How to Propagate Parlor Palm

parlor palm

Having nurtured countless houseplants over the years, few have captured my attention and admiration quite like the Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans). Its delicate, feathery fronds and adaptability to indoor conditions make it a staple in many households.

In my experience, a Parlor Palm can breathe life into a room like no other plant. And if you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in propagating this elegant plant.

Well, you’re in luck! In just a few moments, I’ll share the basics of propagating a Parlor Palm to ensure its thriving future in your home. Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Parlor Palm

Parlor Palm Propagation Basics:

Propagation MethodTime for PropagationWorking TimeTotal TimeDifficulty LevelMaterials Required
Seed germination2-6 weeks30 minutes2-6 weeks + 30 minsModerateParlor Palm seeds, potting soil, pots, water, plastic bag or cover
DivisionImmediate growth45 minutes45 minutesEasy to ModerateMature Parlor Palm, sharp knife or shears, pots, potting soil, water

Delving into Parlor Palm Propagation Methods

Having a deep connection with houseplants, especially the Parlor Palm, has led me to explore different ways of giving them a new lease of life. Propagation isn’t just about increasing the number of plants in your collection; it’s also about understanding and building a bond with your green companion. Here’s a deep dive into the most common propagation methods for Parlor Palm:

1. Seed Germination

parlor palm

Materials Required:

  • Parlor Palm seeds
  • Potting soil, preferably a lightweight mix that provides good drainage
  • Pots with drainage holes
  • Water
  • Plastic bag or a transparent cover

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Begin by preparing the pot. Fill it with the potting soil mix.
  2. Place the Parlor Palm seeds on the surface of the soil, ensuring they’re evenly spaced.
  3. Press the seeds gently into the soil but don’t bury them too deep. Just a light covering will suffice.
  4. Water the soil lightly to make it moist but not soggy.
  5. Place the pot inside a plastic bag or cover it with a transparent cover. This helps in maintaining humidity, which is crucial for germination.
  6. Place the pot in a warm, indirect light spot. Check the soil regularly to ensure it remains moist.
  7. Patience is key. Germination can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Once you see sprouts, you can remove the plastic bag or cover.
  8. When the seedlings are a couple of inches tall, they can be transplanted into individual pots.


  • A satisfying and natural method.
  • You can produce a large number of plants from seeds.


  • Germination rate can sometimes be unpredictable.
  • Seeds might need specific conditions, like temperature and humidity, to germinate.

2. Division

parlor palm

Materials Required:

  • A mature Parlor Palm that has multiple stems
  • A sharp knife or shears
  • Fresh potting soil
  • Pots with drainage holes
  • Water

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Gently remove the Parlor Palm from its current pot.
  2. Examine the root ball and identify distinct stems or clusters. These will be your new plants.
  3. Using a sharp knife or shears, carefully separate the clusters, ensuring each has a good amount of roots attached.
  4. Fill new pots with fresh potting soil.
  5. Plant each divided section into its pot.
  6. Water thoroughly.
  7. Place the newly potted divisions in a location with bright, indirect light.


  • It’s a quicker method to get a mature-looking plant.
  • You’re working with a plant that’s already adapted to your environment.


  • Not all Parlor Palms might be suitable for division.
  • There’s a risk of damaging the plant if not done carefully.

Problems in Propagating the Parlor Palm: Navigating the Challenges

When you venture into the world of propagation, especially with a beauty like the Parlor Palm, there’s a mix of excitement and anticipation. Yet, while the journey can be rewarding, it’s not devoid of challenges. Drawing from my own experiences and the many tales from fellow plant enthusiasts, let’s explore the hurdles you might encounter and how to address them.

1. Slow Germination:

Issue: You’ve followed every instruction meticulously, but those seeds just aren’t sprouting, or they’re taking longer than expected.

Solution: Parlor Palm seeds are notorious for their unpredictable germination times. The key is patience. Ensure you’re providing them with a consistent warm temperature and adequate moisture. If you’ve crossed the 8-week mark, consider sourcing seeds from a more reliable vendor.

2. Seed Rot:

Issue: Your seeds become mushy or show signs of mold, indicating they’ve rotted.

Solution: Seed rot often occurs due to overly wet soil or poor seed quality. Make sure your soil is moist but not soggy. Improved ventilation can prevent mold growth. If you suspect the seeds were the problem, it might be time to find a new supplier.

3. Difficulty in Division:

Issue: While trying to divide your Parlor Palm, you find it challenging to separate the stems or damage them in the process.

Solution: Ensure your plant is mature enough for division. Gently tease apart the roots by hand rather than forcing them apart. If the roots are too entangled, it might be best to wait for more distinct clusters to form.

4. Root Shock after Division:

Issue: After division and repotting, the Parlor Palm shows signs of distress, like drooping or yellowing leaves.

Solution: Root shock can occur when plants are suddenly shifted to a new environment. Ensure you’re not overwatering the newly divided plant. Place it in indirect light and give it some time to adjust. The Parlor Palm is resilient, and with consistent care, it should bounce back.

parlor palm

5. Inadequate Growth Environment:

Issue: After successful germination or division, the growth of your Parlor Palm stagnates or appears stunted.

Solution: Ensure your plant is receiving the right amount of indirect light. Over time, I’ve found that maintaining a consistent temperature and high humidity can significantly improve the growth rate of Parlor Palms.

Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action – the AIDA principle doesn’t just apply to marketing; it’s a lens through which we can view our relationship with plants. First, understand and become aware of potential problems, then take an interest in learning more. This will foster a desire to make positive changes, leading you to take the right action.

Propagating the Parlor Palm, or any plant for that matter, is a journey of love, patience, and learning. Every problem faced is an opportunity to learn and grow, not just for the plant but for the gardener as well. Remember, the best gardeners aren’t those without challenges but those who learn to dance in the rain.

Tips from My Personal Journey

Gathering around the metaphorical campfire of plant propagation, let me tell you the tale of my adventures (and misadventures) with the Parlor Palm. From the seeds that took their sweet time to sprout to that one time I was a little too ambitious with division – it’s been quite the ride. With each stumble came a lesson, and I’m eager to share my distilled wisdom with you.

Basic Level Tips

Water Propagation

Ah, the beauty of water propagation. It feels like giving your plant a spa day. Although Parlor Palms aren’t commonly propagated this way, it’s a method some enthusiasts swear by for the pups or offshoots.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Identify a healthy offshoot from a mature Parlor Palm.
  2. Using a clean, sharp knife, detach the offshoot, ensuring a bit of root is attached.
  3. Place the offshoot in a glass or jar of water, making sure the roots are submerged.
  4. Change the water every few days.
  5. Once roots develop substantially, transplant to a pot with soil.

Soil Propagation

Think of soil propagation as the comfort food of the plant world. It’s the classic, tried-and-tested method.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Prepare a pot with well-draining soil.
  2. If propagating by seed, place seeds on the surface, press them gently, and cover with a thin soil layer.
  3. If using an offshoot, plant it like you would a regular plant.
  4. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
  5. Place the pot in a warm, indirect light spot.
  6. Patience is key. Monitor growth and adjust care accordingly.

Advanced Level Tips

Propagation by Division

Division feels like creating an identical twin of your plant. It’s a way of getting more of what you already love.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Gently remove the Parlor Palm from its pot.
  2. Examine the root ball for distinct stems or clusters.
  3. Carefully separate using your hands or a sterilized knife.
  4. Re-pot each division into its own pot filled with fresh soil.
  5. Water well and place in a location with indirect light.

Rhizome Propagation

Rhizome propagation can seem daunting but think of it as a treasure hunt, searching for those golden growth nodes.

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Gently unearth the Parlor Palm to expose its rhizomes.
  2. Identify a rhizome with at least one growth node.
  3. Sever it from the main plant using a sterilized knife.
  4. Plant the rhizome segment just below the soil’s surface in a new pot.
  5. Water lightly and wait for the magic to unfold.
parlor palm


How often should I water my Parlor Palm?

The Parlor Palm prefers its soil to be kept evenly moist. However, it’s better to let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot.

Why are the tips of my Parlor Palm turning brown?

Brown tips are often a sign of low humidity or over-fertilization. Increase humidity around the plant or reduce the frequency of fertilization.

Can the Parlor Palm thrive in low light?

While the Parlor Palm can tolerate low light conditions, it prefers bright, indirect light for optimal growth.

How often should I fertilize my Parlor Palm?

During the growing season (spring and summer), fertilize your Parlor Palm once a month with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Reduce fertilization in fall and winter.

Is the Parlor Palm toxic to pets?

Good news for pet owners! The Parlor Palm is non-toxic to both cats and dogs.

How big can a Parlor Palm grow indoors?

Typically, when grown indoors, a Parlor Palm can reach heights of 4-6 feet. However, it’s a slow grower, so it’ll take time to reach its full height.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

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