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Parlor Palm

Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)

Parlor Palm Overview

Scientific name:

Chamaedorea elegans



Water requirements:


Light requirements:

Indirect Sun


Air Purifying, Pet Friendly

Table of Contents

Meet the Parlor Palm

The parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) is a popular houseplant known for its graceful, arching fronds and ability to thrive in indoor environments. Unlike some palms that require ample sunlight and humidity, the parlor palm is well-suited to the conditions found in most homes and offices.

Unique Qualities and Benefits

The parlor palm has a number of qualities that make it an exceptional choice for an office plant:

  • It is an air purifying plant that removes toxins like xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde from indoor air.
  • Its lush green foliage provides a tropical look while taking up little space, making it perfect for desks and tabletops.
  • It doesn’t require much maintenance, just moderate watering and indirect sunlight.
  • Studies show the presence of plants in a workplace can reduce stress and increase productivity.

Common and Scientific Names

The parlor palm has several common monikers, including:

  • Parlor Palm
  • Neanthe Bella Palm
  • Bamboo Palm

Its scientific name, defining its genus and species, is Chamaedorea elegans. The genus Chamaedorea contains over 100 species of palms, while elegans refers to the parlor palm’s graceful and elegant appearance.

No matter what you call it, the parlor palm’s resilience, air purifying abilities, and classic good looks make it a perfect green addition to any office.

A Closer Look: Detailed Description of the Parlor Palm

The parlor palm, also known by its scientific name Chamaedorea elegans, is a popular houseplant known for its graceful, arching fronds. Native to the rainforests of Central America, this palm can grow up to 4-8 feet tall indoors and features clusters of slender, green fronds emerging from multiple stems.

The fronds of the parlor palm have a feather-like appearance, with the leaflets arranged oppositely along the rachis. The leaflets are about 2-3 inches long and emerge light green when young, darkening as they mature. The fronds emerge in a graceful, arching habit and can spread 2-3 feet wide when the plant reaches maturity.

One of the distinguishing features of the parlor palm is the ringed pattern on its slim trunks. As new fronds emerge, they leave behind circular leaf scars that create a banded pattern. The trunks are usually about 1-2 inches thick. With the right care and environment, parlor palms can live up to 20 years indoors.

How the Parlor Palm Thrives in Indoor Environments

The parlor palm is well-suited to growing indoors due to its ability to adapt to low light conditions. It can tolerate lower light than many houseplants, making it an excellent choice for offices and other spaces without abundant natural light.

In addition, the parlor palm prefers the warmer, consistent temperatures found indoors. It does best with average room temperatures around 18°C and appreciates the higher humidity often present in indoor spaces. Due to its rainforest origins, lower humidity can cause its leaf tips to turn brown.

With its tolerance for low light, moderate watering needs, and ability to filter toxins from indoor air, the elegant parlor palm enhances any living or work space while remaining low maintenance compared to other houseplants.

Detailed Description of the Appearance, Growth Habits, and Distinguishing Features of the Parlor Palm

As described above, the parlor palm has slender, ringed trunks and graceful, arching fronds made up of slim leaflets. The fronds emerge light green and darken as they mature. One palm can have 10-15 fronds at a time that spread 2-3 feet wide when fully grown.

The parlor palm grows at a moderate pace, adding 1-2 new fronds per year once established. It has a compact, shrub-like shape when young but becomes more tree-like with age as its trunks elongate. The palm reaches its mature indoor height of 4-8 feet tall slowly over a period of 10+ years.

Distinguishing features of this palm variety beyond its banded trunks and arching fronds include its petite yellow flowers and red berries that emerge if pollinated. It also has slightly thicker leaflets compared to other Chamaedorea species. When stressed, the parlor palm sheds its oldest fronds from the bottom up.

With its graceful form, air purifying abilities, and adaptability to indoor conditions, the parlor palm makes an excellent addition to any well-lit office or living space.

Providing Optimal Care for Your Parlor Palm

The Parlor Palm is a relatively easy plant to care for, making it an excellent choice for offices and indoor spaces. However, providing optimal care will ensure your palm stays healthy and vibrant for years to come.

Light Requirements

Parlor Palms prefer bright, indirect light. In an office setting, place your palm near an east or west-facing window where it will receive consistent ambient light throughout the day. Avoid direct southern exposure, as the intense midday sun can scorch the leaves. If your only option is a north-facing window, supplement with a grow light to prevent elongation and drooping.

Watering Best Practices

Parlor palms should be watered whenever the top few inches of soil become dry. Use your finger to test moisture levels. During the growing season (spring through fall), aim to water your palm every 7-10 days. In winter, allow the soil to become slightly drier between waterings. Always water thoroughly until it drains freely from the drainage holes. Allow any excess water in the saucer to evaporate before returning it to the decorative pot.

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Temperatures around 18°C
  • 40% – 50% humidity
  • Well-draining potting mix, amended with perlite or bark chips
  • A pot with drainage holes, slightly wider than the root ball

Misting your Parlor Palm regularly and using a humidifier during dry winter months can help maintain ideal humidity levels.

When potting or repotting your palm, select a container only 1-2 inches wider than the root ball to keep the soil from staying too wet. Use a well-aerated potting mix and avoid soil that is heavy or dense.

Benefits of Having the Parlor Palm in the Office

The parlor palm, also known as the bamboo palm (Chamaedorea elegans), provides a number of benefits when placed in an office setting. Some of the key advantages include:

Air Purification

As a plant, the parlor palm performs photosynthesis, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. This helps purify indoor air and creates a healthier environment. Studies have shown that having plants in an office can reduce dust, mold spores, and volatile organic compounds in the air.

Aesthetic Appeal

With its graceful, arching fronds, the parlor palm brings a touch of nature and vibrancy to any office space. Its lush green foliage can soften hard lines and brighten up a dull, sterile environment. The plant’s elegant good looks have decorative value that can instantly improve the ambiance.

Stress Reduction

Research indicates that being around plants has psychological benefits, reducing stress and improving mood. In a busy office setting, simply glancing at the parlor palm can have a calming, centering effect. Caring for the plant can also be a relaxing break from work tasks.

Increased Productivity

Studies show that offices with plants lead to greater workplace satisfaction and productivity. It’s believed that having some connection to nature in an indoor setting helps keep employees more focused and content. The parlor palm’s ability to purify air may also result in fewer sick days.

With all these advantages, adding a parlor palm or two to an office is an easy way to create a healthier, happier and more productive work environment.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with the Parlor Palm

The parlor palm is generally quite hardy and easy to care for, but even this resilient plant can run into problems now and then. By familiarizing yourself with some of the most common parlor palm issues, you’ll be well equipped to get your plant back to health quickly.

Addressing Common Problems

  • Brown leaf tips – This is usually caused by dry air or underwatering. Mist the plant regularly or move it to a more humid spot. Also, check that you are watering adequately.
  • Yellow leaves – If many leaves are turning yellow, it likely indicates too much sunlight. Move the parlor palm to a shadier area.
  • Drooping or wilting – Drooping leaves that are curled downward often mean underwatering. Give the soil a good soak and water more frequently.
  • Root rot – If the roots are dark and mushy, root rot has set in from overwatering. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

Maintaining Health and Longevity

With proper care, a parlor palm can thrive for years in an office environment. Here are some vital tips:

  • Water whenever the top inch of soil is dry. Take care not to overwater.
  • Mist the plant every few days to increase humidity.
  • Wipe dust off the leaves periodically so the plant can photosynthesize.
  • Repot every 2-3 years in a container one size larger. Use well-draining potting mix.
  • Prune away any dead or dying fronds to keep your plant looking tidy.

By quickly identifying and remedying any issues, while also sticking to a consistent care regimen, you can enjoy your parlor palm for many years to come.

Fun Facts and Trivia about the Parlor Palm

The parlor palm has a fascinating history. Native to Central America and Mexico, it was popularized during Victorian times when people would display them in their “parlors” – hence the name “parlor palm”. This tropical plant became a coveted houseplant that symbolized wealth and refinement.

Sharing interesting facts about the Parlor Palm, such as its history, unique properties, and its role in different cultures

An intriguing fact about the parlor palm is that it made NASA’s list of the top 50 air purifying plants. Studies found it to be highly effective at removing toxins like xylene, ammonia and formaldehyde from indoor air. Its lush green fronds can help create a healthier office environment.

The parlor palm is also uniquely adapted to low light conditions, which enabled its popularity as a decorative houseplant. Its slender trunk is topped by dark green, arching fronds that can grow up to 5 feet tall, providing an elegant accent without taking up too much space.

In Feng Shui principles, the parlor palm is believed to bring good fortune and positive energy into a home or office. Its flowing fronds are thought to promote harmony and balance.

Here’s an intriguing piece of trivia – parlor palm seeds can take up to 6 months to germinate! This slow rate of growth is why these palms are still quite rare in their native habitat despite being popular the world over.

The parlor palm is also known for its incredibly slow growth rate. Once planted, it can take decades for them to attain their full height of just 3 to 4 feet tall. But this makes them perfect for display in homes and offices where space is limited.

Finally, parlor palms are one of the few palm species that thrive as houseplants. Most other palm varieties require tropical or subtropical climates outdoors. The parlor palm’s ability to purify indoor air and adapt to low light makes it a uniquely versatile green accent for any home or office.

Embracing Greenery: Call to Action

Encouraging readers to bring nature into their office space can have tremendous benefits for both employees and employers. Studies have shown that having plants in an office can reduce stress, increase productivity, and improve air quality. The parlor palm thrives indoors and is an excellent choice for an office setting.

Greener Office, Happier Employees

  • Employees spend a significant portion of their day at the office. Surrounding them with plants creates a more vibrant and uplifting environment.
  • Interacting with nature, even indoors, has been linked to improved cognitive function, enhanced creativity, and lower rates of anxiety and fatigue.
  • Allowing employees to care for office plants gives them a sense of responsibility and satisfaction.
  • The vibrant green color of plants is soothing and makes spaces seem more welcoming.

Incorporating parlor palms throughout an office can make employees feel happier, healthier, and more energized.

Easy Access through Aztec Plants

Aztec Plants offers convenient plant hire and purchase options to make obtaining parlor palms for your office straightforward:

Visit Aztec Plants to get started creating a greener office with parlor palms today!

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