Parlor Palm ID

houseplantlover86(6)June 27, 2010

Is this a Parlor Palm plant, or some other type of similar palm? Please help ID.

It was in a dish garden before, along with Peace Lily and Heart Leaf philodendron - the reason for its small size, also a very young plant. I am also getting some tipping on it, perhaps I am overwatering? Thanks very much!


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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

That is definitely a parlor palm. (Chamaedorea Elegans)

As for the tipping, well that could be a number of things. How often are you watering it? I allow mine to completely dry out between waterings and they do fine. I have several of these ranging from a few inches, to a few feet of trunk.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:10AM
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Yeah thats definitely a parlor palm and I also have a seedling and a large one. I let them both dry out and they do fine especially when they get soaked after. I didnt water mine for a very long time this past winter and I did unfortunately lose a few leaves on the bottom but It didnt thin out too badly and it revealed a beautiful trunk.
They are also great bloomers for me and they bloom outdoors on and off all summer but put on there best show indoors during the winter.
Also do NOT keep them in full sun or even partial sun. They will burn in an hour in afternoon sun during the heat of the summer, maybe even 30 minutes. I burned off the leaves on a few of mine that way but it is not growing well again in shade.

They arent too hard to take care of. Just watch out for overwatering (which shouldnt happen in a good draining pot with good soil), spider mites (they do attack mine often indoors but they dont seem to do very severe damage, and keep them in a very bright window indoors but in complete shade outdoors.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:28AM
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Back to novaplantguy: I water my parlor palm about every 2 weeks or so maybe a bit more often. It was getting a bunch of sun in my western window on top the TV, but I moved it away -- for fear the tipping was from too much light instead of overwatering! I will take your advice though.

Here is a seperate question: Are parlor plams and dwarf palms the same plant? I do know they have different names (scientific/common).

The reason I'm asking is, I recently bought a plant called a DWARF palm on the label -- but it's also labeled both Chamaedorea elegans AND Neanthea Bella. These are parlor palm classifications... But if the label said it was a dwarf palm, it would be Allagoptera campestris, not any of the others.....right, lol?

I suppose I should never trust a grocery store label, anyway. Half of them say "Foliage" -- and that's it! If that doesnt prompt a guy to search for an ID, I don't know what would!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:46AM
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In the palm world, most common names are pretty much meaningless as many are just made up by whoever, and some are quite interchangable... there are at least 4-5 palms commonly known as dwarf palms, so you pretty much have to equate that with 'tropical foliage' and try to find out what the scientific names are (much less interchangable, but not always right.. .like Neanthe bella is an archaic name, not used in by palm taxonomists for over 40 years). Still, your palms are Chamaedorea elegans. That is the correct name for them, and really the only one that will ONLY mean that palm. Even Parlor Palm is sometimes assigned to Kentia palms (Howea forsteriana).

For fun, below are some shots of Chamaedorea elegans outdoors in California.

Here are some in sunlight showing they can indeed tolerate moderate sun (if acclimated to it!)

Here are some very old palms (over 30 years) in a cycad garden... these palms have been, arching stems 'trunks?) over 10' tall

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 10:23AM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

Lzrddr has it right. It is best to go by botanical names. Common names often are shared by more than one plant, and / or are very very old and not much used anymore. They often only lead to more confusion. As for the term 'dwarf', well that is a general, descriptive term that can be applied to MANY different plants, including some palms, such as the "dwarf" or Pigmy Date Palm Phoenix Roebelenii. Dwarf is almost never part of the botanical name, at least that I am aware of. The term dwarf used to describe Chamaedorea is almost a given, since many palms in that genus are small / dwarf compared to most in the palm family.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:47AM
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Dwarf palm is a very generic name for palms that are small. You definitely have a chamaedorea. The name tags area confusing because a lot of times nursuries dont even know exactly what they are selling.
Lzrddr and novaplantguy are definitely right.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 2:14PM
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Thanks to everyone, I will remember to stick to the scientific names for clearer ID's next time! Knowing me though, I will forget that advice in a weeks' time, and be right back on another thread asking about ID's again! I have to say--I never realized how useful such a knowledge base as Garden Web could be--until now, LOL.
Here's a photo of my new Chamaedorea elegans, freshly repotted. (Don't mind the blender, please!) I wouldn't call this palm a dwarf as much as the other one I asked about first. This palm is much bigger and would have a hard time being stuffed into a terrarium!

I also have a Majesty Palm that is spending summer outdoors....due to its spider mite problems!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:51PM
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