February 8th, 2022
Neanthe Bella Palm
Hey Plant Friends!
This week we are talking about Chamaedorea elegans commonly known as the Neanthe Bella Palm or Parlor Palm. This compact variety belongs to the Arecaceae plant family along with other useful monocots such as coconuts, the rattan palm, and the date palm; and is native to the rainforests in Southern Mexico and Guatemala. Often grown in small clumps, parlor palms are slower growers and can reach up to 6 feet tall over time. This plant was made popular during the Victorian era in England because of emerging architecture that fancied high ceilings, large windows, and even indoor heat. Plants in the home were an indication of wealth and prosperity. Most palms are toxic to pets but the Neanthe Bella Palm is nontoxic making it a great option for a pet friendly home!
Let’s talk about care. One of the best attributes of this palm is that it tolerates low light. This doesn’t mean no light, but it does mean it tolerates lower light environments. They will do best in a bright, indirect light. Plant in a well-drained potting soil such as Espoma's Organic Potting Mix or our house blend, Tonka Terra if you have a brighter light situation as this is a heavier soil. Palms don’t like to dry out between watering. Water once the top inch of soil is dry. As always, make sure your pot has drainage. Never let palms sit in standing water. Keep this tropical plant in a warm room and away from drafts and heater vents. Spider mites are quite common when growing palms, especially in our warm, dry winter homes. Scout and inspect the undersides of leaves for insects each time you water. Keep a bottle of Bonide's Insecticidal Super Soap on hand for quick treatments.