Parlor Palm


 Chamadorea elegans (Neanthe bella or Neanthe palm) is part of the Arecaceae family. Its common name, and one most of us recognize, is  Parlor Palm.  One of the reasons a Parlor palm is one of the most popular indoor palms grown and sold, is that it thrives in almost any location. Like its relative the Kentia Palm, this plant can even stay healthy in low light. Parlor Palm’s popularity as a houseplant dates back to Victorian times when it was a favorite plant used in the “parlours” of well to do families.

Parlor Palm Description

A Parlor Palm, which was originally discovered growing in the rainforests of Guatemala and Southern Mexico, is the most popular indoor palm sold. It is a type of “feather palm;” other familiar feather palms are the kentia palm, the pygmy date palm, the coconut palm, and the sentry palm. A Parlor Palm can be small enough to place in a terrarium, perfect to sit on a table or desk, or as a mature plant, tall enough to be an elegant floor plant. This is a compact, bushy plant with dark green, long, graceful fronds. The fronds have a middle rib with soft, drooping leaflets coming off each side. When planted in a 10” pot, a parlor palm can grow 3-4ft. tall in three or four years and sometimes produce very small, ball like yellow flowers. Since these palms require very little care, it is the perfect plant for offices, businesses, and any area that might have less than optimal growing conditions.  Indoor palms, whether it’s an Areca Palm, a Bamboo Palm, a Kentia Palm, or a Cat Palm, come in all sizes and shapes, but they all have one very important thing in common. The only growing point on a palm is at the very end of each stem. If you cut off this growing tip, you will kill the entire the stem.

Parlor Palm Problems

Brown fronds can be caused by over watering, severe under watering, too much fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small., using water from a softener or water high in chlorine and fluorine.

Yellow fronds are usually the result of underwatering

Brown spots on fronds is a sign of Leaf Spot DiseaseHow to identify and treat Leaf Spot plant disease. See a picture of Leaf Spot disease and learn how to prevent leaf spot disease from attacking your plants., cold temperatures , or over watering

 Quick Care Tips

Warm temperatures above 50°F (10°C)

Medium light and no direct sun

Allow the soil to partially dry out before watering and never allow a parlor palm to sit in water

propagationLearn how to propagate plants by plant division at is very difficult


Although an indoor Parlor Palm, unlike one grown outdoors, rarely produces any flowers, the feathery, lush fronds make it a beautiful houseplant. Some added pluses; a Parlor Palm cleans the air of harmful pollutants and it is safe to have around cats, dogs, and children. Follow the simple care tips below and you’ll have a lovely plant for many, many years.


What Is the Very Fine Webbing on My Parlor Palm? Is This Why the Fronds Are Looking So Pale in Color?

The fine webbing on your Parlor Palm indicates the plant has Spider Mites. To get rid of Spider Mite houseplant pests, spray you entire palm with warm soapy water every 10 days for a month. If that doesn’t solve the problem, use an insecticidel soap. Palm leaves are sensitive never use anything, such as the ” green solution“, that contains alcohol.

Why Are Entire Fronds on My Parlor Palm Suddenly Turning Yellow and Dying? I Am Very Careful About Letting My Plant Get Totally Dried Out Before Watering So I Don’t Think I Am Over-watering. Does My Palm Need to Be Fed More Often?

Your Parlor Palm is turning yellow because you are allowing the soil to get too dry. Try giving your plant a little more water and I think your yellow frond problem will go away.

What Is the Sticky White Stuff All Over the Backs of the Leaves of My Parlor Palm and How to I Get Rid of It?

The white “sticky stuff” on your parlor palm leaves is a houseplant pest called Mealy Bugs. Dip a Q Tip in alcohol and carefully dab the white stuff off, then spray your entire Parlor Palm with warm soapy water. Be sure to spray inside the new growth and reach inside the stem coverings. If this doesn’t get rid of the Mealy Bug infestation after three treatments, 10 days apart, use a commercial insecticidal soap.

Why Are the Tips of the Leaves on My Parlor Palm Are Turning Brown? My Palm Plant Is in a Pretty Dark Corner So I Know the Sun Is Not Burning the Leaves of the Plant.

Brown tips on the ends of houseplant Palm fronds (leaves) are usually the result of too much water, too much plant food, too many chemicals in the water you are using, or using water that has passed through a water softener.