The parlor palm has been valued as a houseplant since Victorian times and remains equally popular today. Nowadays it is more often sold in a cluster than as a single plant. The parlor palm, also known as Neathe bella, has a more appearance than most palms. Although it can reach a height of 6 feet (1.8 meters), its average height is closer to 3 feet (1 meter). The parlor palm has a small, stiff trunk that produces light-green fronds about 8 inches (20 cm) long. It is a slow grower. Tolerant of the low light and lack of humidity found in most buildings, it is easy to maintain. In fact, few plants can withstand more neglect. The parlor palm begins to bloom before reaching maturity. If happy with its placement and growing conditions, it can produce flowers all year round. However, it is best to cut the flowers off before they unfold to prevent any problems with pollen. Do not prune. This plant has a terminal bud or single point of growth.
Family: Arecaceae (palm)
Origin: Mexico and Guatemala
Care: Keep roots moist. Water frequently during the growing season from March to September. Feed with a weak solution of fertilizer every three to four weeks. Mist often.
Ideal Temperature: 68-80°F (20-27°C)
Challenges: Spider mites. Too much water will cause root rot.