A Bamboo Palm is part of the larger Chamaedorea genus of about 105 species of palms. Chamaedorea palms are native to the tropical and subtropical parts of Mexico and Central America. Compared to other palms growing in the forest, they are relatively small, reaching a height of only about 5ft-20ft (1.5m-6m). The name Chamaedoria is Greek for “on the ground” and it refers to the fact that the fruit on a Chamaedorea palm could be easily reached when it was ripe. The Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii ) is one of the most popular varieties used as an indoor plant.
Bamboo Palm Description
It’s easy to see why a Bamboo Palm is used so often as an indoor plant. It is a beautiful, compact, easy care, tropical looking plant that grows well in medium light. It can even be happy in lower light if you are careful with your water. Even though it is called a Bamboo Palm, it is not a relative of the real bamboo, a type of grass that requires very bright light. Indoors the plant be as tall as 5 – 7ft. and as wide as 3 -5ft. with multiple, reed-like stems growing in clumps. It’s these reed like stems that gave the Bamboo Palm its nickname, the Reed Palm. There are about 10-15 fronds on each stem and each frond has 10-14 pinnate (feathery), dark green leaflets. The base of each stem is covered in a tan-colored fiber that resembles bamboo.
Quick Care Tips for a Bamboo Palm
Too much salt or other chemicals in your water or too much plant food causes brown leaf tips
Green leaves drop off when plant is over watered
Do not rush to repot; Bamboo Palms like to be root bound.
Avoid temperatures below 50°F (10°C)
Be sure soil is moist when fertilizing
Commercial insecticides harm the leaves; use an insecticidal soap for pest problems
The graceful Bamboo palm is much hardier than an Areca palm and much less expensive than a Kentia palm. Although NASA lists it as an excellent clean air plant, a Bamboo Palm is a slightly poisonous plant and should be kept away from small children. It is also toxic to cats, dogs and other pets. Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.
The webbing on your bamboo palm is caused by spider mites. To eliminate spider mites, spray the entire plant with a mild, soapy water solution. If this doesn’t solve the spider mite problem, use a commercial insecticidal soap. You can read about insecticidal soap in theGlossary of the website.
Too much salt in the soil either from excess fertilizer or from chemicals in the water can cause brown leaf tips and brown lower leaves on a bamboo pam. Take your palm outside and flush out the soil 8-10 times with salt free, chemical free water. Never use water that has passed through a softener, it is too salty. If your household water contains a lot of chemicals allow it to sit out over night before using it.
Green leaves fall off of a bamboo palm because of over- watering.
You can help your Bamboo Palm grow faster by moving the plant to a location that gets bright indirect light and high humidity.