Bring the color, texture, and energy of plant life to any low-light room by adding an easy-to-grow parlor palm. This rainforest native is a single-trunk palm with a compact habit and handsome arching green pinnate leaves comprised of narrow leaflets. It may bear clusters of yellow flowers in spring if it gets enough light. This palm typically grows to about 4 feet tall indoors but can reach 8 in ideal conditions. Desktop specimens stand 1 foot tall, making them suitable for small spaces such as nightstands and kitchen countertops.
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Parlor Palm Care Must-Knows
Outdoors, parlor palm is hardy in Zones 10 to 12, where it is easy to grow in rich, moist, well-drained soil and part shade. Enrich the soil with well-decomposed compost prior to planting. Choose a location protected from strong winds, which have a tendency to damage parlor palm's fronds. It pairs well with ferns, peace lily (Spathiphyllum), ginger (Asarum canadense), and elephant's ear (Alocasia).
Indoors as a houseplant, parlor palm grows well in bright filtered light, like what you'd get at a south- or west-facing window with a sheer curtain. But this adaptable plant also tolerates low light and can thrive in spaces with east- or north-facing windows. Water thoroughly (water should escape through pot's drainage hole) when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. These palms don't like sitting in wet soil, so be sure to dump water-filled saucers.
Plan to repot parlor palm when roots begin circling the exterior of the root ball. To check, lift the plant from its pot to take peek at the roots every few months. When needed, repot in a container that is 2 or 3 inches larger in diameter than the previous container. Occasionally add an all-purpose fertilizer, but only in spring and summer.
Parlor palms can be moved outdoors in the summer. Protect them from direct sun, which will scorch their leaves. Choose a shaded outdoor location and water daily in hot, dry conditions. Move your plant back indoors when night temperatures fall below 55 degrees F.
More Varieties of Parlor Palm
A small, slow-growing multi-trunk palm with an upright shape that makes a good houseplant. Zones 9-11
Bella Parlor Palm
This selection of Chamaedorea elegans is a compact selection that remains under 4 feet tall for a long time.