Chamaedorea elegans

This palm’s generic name is derived from the Greek word Palmae chamai, meaning low; in fact, it reaches a height of only 2 m (6 ½ ft), not only when cultivated as a house plant, but in its native habitat, Mexico, as well. It is usually grown for its foliage, although it also has striking yellow flowers. The leaves are about 1 m (3 ft) long, pinnate and turned slightly downwards. The plant is dioecious and does not produce fruits when grown indoors. However, fruits start to develop rapidly if it is artificially pollinated. There are about 130 other species of Chamaedo-rea, but these are not grown as house plants.

Chamaedorea does not tolerate direct sun or a dry atmosphere, so mist regularly with tepid water. It thrives at average or higher-than-average temperatures in summer. In winter the temperature must not fall below 12°C (54° F). Feed monthly with a compound fertilizer during the growing period. The soil should never be allowed to dry out completely.

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