Friday, February 21, 2014

How to grow the Tolerant Neanthe Bella Palm

This sweet and graceful Neanthe Bella palm belongs to a neighbor of mine. It was bought at the grocery store a few years ago and is living quite well in her living room. The peaceful Neanthe Bella is one of the easiest of the palm family to grow in the home and should live with you for many years. They have been available just about anywhere plants have been sold, probably since plants were sold for homes.

They get flowers and fruit (non-edible) that are quite unusual from time to time that are quite unusual. So if you see a spindly green cluster starting to grow from it's trunk, that is what is happening. I think you will be delighted, as you watch its interesting fruit mature.

Their botanical name is Chamaedorea elegans "bella" and they can naturally be found in the mountain forests of East Guatemala and Mexico. They grow slowly but can eventually reach five feet or about 1-1/2 meters tall.  

Care Instructions--
  • Bright indirect light or some morning sun is just right. Too much afternoon sun will bleach out the leaves. It will tolerate low light for quite a while. 
  • Water when the top of the soil is dry about 1/2" down in 6"(15cm) diameter pot.  Let it dry out a little more in a plant that is in a 10" (25cm) diameter pot. 
  • For a plant that is in a 6" (15cm) diameter container  water with about a pint or half liter, when necessary. 
  •  A Neanthe Bella palm in a 10" diameter (25 cm)container should use about 2 quarts or almost 1 liter of water. 
  • They would appreciate misting but adapt very well to normal house humidity.
  • An occasional dusting and cleaning with fresh water is helpful.
  • Fertilize regularly for best color and growth.

***There is a short video on the Neanthe Bella palm that shows it's fruit, on the "The Indoor Garden" TV channel on YouTube:   The Indoor Garden TV show/Water a Neanthe Bella palm

**To see more plants on this blog, click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***To watch short video clips from my 90's TV series, click here:   The Indoor Garden TV show