Search this site

Parlor Palm Tree

Parlor Palm Tree- Chamaedorea Elegans in container

The parlor palm makes a super addition to any space, especially indoors.

It was named as such because it thrives in low and indirect lighting situations making it perfect for parlors of houses, or lobbies of hotels, banks and other commercial buildings.

They are really easy to look after making them an ideal palm for beginners to start with.

Placement, lighting, care and moisture requirements are not hard to manage even in those commercial applications.

Photo by Jerzy Opioła (Own work): on  Wikimedia creative commons 3.0

There may be someone only around once a week to actually give them any attention they may need.

These palms originate in a rainforest environment as an understory plant in places like Mexico and Central America.

It is a very close relative of the bamboo palm   as  both are in the Chamaedorea branch of the family.

Most all of the different ones of this family are well known for their indoor growing ability.

Some others in the group are the cat palm, metallic palm, tuna tail palm and the velvet palm.


The parlor palm is an excellent addition to your decor as they present you with a tropical feeling wherever they are placed.

They are a small, feather leaf variety with leaves that are a paler emerald green color. In nature they will get to be 6-8 ft tall and about 4 ft wide, but not nearly that large when potted.

This tree is a single trunk type which is a bonus they won’t fill out the container you have them in for a very long time.

The trunk is a pale green with rings left from the old leaves.

The parlor palms flowers present in a branching fashion with small yellowish to cream color flowers.

The flowers turn into a cream color fruit that will turn to a dark black color once fully ripe. There are both male and female flowers on the same tree.

They are one of the palms that are both hard and easy to start from seed.

It may take up to a year to germinate and you may only get a couple of sprouts to start in that time.

Parlor Palm Tree- Chamaedorea Elegans with fruits

One tree will be enough in a container once a bit more mature. For a fuller look plant in multiples of 2 or 3 per pot.

Growth and Care of a Parlor Palm

The parlor palm is considered to be a slow grower that thrives in any type of soil. There should be some moisture holding organic material mixed in to help with water retention. Make sure it is well drained and their roots aren’t sitting in any water left over.

Quick info:

  • Scientific name: Chamaedorea elegans
  • Min temp: 30 °F   outdoor growth zones: 10-11
  • Size: 5-8 feet tall, 4 plus feet wide
  • Any soil with organic water retaining material
  • Slow growing, single trunk, feather leaf
  • Shade to heavy shade
Parlor Palm Tree- Chamaedorea Elegans

They don’t do well in direct sunlight situations, their leaves will burn.

In the wild they are an understory plant. They are used to being protected from the bright sunlight.

Their water needs aren’t too hard to meet as long as you have included that extra organic moisture holding matter to the soil mix. 

Best practice water the parlor palm once a week to twice week with fertilizer added once every eight to twelve weeks should keep them especially happy. 

A nice refreshing mist bath would be well appreciated too.

This helps keep their leaves clean and free from dust.  Schedule one of those at the same time you fertilize so you won’t forget.

You’ll have to watch out for a salt/mineral build up and for possible spider mites if they are in a container indoors.

photo by Tequilavia Wikimedia Commons    using licenses3.0/

Both of these are minor maintenance for such a beautiful addition. Find out more at the links provided.

Other than that this house plant has no other real disease or pest problems to be concerned with.

This is the best part for a beginning palm or plant enthusiast. But their beauty and ability for those low-light difficult locations make it perfect for the seasoned grower or decorator.

What intimate corner of your house will you place one of these tropical beauties?

potted parlor palm
potted parlor palm
2 potted parlor palms

You might like these

  • All Types of Palm Trees

    Planning on growing a tropical garden inside or out? Here's a list of the many types of palm trees used in landscapes so you can plan accordingly!

  • Ruffled Fan Palm

    The Ruffled fan palm is hard one to miss. It’s a super choice for containers indoors or out and in landscapes. This one is sure to attract some attention.

  • Sabal Palmetto

    The Sabal Palmetto is a beautiful fan palm with glossy green leaves. It's drought, wind, cold and salt water spray tolerant.

Back to top

Articles others have found useful:

Indoor palms shows you exactly which are the best and easiest to grow.

Small, largemedium and cold hardy kinds listed for landscapes. Types has a complete list all in one place.

Care covers the basics, pests shows problem insects, damage they do and how to eliminate.

Palm tree bacterial or fungal diseases show you the common kinds, how to spot and treat them.

Fertilizer explains how much, what kind and where to place.

Growing includes the plant zones, sun and water requirements, soil pH and other commonly used landscaping terminology.

Palm Tree Passion is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Palm Tree Passion (

Palm Tree Passion > Types of Palm Trees > Parlor Palm