How to Take Care of a Parlor Palm Plant

Grown most often as an indoor plant, the parlour palm grows slowly but reliably in a container. These tall, stately palms prefer indirect light and humidity and can grow up to 8 feet tall. Take care of a parlour palm with basic maintenance -- these elegant plants prefer to be slightly root-bound in their containers, and they do not require extensive pruning to keep them attractive.

Place the parlour palm in a moderate- and indirect-light location with daytime temperatures between 21.1 and 26.6 degrees Celsius and nighttime temperatures around 15.6 degrees C. Set in an area with a daytime temperature between 55 and 60 degrees F during the winter months to encourage a period of rest.

Water the parlour palm when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry to your finger. Pour water into the container until it runs out the bottom drainage holes. Allow the container to drain for about five minutes and then place a saucer beneath the container to catch any residual drainage. Pour out any standing water collecting in the saucer after an hour or two.

Move the parlour palm to a bathtub with a shower or to an outside location with a hose for rinsing the palm foliage. Because insects may attack the parlour palm if you allow dust to collect on the leaves, spray the plant foliage once a month to keep it clean.

Fertilise the parlour palm twice each month from late winter to early fall. Mix liquid fertiliser with water and carefully pour it over the soil without allowing any fertiliser to splash on the palm fronds.

Move the parlour palm to an outside location during the growing season to enable the plant to grow outdoors. Choose a sheltered location where the palm will not receive direct sunlight and wind. Move the palm back indoors before the first autumn frost.

Repot a parlour palm after two or three years. When the roots grow to the point where you see them protruding out the bottom drainage holes or growing to within about 1 inch of the sides of the container, move the palm to a larger container (about 2 inches wider). Fill the container about one-third full with fresh potting soil, remove the palm from its old container and transfer it to the new container. Add additional soil around the root system and tamp it down firmly.


If you live in USDA planting zones 10 or 11, you can grow a parlour palm outdoors in the soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid fertiliser (10-10-10)
  • Fresh potting soil
  • Larger planting container
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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.