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Parlor Palm Care: Growing and Caring for Your Indoor Plant

parlor palm care

If you're looking for an indoor plant that is low-maintenance and adds a touch of green to your home, then a parlor palm could be the perfect choice for you.

Parlor palms, also known as Neanthe Bella palms, are popular houseplants due to their adaptability to different indoor conditions and their ability to thrive in low light environments.

They're native to Mexico and Central America and are a great addition to any home due to their unique appearance and low maintenance requirements.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about Parlor palm care, from when to plant to propagation, and troubleshooting problems.

All About Parlor Palms

Parlor palms, also known as Chamaedorea elegans, are tropical plants that belong to the palm family. They're popular houseplants due to their elegant appearance, easy care, and ability to thrive in low light conditions.

They can reach up to 6 feet in height when grown in the wild, but indoor plants tend to be much smaller, typically growing up to 4 feet in height.

They have slender, green stems that are topped with fronds of small, feathery leaves. Parlor palms are great for beginner gardeners as they don't require any special attention or care and can be grown in various indoor conditions.

When to Plant Parlor Palms

Parlor palms can be planted at any time of the year. However, the ideal time to plant them is during the spring and summer months when the plant is actively growing.

If you're starting with a small plant, you can repot it into a slightly larger container to allow for growth. When planting, make sure the container has good drainage holes and that the soil is well-draining.

Parlor Palm Care

Light & Temperature

parlor palm care

Parlor palms prefer bright, indirect light and moderate temperatures. They can tolerate some direct sunlight in the morning or evening, but too much direct sun can scorch their leaves.

If your parlor palm is getting too much direct sun, you may notice brown spots or patches on the leaves. On the other hand, if your plant isn't getting enough light, the leaves may appear pale or yellowish and growth may slow down.

Temperature-wise, parlor palms prefer to be kept in a range between 60-80°F (15-27°C), and they can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures at night. Avoid placing your plant in drafty areas or near air conditioning vents, which can cause temperature fluctuations.

RELATED: Top 5 Best Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Water & Humidity

parlor palm care

Parlor palms prefer consistently moist soil, but they can be sensitive to overwatering. Water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, and make sure to allow excess water to drain out of the pot.

If the soil stays too wet for too long, it can lead to root rot and other problems. Humidity is also important for parlor palms, as they are native to tropical regions and prefer higher humidity levels.

You can increase humidity around your plant by misting the leaves regularly, using a humidifier, or placing a tray of water near the plant (just make sure the pot isn't sitting directly in the water).

RELATED: Top 10 Watering Cans to Keep Your Garden Thriving


parlor palm care

Parlor palms prefer well-draining, slightly acidic soil that's rich in organic matter. A good potting mix for parlor palms should be able to hold moisture without becoming waterlogged.

You can also add perlite or sand to the soil mix to improve drainage. Avoid using heavy clay soils, as they can hold too much moisture and suffocate the roots.

RELATED: Dirt Matters: A Guide to Choosing the Right Soil for Your Plants


parlor palm care

Parlor palms don't need a lot of fertilizer, but they can benefit from occasional feeding during the growing season (spring and summer).

Use a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and dilute it to half strength. Overfertilizing can lead to salt buildup in the soil, which can damage the roots..

RELATED: 10 Organic Fertilizers for Optimal Plant Health


parlor palm care

Parlor palms don't need to be repotted often, but they may benefit from a larger pot every few years. Repotting can also help refresh the soil and remove any buildup of salts or other harmful substances.

When repotting, choose a pot that's only slightly larger than the current pot, and use a well-draining potting mix. Be gentle when handling the roots, as they can be sensitive.


Parlor palms can be propagated through division or by planting seeds. Division is the easiest method and involves separating the plant into smaller clumps and repotting them in their own pots.

To propagate from seeds, collect mature seeds and plant them in a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist and warm, and be patient as germination can take several weeks to occur.


parlor palm care

Parlor palms don't require much pruning, but you can trim off any yellowing or dead leaves to keep the plant looking neat and tidy.

You can also remove any damaged or diseased leaves to prevent the problem from spreading. Avoid pruning too much at once, as this can shock the plant and slow down growth.

RELATED: 10 Pruning Sheers that will Give your Garden a Professional Touch

Troubleshooting Parlor Palm Problems

Growing Problems

If your parlor palm is not growing well, it could be due to a lack of light or too much water. Try moving the plant to a brighter location and adjust your watering routine.

If the leaves are turning yellow, it could be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Make sure to check the soil moisture level before watering and adjust as needed.


parlor palm care

Parlor palms are relatively pest-resistant, but they can occasionally be affected by spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.

To prevent pests, make sure to keep the plant clean and dust-free, and inspect the plant regularly for signs of infestation.

If you do notice pests, you can remove them with a damp cloth or use a natural insecticidal soap.

RELATED: 9 Organic Pest Control Methods For a Healthy Garden


Parlor palms can be affected by fungal diseases if the soil is too moist or if the air around the plant is too humid.

To prevent disease, make sure to water the plant only when the soil is dry, and avoid misting the leaves too often.

If you do notice signs of disease, such as brown or black spots on the leaves, remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my parlor palm have brown tips and yellow leaves?

Brown tips and yellow leaves on your parlor palm are usually a sign of underwatering or low humidity. Parlor palms prefer evenly moist soil and high humidity levels, so make sure to water your plant regularly and mist its leaves with water to increase humidity.

Avoid letting the soil dry out completely, but also don't let it become waterlogged. If you're still experiencing brown tips and yellow leaves despite proper watering and humidity levels, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiencies or pests, so inspect your plant closely and take appropriate action.