If you're looking for a houseplant that is low maintenance, visually appealing and adds a touch of green to your living space, look no further than the parlour palm. With its elegant fronds and compact size, this plant is a popular choice for indoor decoration.
Origin and Habitat
The parlour palm, also known as Chamaedorea elegans, is native to Mexico and Guatemala. It is a member of the Arecaceae family and is one of over 100 species of Chamaedorea. In the wild, it grows as an understory plant in the shade of taller trees. Its natural habitat is a tropical forest, where it can grow up to six feet tall. However, in indoor settings, it typically reaches a height of two to four feet.
Habit: Slow growing single-stemmed woody plant with slender green trunk up to 3 m tall, or rarely 5 m tall. Plants sport a crown of numerous bright green pinnate leaves and yellow to orange-red fragrant flowers borne on branched panicles that emerge from the stem below the leaves.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 15 to 25ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants.
Light Exposure: Plants grow well in bright, indirect light for best growth indoors. Avoid placing plants in direct sun or in dark locations.
Watering: The Parlour Palm should be watered enough to keep the root ball evenly moist but not soggy. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and once or twice a week in the hot dry season should be sufficient. In addition, misting the fronds during hot dry weather will keep plants looking good.
Fertilising: Give plants a well balanced fertiliser once a month during the hot dry season and rainy season but not during the cold dry season when plants are resting (semi-dormant).
Pruning/Repotting: Remove dead or dry leaves and old spent flower stalks as needed. Repot plants every three or four years once the roots have filled the pot.
Pests/Diseases: Parlour Palms are generally pest and disease free; however, plants can be affected by mealy bug and spider mites during times of low humidity. In addition, overwatering is the leading cause of root rot in plants.
In conclusion, the parlour palm is a versatile and easy-to-care-for houseplant that adds a touch of elegance to any living space. With proper care, it can thrive for many years, making it a great investment for plant enthusiasts of all skill levels.