Thursday, 2 October 2008
One of the easiest plants to grow in your home and also looks great is the Chamaedorea Elegans or Parlour Palm, as it is commonly known. For over a century, parlour palms have enjoyed a place in homes all over the world. A low growing palm (up to 3 feet high) that is very tough, it will tolerate a lot of abuse but with a small amount of care will thrive. Great in almost any room of the house. Originally from Mexico and Guatemala, its original habitat is as an understory plant in rainforests. It therefore can tolerate low light areas in the house and does not like direct sunlight.
The Chamaedorea Elegans is a dwarf palm with long graceful green fronds. The leaves can grow to 3-4 feet long and are held upright by a small diameter reed-like trunk. The palm grows slowly and seldom reaches over 3-4 feet in height. The palm is very hardy and provides a fantastic tropical effect indoors or out. The plant is frost tolerant up to minus 4°C.
This graceful looking palm is very easy to grow and maintain. Plant in fast draining soil and place palm out of direct sunlight. Lightly fertilize with a dose of slow release fertiliser during the start of the cooler months and liquid fertiliser once a month during the warmer periods. Let soil almost dry out between watering. Misting and occasional turning of the palm (makes the leaves grow evenly and the trunk grow straight) is recommended for maximum beauty. Do not leave water standing in saucer.
Quick reference guide:
Site: A light position but will also handle some shade.
Temp: Average warmth - will need misting if its really hot.
Water: Quite regularly in the growing season and rarely over the winter months.
Feeding: A liquid feed every month or so; 1 dose of slow release fertiliser during the start of winter.
Tip: Brown tips on the leaves mean the humidity needs to be raised, give it a light misting with a spay bottle.
General: Probably the most commonly grown indoor palm in the world. Very resilient to low light, air-conditioning, drying out, and over watering (though not necessarily enjoying any of them).
One of the most popular palms in the world, its ability to put up with low light, drought and general abuse is legendary. Additionally it flowers when still quite young. It is not recommended that you tap the flowers for toddy, he!he!