The bamboo palm is a very popular house plant.
These 3 different kinds are all easy to grow indoors or in containers: The dwarf, the bamboo and the hardy bamboo.
All are members of the Chamaedorea branch of the palm family along with the parlor palm, cat palm and metallic palm.
All are native to Mexico but the regular one is also native to Honduras, Belize and Guatemala as well.
Its leaf display will vary from a finer feather looking to a broader across leaf depending on where it is native.
Chamaedorea seifrizii KENPEI's photo
Their name suggests that they are related somehow to the bamboo plant that furniture is made out of.
They are in very different plant families.
Palms are in the arecaceae family of flowering trees/plants and bamboo is in the poaceae family of true grasses.
This is the Bamboo palm that is the most popular just because it is the easiest to find as a house plant.
Many commercial growers will start these faster growers in full sun.
This will increase the new shoots, having a tendency to fill in the container with a more dense plant.
Then they will return them to a shade- part shade environment so the leaves can go back to a deeper more emerald green.
With the container fuller and the leaves darker- the plant is now ready for sale.
These guys are easy keepers. They will thrive in any type of well drained soil with regular food and watering. They aren’t drought tolerant so if you are going to have them in a container - a self watering pot would be ideal.
This bamboo palm can withstand just below freezing temperatures.
If they do happen to get frozen the leaves will turn brown and die off.
The plant itself will reemerge new shoots from the ground.
Another bonus to this particular palm is that it will get yellowish flowers that have a nice aroma.
The flowers are both male and female which once pollinated will turn to a small fruit that will turn a blackish color when ripe.
Called the dwarf bamboo because most of the time their trunks will be below ground. Periodically one will grow one above ground.
When they grow below ground they are of the clumping variety and if one does grow a trunk it will be a solitary one, only about an inch or so in diameter.
The dwarf bamboo palm also gets a paler yellow unisex flowers that and will produce a small fruit that is a reddish orange color when ripe.
CC Photo Author: Danerikk
You’ll especially enjoy these as a ground cover for a large area outdoors. They are even a slight more cold tolerant that the regular bamboo.
If you are lucky enough to find a couple of the solitary ones with the trunk above ground you’ll be amazed at how elegant and tropical their appearance is. A couple are always a much more striking display than just one.
Aptly named the hardy bamboo because of its ability to re grow shoots from the ground after a harder freeze. This kind has the same basic growing needs as its cousins.
One main difference is that after the yellowish white flowers are pollinated it produces a small fruit that is usually a deep red or orange color.
It is also a clumping variety with deep green feather leaves, showing a silvery underside.
I think the hardest part will be trying to figure out which bamboo palm to get.
They are all easy to grow in containers and indoors.
Their lighting requirements aren’t nearly as much as some other varieties of palms making them a lot easier to place indoors.
You can keep the humidity they need by giving them a mist bath once a week or so.
Another alternative is to set a shallow dish with water and pebbles near the tree.
Add water when necessary, the pebbles help with a touch of decoration too.
One other thing to remember- with most palms that are indoors they can be subject to spider mites.
The best way to discourage them is to put a couple of drops of dish soap or insecticidal soap in your mist bottle.
It won’t hurt your palm but will help to stop any mites that are considering making your palm their home.
Two jobs done in one spray!
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