Parlour Palm, although small, is a very popular choice as a house plant. This is probably because it is tolerant of the average conditions it meets in the home.
It will put up with dry air and a shortage of light, surviving where other plants might not.
Theare medium green and can grow up to 45-60cnn (18-24in) long. The leaves, or fronds, are divided into opposite pairs of leaflets.
As the plant grows thegradually becomes densely ringed with scars where the leaves were attached. Even when young the plant forms but they have no fragrance. If you have two trees (one male and one female), flowering at the same time to each other, small pea-like fruits could form.
New shoots may appear at the base of the plant. They give it a bushier appearance, and may be used tonew plants.
The parlour palm rarely grows taller than lm (3ft) and growth is slow, so it will be some years before you feel it may have outgrown its space.
The most popular variety is. A more vigorous growing plant, Chamaedorea eliatior has large leaves up to 76-91cm (30-36in) long. Chamaedorea oblongata does not form shoots at the base. It has a solitary stem, which makes it look fragile, but it is just as suitable and robust as other varieties of parlour palm. Chamaedorea fragrans has long un-fringed leaves and many arising from the base.
As a specimen plant on its own, the parlour palm is elegant and, because of its size, not too intimidating. Choose afor it where its shape can be seen to best advantage. If you do grow other plants with it, choose ground cover plants like the creeping fig, .
Although new shoots are often present at the base of the palm, it is not always easy to get them to.
1. Use a sharp knife to cut the basal shoots with leaves andfrom the plant.
2. Plant the shoots in a well-drained rich. Cover with plastic to avoid water loss through evaporation.
3. Remove the plastic when new growth is visible after a few weeks.
1. Sow thein a good potting . Add a little sand to improve .
2. Place the seed box over a warm radiator or heated cable in a propagating unit.
3. Germination occurs after 5-6 weeks.
Pests And Diseases
Whole plant looks unhealthy due to red spider mite attack. Treatment: Wash infested leaves and use a. Repeat treatment to get rid of any mites that might hatch from eggs. Check for mites’ webbing in the joints and shoot tips. Raise level of by frequent misting, particularly on undersides of leaves, where red spider mites collect.
Dark brown patches on leaves is probably due to exposure to direct sunlight.
Treatment: Move out of direct sun and remove damaged leaves.
Leaves with whitish spots usually indicatesor mealy bug attacks.
Treatment: Combat with a suitable.
Leaf loss may occur if potting mixture is not well-drained.
Treatment: Repot and provide better drainage.
Parlour palms are easy to care for and will cope with average indoor conditions. Cut away damaged or dead leaves if they occur.
- : Repot every 2-3 years using a well-drained humus-rich soil-based compost. Only repot if pot is completely filled by . Handle roots carefully, or root damage will occur.
- Water moderately but do not let it stand in water. Keep potting mixture moist during growing period. In winter water sparingly so that it is just moist. Let top of potting mixture dry out before you water again.
- Feeding: Apply a diluted fertilizer every fortnight during the growing season — but do not overfeed.
BEST GROWTH ENVIRONMENT
- Light: For healthy growth place it in bright, indirect light. It will, however, tolerate poor light. In very hot direct sunlight it scorches and growth ceases.
- Temperature: In summer keep at 18°-20°C (64°-68°F) but in winter 10°-15°C (50°-60°F) is acceptable.
- On sale all year in many sizes from florists.
- If the plant looks green and perky, it is healthy. Check for red spider mites’ webbing in the leaf joints or shoot tips. Reject any with minutely spotted or brown leaves.
- Parlour palms will flourish for many years, even in less than good conditions.
The Parlour Palm is a pretty and elegant plant that grows naturally in shady places. Compact in shape, it rarely grows more than lm (3ft) high.