If you’re looking for a nice, short palm, that made NASA’s list of top plants for cleaning air then consider the Neanthabella Palm – it’ll last long in lower light conditions with very little care. Here’s what you need to know if you’re getting a Parlor Palm:
Watering – Much likes its cousin the Bamboo Palm, the Neathabella should be watered to maintain soil moisture considered damp, not wet; overwatering can cause the leaves to yellow and drop. Please see our watering guide for more information.
Light – While this palm can tolerate lower light levels than other palms, it will thrive adjacent to an east-, south-, or west-facing window. So, good filtered natural light or bright florescent light will keep this palm growing strong. With its smaller stature, don’t be afraid to move it around – but be careful not to expose it to direct summer sun.
Nutrition – Like other plants shipped fresh from Florida, you won’t need to feed this palm for at least 6 months after you get it. That’s because there are residual nutrients in the soil from when the palm was being propagated. After 12 months, it can be fed quarterly with a complete fertilizer formulated for interior plants. Please refer to our plant nutrition guide for details.
Cleaning – This plant, with its numerous stems and plentiful leaves and leaflets can be a challenge to clean. While we still prefer a cleaning regimen with water and a light soap solution, it would be okay to break out the feather duster on this plant. Make sure your feather duster is clean though – it’s a primary way to get bugs from one plant to another. And since the Chams are susceptible to spider mites, it’s especially important with this plant.
Pruning – The leaves of the Neanthabella Palm form sheaths around the stem. The older leaves at the bottom of the plant will yellow and turn brown, and it’s easy to just give a little twist and tug to get the old leaves off. The only time you’ll need pruners to care for a Neanthabella is if one of the stems gets too tall or out-of-line with the rest of the plant. In that case, we recommend pruning the stem at the base where it emerges from the soil. You should never cut a stem in half because the plant does not generate new growth from mid-stem pruning cuts.
Bugs – There’s always a chance for mealybugs or mites to set up camp on your Neanthabella Palm. Look for the little white cottony mealybugs at the base of the leaves, on the stems, and especially under the leaf sheaths between the sheath and the stem; mites will hide on the bottom side of the leaves and produce webs. Be extra vigilant when scouting for mites, as they can do irreparable harm quickly often mistaken for dust on the underside of the leaves. If you see either of these, break out the spray bottle with a light soap solution and spray them daily ’til they’re gone.
Trouble – Keep an eye out for the bugs mentioned above, and you’ll enjoy this palm for a long while.