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Parlor Palm- Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#75

The Parlor Palm is often underestimated, so I would highly recommend trying one out! Just because it is a palm, doesn't mean it is needy and high maintenance. I'll show you why in the episode and blog!

Botanical Name: Chamaedorea elegans (sometimes seen as Neanthe bella)

This soft, fluffy palm typically has bright green foliage that can make a statement in your home, or even be the perfect terrarium plant. With their slow growth it can fill a space without taking over like some other palms and houseplants.

Sun Requirements:

Minimal lighting is actually needed for this palm! It can tolerate, and still grow, in low light, but prefers to be placed in medium light. If you place the Parlor Palm in too much sunlight, you may see the leaves start to yellow. I would avoid West or South facing windows if possible for this palm. Because of their light needs, they are actually known for being great office plants!

If you need any guidance to understanding light or are in need of a grow light to help increase your light, check out the links!

Water Requirement

The Parlor Palm doesn't react well to being underwatered, so they prefer to be in medium moisture. That being said, they also don't like to be soaking wet and standing in water so make sure you are giving this plant drainage and well-draining soil. If you aren't quite sure if you are providing too little or too much water, I would highly recommend trying a Moisture Meter Reader. It is a great tool to measure the moisture until you understand the watering cadence needed for your conditions. The reaction your plant has will be browning leaves if it is under watered. Once more moisture is provided, this plant will bounce back and start producing more foliage.

This plant does prefer to be in a bit more humidity so if you are able to, that will improve your plant's health. They can adapt to your home's normal humidity but if you have the capability, increase humidity and/or mist frequently to reduce pests (such as spider mites).


As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. Unless you are extremely over-fertilizing your plant, there isn't necessarily a wrong way to do this. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer and I normally fertilize every 2 weeks when I water my plants, starting around the end of February through October. I honestly probably only fertilize once or twice in winter because the plant isn't as active! I use about 1/2 to 3/4 the recommended amount of fertilizer because I would rather under-fertilize than over-fertilize my plants.

The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual: "Needs a little more fertilizer than other palms, especially in summer."

Practical Houseplant Book: "Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month from spring to fall."

There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.

Other Facts

  • All part of the Arecaceae family.

  • Native to parts of Central America and Mexico (Guatemala was names out a couple times).

  • Natively these can grow upwards of 5-6ft, if not more, in the right conditions.

  • Parlor Palms can bloom after about 3 years of age in nature. Usually you will see small yellow flowers in nature but there is a very minimal chance you will see these flowers on your houseplant (usually never).

  • I also want to point out spider mites are very common on this houseplant. The way to prevent that is showering the foliage when watering, misting, increasing humidity, or wiping down the foliage.

  • They are NOT toxic to pets (YAY!). If you are interested in learning about more pet friendly plants, check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!



Go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and more! Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!


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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)


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