Neanthe bella - repotting question

jules7ky(z6KY)June 23, 2009

I've been given a parlor palm that has seen some less-than-great care over the years - the bottom half of the stem/trunk is thin and spindly, while the top half is nice and thick. (Amazing what repotting occasionally will do...)

Once I get rid of the HORRIBLE case of mealybugs, I'd like to repot it - my question is, can I bury the spindly part of the stem? It has little nubs up and down it that look as if they'd like to form roots, but I just don't know enough about this type of plant yet to know for sure.

I'm told that it came as a seedling in a floral arrangement in the early 1980's - it's almost 3 feet tall, and I sure would like to help it come back if I can.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

You might want to google the family Chameodorea.(spelling from memorylol) The real parlor palm is C elegans . The big difference in the family is that elegans is a single , having one growth stem while some others branch or clump forming multiple stems. The confusion lies in that they plant multiple seeds to make the plant look fuller. If it came in a floral arrangement my bet would be elegans or the single stem. When you repot check to see if they pull apart easily meaning each is a single plant.
As you have noted they are incredibly hardy. They tolerate almost anything short of hard freeze and total drought lol Try whichever method you like. gary

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 6:21AM
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Hi, Gary - thanks for the reply!

This is a single plant, single stem. I do have a pot of multiple small seedlings that I picked up at Target and have just been loving (it's what prompted the original owner of the bigger one to give it to me). Funny thing, I just checked the tag that came with the seedlings, and it says "Dwarf Palm, Neanthe Bella" and also "Chamaedorea elegans" (not from memory, looking at tag, not as spelling-brave as you lol).

So! C. elegans for both, I think. I had already repotted the babies, so I know they're definitely separate plants. I'll go research further - Thanks for the info!! - Jules

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 1:46PM
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I've been out on the web looking for info, and can't find anything that answers my original question: Can I bury more of the stem/trunk when I repot this plant?

Just finished the first round of the Mealybug War, and had to pull off some of the old dried leaf bases to get at them. At the base of where the stem starts to grow thicker, there is a ring of what looks like fat little rootlets.

Can I, can I, huh? I'd love to see this guy growing straight and tall (the bottom half of the trunk has an L-bend in it, so the palm is sortof laying over).

And what should I feed the little darling? - whoops, never mind that one. I'll go check FAQ's.

Thanks for any help! - J.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:35AM
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Thats a really good question, but Im not sure of the answer. I am pretty sure that these palms do get some roots on their trunk. I am not sure if that holds true for the entire species, but if it is then you probably could cover the trunk with soil.

Also I only fed mine miracle gro once and have had it since a seedling. Its been five years and its about 3-4 feet tall and fruits every year just intime for christmas.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 12:05PM
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Hi, are Neanthe bells really a palm? I just Purchased one from Meijer yesterday and I was wondering.
Thanks Joshua

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:57PM
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Yes! Their botanical name is Chamaedorea elegans which is a species of palm.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 10:17PM
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NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a(Alexandria, VA 7B/8A)

What I would do to see if you can get these adventitious roots to grow is this: On the lower part of the trunk where the nubs are located, attach some sphagnum moss. Keep it moist and wrap that section of the trunk loosely in plastic tubing, wrap or with a plastic bag. Check it ever few weeks or so and once they do start to grow, then plant the palm up to that part in soil. Many palms in the Chamaedorea genus produce these adventitious or "stilt" roots as they are called, and can be planted deeper, or they can be left as they are. Once the stilt roots reach the soil line they will go into the soil and provide more support for the plant. I will link a neat thread with photos below, that shows this whole process on Chamaedorea Tepejilote. (Pacaya Palm) C. Tepejilote are VERY closely related to C. Elegans, and are almost identical with the exception that C. Tepejilote are larger, and have a much larger mature height, and larger inflorescence.

Btw... Nanthe Bella is an antiquated name that is really no longer used. They are mostly called Parlor/Parlour palms, or by their botanical name Chamaedorea Elegans. (pronounced Ka-ma-door-e-a)
Hope this helps. Cheers!

Here is a link that might be useful: Adventitious / Stilt roots on C. Tepejilote

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 12:00PM
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