Scientific name: Chamaedorea elegans
Synonyms: Bamboo Palm, Areca Palm or Parlor Palm
The Parlor Palm is known as a cane type palm because of the bamboo cane looking stems that form once it has matured. An attractive species that prides itself in improving home or office décor and makes a great focal point for large rooms, hallways, reception areas and conservatories.
As long as you're able to provide enough light and warm enough temperatures your palm will thrive wherever you decide to display it.
Most people find growing and maintaining this undemanding plant easy enough. One of the worst things a grower can do is overwater and allow water to stagnate near the root system, otherwise they're a real pleasure to grow.
Tip: If any stems begin to die remove ASAP to stop any rot infecting the healthy stems adjacent.
Please note: Although these are non-toxic to keep your palm looking good, keep out of reach of pets and children.
Parlor Palm Common Symptoms
- Brown edges on leaves: There are many causes for dry leaf tips on Parlor Palms but the most common cause is under watering and dry air. Even though Palms can be drought-tolerant they prefer their soil to stay barely moist to thrive. Prolonged exposure to dry soil will cause brown crisp edging on your houseplant. Rectify this by watering on a more regular basis and checking the soil often to see how dry it is. If watering is not the issue, then dry air or a possible breeze can be the cause of leaf tips drying out. This is easily remedied by placing your plant on a pebble tray or relocating.
- Yellowing leaves/droopy: Over watering is the leading cause of houseplant expiration in most homes. Yellowing leaves is the first sign of a plant that is being over watered. Amend this by allowing your soil to dry out between each watering. Be sure that your planter is draining correctly and use the guide of watering weekly during summer months and less often in winter. If in a lower light space, watering will also be less often.
- Washed out foliage/ Brown crisp patches: As much as your Palm loves bright light, too much direct sunlight can leave your leaves looking dull and washed out. Direct sunlight can also burn the foliage leaving unsightly brown patches on the leaves. Monitor the light around your Palm, if it is harsh, relocate your plant to a bright but sheltered spot.
- Stunted growth: Your houseplant may not be getting enough light. If the leaves are deep green and your plant has not grown in a long period of time then this is a clear indication of a lack of light. Palms prefers medium to bright light to thrive, so if your plant is not performing well it is best to relocate to a brighter spot.
- Wet brown patches on leaves: Wet brown and sometimes smelly patches are caused by bacterial or fungal growth. This usually occurs when moisture sits on the foliage for long periods of time. So avoid this, spritz your plant early in the morning to allow time for rapid evaporation, and provide good air circulation around the plant. Remove any infected leaves and discard in the bin to avoid spread. You can also treat the infection with a Fungicide such as Copper Soap.
- Pests: Pest problems are uncommon with Palms, however, stressed houseplants can be susceptible to pest infestations leading to excessive yellowing fronds and leaf drop. Mealybug, scale and spider mites are common indoor plant pests and can weaken your plant relatively quickly if left untreated. Adjust environmental stressors for your house plant and treat infestations with an organic pesticide.
Parlor Palm Care Instructions
- Origin: Madagascar
- Height: Up to 3m tall
- Light: A fairly bright room without direct sunlight is advised. Not enough light will slow growth and too much sun can scorch leaves.
- Water: Allow the top soil to become dry between watering and do not overwater. Overwatering is the quickest way to kill an Areca Palm, especially if the soil does not drain too well.
- Humidity: Normal room humidity is usually fine; however, dry air turns leaf tips brown (this is common).
- Temperature: Average room temperatures of 18-23°C suitable, and preferably no lower than 13°C. Sudden temperature drops and cold drafts could cause leaves to form brown spots.
- Soil: To prevent roots from becoming water logged use a well draining aerated potting soil mix. A mixture of 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark and 1 part coarse sand is one possible good mix.
- Fertilizer: During spring and summer feed with a palm fertilizer or just a standard diluted feed. After re-potting with new potting mix do not use fertilizer for 2 months.
- Propagation: Propagation is done with seeds, but it's time consuming and quite difficult. You'll need to be able to keep temperatures at around 26°C and provide above average humidity conditions.
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