Chamaedorea elegans

Chamaedorea elegans

Chamaedorea elegans or Parlor Palm is very popular since the Victorian era as a houseplant because it is so easy to grow.

It can be brought outside during the summer but never in full sun, it could cause burning of the leaves.

It is a very easy plant: it should be watered regularly but resists drought, does well in the heat but tolerates cold rooms as in the Victorian era and doesn’t need much light.

Description:

The leaves are light green and pinnate.

The pale yellow flowers appear on irregularly branched stems.

The fruits are the size of a pea, the seeds are quite hard. Even indoors the plant will bloom after several years.

It grows quite slowly and its height is not higher than 2.5 m in its habitat and 50 cm indoors .

Nomenclature:

Common names:

Good-Luck Palm, Neanthe Bella Palm, Parlor Palm, Parlour Palm

Synonyms:

Chamaedorea deppeana, Chamaedorea elegans var. angustifolia, Chamaedorea helleriana, Chamaedorea humilis, Chamaedorea pulchella, Collinia deppeana, Collinia elegans, Collinia elegans var. angustifolia, Collinia humilis, Kunthia deppii, Neanthe bella, Neanthe elegans, Neanthe neesiana, Nunnezharia elegans, Nunnezharia humilis, Nunnezharia pulchella

Etymology:

Chamaedorea: from the Greek chamai (on the ground, low) and dorea (gift), refering to its lowhanging fruit
Elegans: van het Latijns elegans (elegant)

Origin:

Central America

Habitat:

Rainforest, as undergrowth

Hardiness:

USDA zone 9-11, -2,5 °C

Care:

Soil:

Well drained soil, any commercial potting soil will do

Exposure:

Shade, partial shade

Water:

Water regularly, keep soil moist

Fertilizer:

Fertilize every 2 weeks

Temperature:

Keep indoors during the winter, preferably at minimum 13 °C

Propagation:

Seed

Sowing instructions:

  • soak the seeds for 1-3 days
  • plant in moist substrate
  • 28-30 °C
  • germination time: a few weeks to a few months, depending on the freshness of the seeds

Image sources

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