How to Care For Parlor Palms

How to Care For Parlor Palms

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The popularly low maintenance indoor palm tree sure to bring a hint of tropical living to any space!

written by Samantha Agostino


The Parlor Palm is a famously low maintenance plant, known for its adaptability and resilience. Native to Central America and Mexico, this plant tends to prefer tropical environments of high temperature and high humidity. However, they make for the perfect houseplant due to their ability to thrive in more temperate conditions. Parlor Palm maintenance is so easy, you'll wonder why you didn't pick one up sooner!

Botanical Name:Chamaedorea elegans 
Common Names(s):Parlor Palm, Neanthe Bella Palm, Tabletop Palm, Bella Palm
Plant Type:Palm Tree 
Place of Origin:
Central America, Mexico
Sun Exposure:Filtered Sun
Seasonality:Spring, Summer
Toxicity:Safe for cats and dogs 


The Parlor Palm's water needs are pretty simple. Once a week soak your plant's soil thoroughly, allowing any excess liquid to drain from your pot's drainage holes. By giving the soil time to dry out, you're preventing the possibility of overwatering and eventual root rot. You'll know when to water your Parlor Palm based on the dryness of the soil; once the top half of the soil (about 1-2 inches) is dry, it's time for the next soaking. Make sure you pick up a bag of well-draining soil for your Parlor Palm, to ensure adequate drainage. 


Do Parlor Palms Need Tons of Sunlight? 
The Parlor Palm's light requirements are extremely easy to meet. Their ideal lighting situation is bright, indirect sun exposure. You can achieve this by placing your plant roughly 5 feet away from any southern or western-facing window, or close to any window covered with a sheer curtain. This allows your Parlor Palm to receive some light without the harsh heat of the sun's direct rays. BE CAUTIOUS - direct sun exposure can actually burn your plant's leaves! 

Can Parlor Palms Grow in Low Light? 
Absolutely! These adaptable beauties thrive in low light conditions commonly found in households and office spaces. They even will fair decently well if kept under grow lights!


Parlor Palms are native to tropical climates, so it's obvious they prefer higher heat environments. Ideally, keeping them in a room somewhere between 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit is perfect. Don't worry though, if you don't enjoy breaking a sweat in your own home, the Parlor Palm can withstand a much lower temperature tolerance. Normal room temperature ranging from 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to keep your plant happy. 

Keep Your Parlor Palm Away From The Cold!
Though they can thrive in normal room temperatures, be sure not to expose your Parlor Palm to temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A cold environment can lead to browning leaves or even death of your plant! Keep your Parlor Palm away from open drafty windows or air vents to ensure they're comfortable and healthy. With the Flora App you can get live weather updates straight to your phone, so you'll know when the temperatures in your area may be a little too cold for your plant! 


When it comes to Parlor Palms, the higher the humidity, the better! However, these easygoing plants can also flourish in average household humidity. Keeping the humidity levels between 40-80% will ensure your Parlor Palm is A-OK!! 

How To Increase Humidity:
If you want to give your Parlor Palm the humidity it likes, but don't want to turn your living space into a sauna, here are some tips to keep the humidity level localized to your plant:
1. Your Parlor Palm will appreciate a good misting! Spraying your plant 3-4 times a week will not only provide that extra moisture, but as an added bonus, it will also fend off pests!

2. Place your Parlor Palm near a humidifier!

3. Find a new home for your Parlor Palm in the bathroom, where shower steam is relaxing for both you and your green friend. 


1. Root Rot - Root rot is caused by overwatering your plants. The easiest way to protect your Parlor Palm from this disease is to be mindful of how much water you are giving it. 

2. Bacterial Leaf Spots - Overwatering also causes bacteria and fungus to mature in your plant’s soil, potentially causing your Parlor Palm  to develop bacterial leaf spots. Bacterial leaf spots are small oval shapes on your plant that appear in a brownish-yellow color. The best way to treat bacterial leaf spots is through chemical or organic fungicide spray. By targeting the infected areas with the fungicide spray, the bacterial leaf spots should improve and eventually disappear.

3. Aphids, Mealybugs, Mites - In addition to diseases such as root rot and bacterial leaf spot, your Parlor Palm is also susceptible to pests such as aphids, coconut mealybugs, and coconut mites. A good washing and some insecticide should do the trick in ridding these critters from your plant! 

Use the Flora App to ensure all of your plant's needs are being met. Flora will send you alerts and reminders to let you know when it's time for your plant to be watered as well as give you a detailed guide on the optimal conditions to help your plant to thrive!