The Parlor Palm, Chamaedorea elegans, has been a popular houseplant since the 1800s. Their name comes from the fact that these plants were often put on display in Victorian households (in the parlor room) as a way to show wealth and sophistication, as only the most well-to-do had access to exotic goods such as plants from across the seas.
These plants come from the rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala, and although many palms often don't do too well in indoor environments, Parlor Palms live up to their name and tend to thrive in homes all over the world.
Parlor Palms are pretty adaptable and can adjust well to most typical home environments.
Their rainforest origins mean that they like high humidity - if you don't naturally have this in your home then you can mist your palm regularly to help replicate conditions of high humidity.
They don't want to be placed directly in harsh sunlight, and can actually do quite nicely even in shadier areas of your home.
Take care not to overwater your Parlor Palm. Allow the topmost layer of the soil to dry out between waterings. It's always a good idea to check the soil before watering. If it's still moist, don't water just yet. Even if they are used to the rainforest, these plants still don't like to be watered excessively.
Parlor Palms are on NASA's list of the 50 best air purification plants, and was actually found to be one of the best when it comes to air purification.
They have a very slow rate of growth. In fact, they can potentially take decades to achieve their full height. As a houseplant, this is unlikely to exceed 6 feet (182cm), but in the wild they can reach over 16 feet or almost 5 meters! However, as the growth rate is so slow, you don't need to worry about this plant rapidly outgrowing your home, especially if you start off with a small / young plant.
Their fronds are commonly used decoratively and in arrangements, as they can survive up to 40 days after cutting.
These plants are a pet- and child-friendly option as they are non-toxic. We still don't recommend eating them though!