The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Palmae.

Chamaedorea elegans Mart. Common name(s): Hardy bamboo palm
Chamaedorea Genus of about 100 species of mainly small palms from rainforest in Mexico and Central and South America. Hardy bamboo palm forms clumps of slender stems up to 8' in height. Papery matte finish leaves are arranged sparsely up and down the stems. These pinnate leaves are up to 2 feet in length and are composed of leaflets (about 8" long by 1" wide) attached along the midrib. A drooping inflorescence appears in summer. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Female flowers are followed by the fruit which are bright orange berries about 1/4" in diameter. These light up the shade garden as they dangle in drooping clusters from the graceful stems. Moderate drought resistance.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average warmth.Good indirect light is the proper location. Grow in soilless potting mix. Compost must be kept moist at all times and never allowed to dry out. Misting is necessary. Plant fresh seed in spring at not less than 77 F (25 C). It will germinate in 1 to 2 months - old seeds may take longer. Also propagated by division of clumps.

User-submitted additions and corrections:

United States
24th Aug 2009
Sometimes these plants can be sensitive to drafts or heat, look to see if they are by a vent. Also, if you spray it with water from a misting bottle and you see webbing that is spider mites which could be attacking the plant and killing it. These plants are highly suceptable to that insect. stippling of the leaves are also indicators of this. To get rid of them you have to mist the plant daily with water, castile soap and alcohol. usually takes a couple of weeks to get rid of them and then you can go to once a week with the spray. You will have to cut off the damaged leaves.
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