Parlor Palm Care Guide

Elegant. Purifying. Calming.

The Parlor Palm is celebrated for its elegant, feathery fronds that bring a touch of refined greenery to any space. Its ability to thrive in low-light conditions and its contribution to improving indoor air quality make it a popular choice for creating a serene and healthier living environment.

Parlor Palm Care guide

Parlor Palm Overview

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The Parlor Palm, scientifically known as Chamaedorea elegans, is a classic and timeless indoor plant that has graced interiors for decades. Its elegant fronds and adaptability to indoor environments make it a favorite among plant enthusiasts and interior designers alike. This Parlor Palm Care Guide will provide you with comprehensive insights into ensuring your palm thrives in your care.

Light Needs

Parlor Palms prefer bright, indirect light. A spot near an east or north-facing window shielded by sheer curtains is ideal. While they can tolerate low light conditions, it’s essential to avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch their delicate fronds. If your space lacks natural light, placing them under fluorescent lighting can also be beneficial.

Soil Type

For beginners, a well-draining potting mix, preferably one designed for palms, is ideal. Brands like Miracle-Gro offer reliable options. Advanced caregivers might consider a mix of peat moss, sand, and perlite in equal parts. This ensures optimal drainage and aeration. The ideal pH range for Parlor Palms is between 6.0 and 7.0.

Watering Preferences

Water your Parlor Palm when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. It’s crucial to avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water accumulation. If the fronds turn yellow or brown, it might indicate overwatering, while curled leaves can signify underwatering.


Originating from the rainforests of Central America, Parlor Palms thrive in a humidity range of 50-70%. If you live in a dry area, consider placing a humidifier nearby or misting the plant occasionally. A hygrometer can be a handy tool to monitor room humidity levels.

Ideal Temperature Range

Parlor Palms prefer temperatures between 65-80°F (18-27°C). They can tolerate short periods of colder temperatures but prolonged exposure below 50°F (10°C) can be harmful. To maintain a consistent temperature, avoid placing them near radiators, air conditioners, or drafty windows.


Repot your Parlor Palm every 2-3 years or when its roots outgrow the current pot. If you notice roots emerging from the drainage holes, it’s time to upgrade. Choose a pot that’s 2 inches larger in diameter than the current one to give the roots ample space.


Pruning is not mandatory but can help maintain a neat appearance. Remove yellow or brown fronds by cutting them off at the base. This not only enhances the plant’s appearance but also promotes healthier growth.


Propagating Parlor Palms can be a bit challenging but rewarding:

  1. Remove a mature stem from the main plant.
  2. Plant the stem in a pot with fresh potting mix.
  3. Water lightly and place the pot in a warm, humid environment.
  4. Wait for roots to develop, which can take several weeks.

Common Pests

  • Spider Mites: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth regularly.
  • Mealybugs: Use a neem oil spray.
  • Scale: Manually remove and apply insecticidal soap.
  • Aphids: Rinse with a strong water stream.
  • Whiteflies: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs.
  • Thrips: Use yellow sticky traps.
  • Fungus Gnats: Reduce watering frequency.

Common Growth Issues

  • Yellow Leaves: Overwatering or poor drainage.
  • Brown Tips: Low humidity or fluoridated water.
  • Slow Growth: Insufficient light or nutrients.
  • Drooping Fronds: Underwatering or cold drafts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are generally considered low maintenance, making them a popular choice for both novice and experienced plant owners. They are adaptable to a variety of indoor conditions and can tolerate lower light levels, which is uncommon for many palm species. Their watering needs are also moderate; they prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Overall, their easy-going nature and resilience to varying care conditions make them a favorite among houseplants.

Indoors, parlor palms typically grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet, although they can occasionally reach up to 8 feet under optimal conditions. Their growth rate is relatively slow, especially when compared to their growth in their native tropical habitats. Proper care, including adequate light and regular fertilization, can help ensure steady growth.

Brown leaves or fronds on a parlor palm can be a sign of several issues, including:

  1. Underwatering: If the soil is consistently dry and the plant is not receiving enough water, the tips of the leaves can turn brown.

  2. Overwatering: Parlor palms don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause browning leaves.

  3. Low Humidity: While parlor palms are more tolerant of indoor conditions than other palms, they still prefer higher humidity. If the air is too dry, the leaf tips can turn brown.

  4. Pest Infestation: Pests like spider mites can cause browning of the leaves. Regularly inspect your plant and treat as necessary.

  5. Fertilizer Burn: Over-fertilizing or using a fertilizer with high salt content can burn the roots, leading to brown leaves.

To resolve the issue, identify the root cause and adjust your care routine accordingly.


Thank you for trusting LeafWise as your go-to source for plant care. We hope this Parlor Palm Care Guide equips you with the knowledge to nurture your Chamaedorea elegans to its fullest potential. For more expert insights and care tips, sign up for our newsletter and receive a free care guide deck, featuring the Parlor Palm and other indoor favorites. Let’s cultivate a greener, more harmonious living space together!

*Note: Always ensure your plants are out of reach from pets, as some can be toxic if ingested.*