankers, fungal leaf spot, and root rot. To treat your plant for these diseases, remove any infected leaves, repot the plant into fresh soil, and change the pot for a new one as well. Afterwards make sure to not water the plant’s leaves and only the soil. If needed you can use an insecticide according to its instructions.


When growing a Parlor Palm you may come across pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scales. To treat your plant for these pests remove any infected leaves, repot your plant into fresh soil and use pesticide. You can also wipe down your plant with a cloth that has mild soap on it.


There’s only two other varieties beside the regular Parlor Palm to choose from.

  • C.hooperiana: this new variety resembles a kentia palm. It has dramatic, large leaves. Can grow to be 6.6-9.8 feet (2-3 m) tall.
  • C.erumpens: this variety is a bamboo palm and originates further south than the Parlor Palm. This palm is bigger than the Parlor Palm and has bigger leaves. 


The Parlor palm is easy to care for and can be placed into any home or garden. Its fresh and slightly exotic look will brighten up any area. Perfect for beginner gardeners with its easy care routine. If cared for correctly the plant will show off its beautiful blooms. 

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