If you’re like me, you got a palm and want it to grow real, real tall. With some palms, this could be in a timeframe of just a few years. But don’t get your hopes up because that’s not the case with parlor palm. Its growth rate is slow, to say the least.
Parlor palm, scientifically Chamaedorea Elegans, growth rate is only a few inches per year. This palm has the potential to reach the skies, as it can grow well over six feet (1.8 meters) tall, but it will take years to get there.
But there are a few things you can do to push it in the right direction and faster its growth rate.
In this article, you’ll learn what the growth rate of Parlor palm is, what influences it, and I will also share some of my personal tips to make Parlor palm grow faster. Let’s dive in!
What’s the Parlor Palm Growth Rate
When it comes to the growth rate of Parlor palm, there’s one factor that has a big influence on it; the environment.
There’s a big difference if your palm is growing in the backyard or in a pot that is too small. Also, whether or not it has enough water, nutrients, or enough sunlight. But if we count with the most optimal conditions, you can expect your Parlor palm to grow only about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) each year.
Parlor palm has a lifespan of a few decades or about 20 years when growing indoors. That’s enough time for it to reach its maximum height. This palm typically grows about 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall when kept inside or up to 12 feet (3.6 meters) outside with ideal conditions.
But on the market, you can also get a compact version of the classic Parlor palm, which can be even more difficult to get to its maximum height.
Mini Parlor Palm
Mini Parlor palm is still the same species – Chamaedorea Elegans, but it’s transplanted really young and put into a small pot, which significantly limits its growth.
This makes them suitable for small indoor spaces. But they can still grow bigger if you move them to a bigger pot and give them enough time.
You can actually create your own Mini Parlor palm through propagation. If your other palm is getting too big for your preferences, simply divide it. I’d recommend quartering or halving dense clumps (depending on the size) and then transplanting them into small pots.
How to Make Parlor Palm Grow Faster
While Parlor palms are known for their rather slow growth rate, there are a few steps you can take to encourage them to grow a bit faster.
Your goal here should be to mimic as accurately as possible their native habitat. Parlor palms originate from the rainforests of Southern Mexico and Guatemala in Central America. They thrive there in the understory of the forest, often shaded by larger trees. So they adapted to low-light conditions. Their native environment is also characterized by high humidity and consistent rainfall throughout the year. However, water is not retained because the soil is well-draining.
What should you take from this? To make Parlor palm grow faster, you should:
- Ensure your Parlor palm receives enough indirect sunlight. They need at least 5 hours of sunlight daily.
- Maintain humidity levels and higher if needed. Parlor palms originate from humid rainforests, so increasing indoor humidity can be beneficial to their growth rate. While it’s challenging to recreate rainforest conditions inside your home, you can mist the leaves every now and then or place a tray of water nearby.
- Protect it from colds. As tropical plants, Parlor palms love a warm environment. The room temperature should be kept above 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius). Also, be careful about cold drafts.
- Give your Parlor palm enough water. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, this should come to watering every 1 to 2 weeks.
- Don’t repot. Parlor palms are slow to root. If it’s not absolutely necessary, avoid repotting. The palm will direct all its energy towards establishing a root system during that time, which can highly slow its growth. So, plan ahead and select a pot that provides enough space for the palm’s growth.
How to Keep Parlor Palm Small
Keeping your Parlor palm small is not a matter of neglecting its care. Doing the absolute opposite of what is needed to fasten its growth will slow growth but also cause a long list of other issues. But there’s a lot healthier way.
Limit its exposure to direct sunlight. Do not put it into a dark corner, but for instance, shade the windows after just a couple hours of sunlight. Plants need sun to photosynthesize and essentially create food for themselves.
Additionally, keep your Parlor palm in a smaller pot, as this restricts the palm’s root growth and, subsequently, its overall size. I wouldn’t recommend restricting water or nutrients.
Before you go…
As you can see, Parlor palm is a slow grower. And during its incredibly long years of growth, there are quite a few issues that can arise. For instance, leaves may turn white. What to do then? Luckily for you, I have an article about the causes and solutions to white discoloration on the leaves. Make sure not to miss it, so you are ready for everything…