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Chamaedorea elegans

Parlor Palm Care: How to Grow the Neanthe Bella Palm

The Parlor Palm, also known as the Neanthe Bella Pella, is a timeless, low-effort houseplant that brings elegance to any plant collection with its lush greenery.

Parlor Palm
  • Neanthe Bella Palm
  • Neanthe Bella Palms

Other names for this plant...

Good Luck Palm Lucky Palm Table Top Palm

About The Parlor Palm

The Parlor Palm, otherwise known as the Neanthe Bella Palm, a beloved species of small palm tree known for adding elegant tropical vibes to homes with its feather-like light green fronds.

But what truly makes the Neanthe Bella Palm a popular houseplant is its easy-going care and maintenance. With the proper care, it even rewards you with the occasional display of sunshine-yellow blooms.

It's a wonderful perennial plant to add to your collection, not only for its stunning look but also for its air-purifying properties - and we're here to tell you all about it!

Botanical Name

Parlor Palm's botanical name is Chamaedorea elegans. Interesting tidbit: the genus name "Chamaedorea" is a combination of two Greek words, "chamai" meaning "on the ground" and "dorea" meaning "gifts." The epithet "elegans" is the Greek word for "elegant" - of course!

This clever combination of words alludes to the plant's elegant appearance and short size, making it easy to reach its fruits from the ground.

Neanthe Bella Palm
The Neanthe Bella Palm is an easy-care tropical houseplant.


The Parlor Palm is a member of the Arecaceae family, commonly known as the palm family, a diverse group of over 2,500 species of perennial, flowering plants. These versatile plants come in various growth forms, including climbers, shrubs, tree-like specimens, and stemless varieties, all collectively known as palms.

Neanthe Bella Palms are closely related to many other common plants we adore, including the Areca Palm, Coconut Palm, Date Palm, and Mexican Fan Palm. You've probably seen their iconic fan or feather-like leaves gracing gardens, beaches, and indoor spaces.


The elegant and delicate Parlor Palm hails from the lush rainforests of Guatemala and Southern Mexico, where it mainly grows as shade-loving undergrowth.


The Parlor Palm is all about understated elegance. Picture slender, gently curving green fronds that give the plant a graceful appearance. But what makes this plant stand out the most are the delicate leaflets that form the fronds, creating an almost feathery texture.

When cultivated indoors, the Neanthe Bella Palm keeps it compact with a height of around 4 feet. This makes it a practical choice for rooms with limited space. But, this tropical plant has the potential to grow as tall as 8 feet in the perfect environment.

What's intriguing is that these palms were traditionally grown as single, sturdy stalks, but nowadays, you can find them in aesthetically pleasing clusters. The most exciting part of their appearance is the vibrant yellow flowers that can bloom in the spring with the right lighting conditions.

Neanthe Bella Palms
Neanthe Bella Palms aren't fussy about their soil - they like light, compost-rich, well-draining potting soil, just like most houseplants.


The great thing about Neanthe Bella Palms is that they look good in every style of home or indoor space, making styling this beauty a breeze.

Your main living room is the perfect styling spot, especially when you pot them in a chic ceramic container or rustic rattan basket to enhance their appeal. Their graceful green fronds have a way of creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.

The Neanthe Bella Palm looks equally stunning in bedrooms and office spaces. They effortlessly tie the room together and add a tropical touch. Plus, if you're looking for a plant to brighten up those shady nooks in your home, the Parlor Palm is an excellent choice thanks to its adaptability in lower light conditions.


Neanthe Bella Palms are easygoing when it comes to light; they can survive as low-light indoor plants, but they thrive best in bright, indirect light.

You want to avoid direct sunlight with these beauties as it can lead to leaf scorch. Low light is also not the most ideal for them, as it can darken leaves and lead to leggy stems.

The perfect sunlight sweet spot is near an east or north-facing window where they can receive ample bright, indirect sunlight.


The water needs of your Parlor Palm depend on its light exposure. More light means more water, while less light means less water. They're quite resilient, however, and don't mind drying out a bit.

Ideally, you want the soil surface to dry out a little between waterings. A well-draining pot is key here; the water should flow through the pot and finish draining before placing it back on the tray as excess water can cause problems.


As plants that come from tropical rainforests, Parlor Palms like warm temperatures, ideally around 68-80°F. These palms aren't fans of the cold, so any exposure to cold drafts or temperatures below 50°F will stunt their growth.


Parlor Palms appreciate humidity and can adapt to most household humidity levels as an indoor plant. Around 40-60% humidity is where they'll thrive best.

If you live in a pretty dry place with humidity below 40%, and spot brown tips on your palm, you may need to introduce more moisture into the air. You easily can do this with a humidifier, a pebbly tray filled with water, or by grouping your plant with other palms.


Neanthe Bella Palms aren't fussy about their soil - they like light, compost-rich, well-draining potting soil, just like most houseplants.

Sometimes, straight potting soils can be overly dense, so a peat-based potting mix that promotes aeration and drainage is an excellent choice. You can buy a pre-mixed potting mix - some even come with slow-release fertilizer - or you can mix your own potting mix using one part peat moss, one part coarse sand, and one part potting soil.


As for pruning, be cautious. Parlor Palms don't appreciate excessive trimming, and it can halt their growth. Only remove dead fronds during dormancy, but be sure to prune them from the base. Avoid cutting the top of the plant, as this can be detrimental to its health.


Neanthe Bella Palms are light feeders, so you won't need much fertilization. In early spring, use a small amount of slow-release 8-2-12 palm fertilizer at half strength. Cut back on fertilization during the winter, perhaps every two or three months.

Be cautious not to let the fertilizer come into contact with the leaves when mixing it into the soil, as this can cause damage.

Height & Growth

The Neanthe Bella Palm is a slow grower, and it may take a year or more to reach its full height. When grown indoors, these beauties usually stay around 2-4 feet tall and can live for around 20 years. However, if you cultivate this plant outdoors in the right conditions, it can grow to impressive heights of up to 16 feet tall or more, while enjoying an even longer life span.


Good news for parents of curious kiddos, the Parlor Palm is completely non-toxic. You can easily enjoy this tropical beauty in your home with no worries.


More good news, Parlor Palms are pet-friendly too!

Common Problems

Caring for a Parlor Palm is usually a breeze, but sometimes, you might notice it's not looking as fabulous as it used to. Much like other houseplants, Parlor Palms are not immune to problems.

Give your palm a good once-over, especially those leaves. They can tell you a lot about what's going on and what you need to do to bring it back to a thriving state.

Here are some common problems you may encounter with this palm and how to remedy them:

  1. Root rot: If your Parlor Palm is drooping or you notice mushy or smelly soil, you may have root rot on your hands. This is often caused by overwatering or poor drainage. The solution is simple, ease off on watering until the top inch dries out, then repot it in well-draining soil.

  2. Yellowing leaves: A yellowing palm is an early sign of overwatering. To resolve this, let the soil dry out between waterings, ensure proper drainage, and adjust your watering frequency.

  3. Brown and curling leaf tips: Dry leaf tips can result from various causes, but the most frequent culprit is underwatering and low humidity. While Parlor Palms can handle some drought, they prefer consistently moist soil to thrive. To fix this, water more regularly and keep an eye on soil moisture.

  4. Brown or black spots: Although these plants love bright light, too much direct sunlight can lead to unsightly brown patches. Monitor your palm's exposure to light and, if it's too intense, move it to a well-lit but sheltered location.

  5. Pests and diseases: Parlor Palms are generally pest-resistant but stressed plants can attract common indoor pests like mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. Neem oil or plant insecticidal soaps will work at ridding your plant of these critters.


How big does a Parlor Palm get?

How big a Parlor Palm grows will depend on the conditions and where it's planted. These plants stay relatively small and compact indoors, reaching a height of around 2-4 feet tall. When cultivated outdoors with conditions that mimic its natural habitat, this plant can grow into a full-blown palm tree with a height of up to 16 feet.

Should I cut the dead leaves off my Parlor Palm?

Feel free to trim off any dead leaves from your Parlor Palm as they likely won't return to a healthy state. Cutting damaged leaves redirects nutrients towards the growth of new leaves. It's best to prune during dormancy and not trim any stems.

Do Parlor Palms like to be misted?

Yes, Parlor Palms do appreciate occasional misting. A light mist once a week with room-temperature water is a great way to maintain humidity and keep the leaves clean. Just remember to mist lightly to prevent over-saturation of the leaves and do so in the morning to let the water evaporate during the day.

Should you bottom water a Parlor Palm?

Parlor Palms prefer top watering as they don't like their roots sitting in water. Top watering is ideal because you can control the amount of water more effectively and ensure the soil is evenly moist without risking waterlogged roots.

What are other popular varieties from the Parlor Palm's family?

The Parlor Palm is the most famous member of the Chamaedorea genus, but there are other popular varieties that indoor gardeners love. The Miniature Fishtail Dwarf Palm (Chamaedorea metallica; often mistaken for the Parlor palm) and the Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) are two equally beautiful indoor palms.

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