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Chamadorea Elegans, more commonly known as the Parlour Palm is a small slow-growing indoor palm. Also found under the name Neanthe Bella, The Parlour palm will add structure to a room and provide an attractive back-drop to other foliage or flowering plants.  Because it only grows to around 1m – 1.5m it shouldn’t outstay its welcome too soon.

The mid to dark green fronds are quite delicate looking and not stiff like many of the indoor palm varieties.

Parlour palms were popular in Victorian times because of their ability to thrive in low light conditions and with low air humidity.  This makes them a popular choice for corners of rooms and hallways.  Even though they will cope with low humidity, mist-spraying occasionally will help to keep red spider mite at bay.  This little pest thrives in hot, dry air.

Throughout the growing season from late spring to autumn water liberally but ensure the pot can drain freely.  Keep the compost just moist in winter.

Parlour palms will produce clusters of flowers even on a young plant but you may find it a good idea to remove the flowers before they fully open as the pollen can be rather messy.

Palms in general don’t like their roots disturbed so try and keep re-potting down to a minimum.  Leave the plant until it is really squeezing out of its pot before moving it into a larger one.

With most palms it is a natural occurence for the lower leaves to go brown, simply cut these off.  If the leaves turn yellow make sure the palm is getting enough water particularly in summer when the roots shouldn’t be allowed to dry out.

Leafshine can be used to add gloss but be sparing in its use, a little goes a long way.