Caring For Bamboo Palm; Chameadora, Parlor Palm

Bamboo Palm can be found in interior spaces of all types. The plant is inexpensive, tolerant of low light, fast grwoing, compact, and upright. Due to it's high versatility this plant can be used in such a great variety of spaces.

Caring for this plant takes some know how, there are some things that need to be maintained on a regular basis, and pests that one should be on the lookout for.

Native Habitat Mexico and Central America

Choosing a Space

When choosing a space for Bamboo Palm moderate to low lighting is ideal. Fluorescent lighting environments are highly beneficial for these plants as well, for this reason they make excellent office plants.

High light can work but is the least ideal situation in which to place this plant, it is frequently the cause of leaf burn, and chlorosis.

Bamboo palm are prone to attack by Spider Mite, and Spider Mite love hot dry living conditions. Placement away from heats vents, open doors, and open windows is highly recommended. Infestations of Spider Mite frequently originate on susceptible plants placed in spaces of this nature, high light and heat will compound the problem.

Sticking with typical moderate to low lighting whether natural or artificial will be the best scenario for this type of palm.


Watering

When watering Bamboo Palm the most important thing is to allow a complete drying period between watering's.

Upon watering, provided the plant is in moderate to low light, water the plant soil completely through without leaving an excessive amount of water in the liner. Check the soil for moisture, in about a weeks time the plant should have been able to use the moisture in the soil, and the soil should be dry to the touch from the surface to approximately 2" down. Water can then be reapplied, again moistening the soil throughout the pot.

If the plant is in a high light area, then you may need to leave a considerable amount of water in the liner as the plants productivity will be increased a great deal. More frequent watering may even be needed in such a space.

A typical problem with Bamboo palm is brown leaf tipping, this is a symptom of over watering. Considering the fact that Bamboo palm does best in lower light conditions it's odds on being over watered are increased. People often fail to realize that productivity slows as light is reduced, and they continue to water as if the plant was placed in higher light, this produces an excessive amount of moisture that the plant is unable to process effectively. To correct this habitual drive it is good to remember to always check the soil for dryness before applying more water.


General Maintenance

There are a few little things to know about Bamboo palm:

  • Bamboo Palm have Rhizomes, hard roots that grow out horizontally allowing for the plants to sprout up across the soil surface. The rhizomes have a tendency to break through the sides of grow pots causing problems like water leaks and loss of soil and nutrient. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the sides and bottom of grow pots of these plants and re-pot them is the roots break through.
  • Dead fronds should always be cut away from the primary stems. When a dead frond is cut away it will leave behind a sectional sheath on the main stalk, as this sheath browns it should also be removed when it turns browns and easily pulls away. If this sheath is left it can eventually choke off the rest of the stalk since it will constrict as it dies back. This is a common cause of rotted stalks for bamboo palm.
  • Regularly check Bamboo Palm for spider mite, take a paper towel, baby wipe, or white cloth and run it across the back of the leaf fronds, if there is green on the towel you probably have Spider Mite. If ever any webbing is witnessed on the backs of the leaves or between the stem and frond tips, you most definitely have a serious infestation of Spider Mite and should begin treatment immediately. Hand wiping the fronds with neem oil seems to be one of the best methods of treatment for Bamboo Palm.
  • A stalk can be cut back on a Bamboo Palm. These plants have a tendency to have a shoot that will grow exponentially faster than all of the rest, causing an imbalanced look. feel free to cut these back to a pleasing level, the plant will recover and grow again.
  • Keep the plant soil free of root and leaf sheaths, as well as fallen frond pieces. These plants have frequently been know to easily crop up a nasty case of Fungus Gnats. Keeping the soil clear of organic material will greatly reduce the chances of having any problems.
  • Remove blooms if they appear. Palm blooms are not beneficial to the overall health of the plant and should always be removed as soon as possible.

Good placement, watering consistently, and keeping a close eye on general issues will allow you to have a long happy relationship with your Chamaedorea.

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