Everything You Need to Know About Watering Parlor Palms at Home

This guide will go through everything you need to know about how to water Parlor palms at home. While these palms are easy to care for, providing your plant with an appropriate watering schedule is vital for them to thrive indoors.

Parlor Palm Watering Essentials

Parlor palms require 1 to 2 top-down waterings per week in summer, in winter, once every 1 to 2 weeks, ensuring soil remains evenly moist without getting waterlogged in-between cycles. Smaller parlor palms require dry topsoil before being watered. For larger, more mature plants, wait for the first 2  inches of topsoil to dry out before watering.

About Parlor Palms

About Parlor Palms

Parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) are part of the Arecaceae family and are native to the tropical rainforests of Guatemala and southern Mexico. This slow-growing palm grows up to 6 – 16 feet in its natural habitat on the forest floor. As an indoor plant, you can expect it to grow up to 2 – 6 feet. 

Parlor palms make beautiful houseplants that showcase tropical, deep green foliage. These plants prefer bright indirect light but can also survive in low light conditions, although you can expect it to grow slower in this light. Parlor palms prefer well-drained peaty soils and do not appreciate their pot soil getting waterlogged.

The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development

Water is an essential aspect of life, playing a crucial role in plants’ health and development. Water plays a vital role in photosynthesis, whereby plants use water, CO2, and sunlight to convert into glucose, a food source.

A plants’ roots absorb water, carrying nutrients and sugars drawn from the soil. The water will then travel from the roots up the plant to the stems and then into the leaves, fruit, or flowers. 

The correct water balance is necessary to keep your plant nourished. Water evaporates through the leaves, which causes more water to be absorbed through the roots, creating a sort of circulatory system helping to keep your parlor palm’s temperature regulated. This process is called transpiration

When to Water Parlor Palms

When to Water Parlor Palms

Parlor palms have specific water requirements and preferences. The following goes through some handy tips to keep in mind when watering your Parlor plants. 

How Do You Know When a Parlor Palm Needs Watering?

When watering your Parlor palm plant, you should remember that these types of palms do not like their soil to become soggy. They prefer moderately moist soils. So before you water it, make sure the topsoil is dry. You want to ensure that the first inch of topsoil is dry with your bigger plants before watering.

How to Check When to Water a Parlor Palm

The finger test is your best bet when checking if your Palor palm needs water. You do this by sticking your finger into the topsoil. You should find that the topsoil is dry for smaller plants before giving your plant any water. With bigger plants, ensure that the first inch of topsoil is dry before watering your plant.

How Often Do Parlor Palms Typically Need Watering?

You should water your parlor palm 1 – 2 times a week during summer and 1 – 2 times every two weeks during winter. 

Environmental Considerations That May Impact Watering Cycles

Warmer climates will necessitate watering your Parlor palm more often than colder climates. You should also be prepared to water your Parlor palm more often if you place it in a room with bright indirect sunlight, such as near a south-facing window, and less if it lives in a room that receives low light, one that is near a north-facing window.

Seasonal Considerations That May Affect Watering Cycles

You should be aware that you will need to water your plant more often, 1 – 2 times a week, in the spring and summer months, and in the winter and fall months only 1 – 2 times every two weeks. If you’re repotting your Parlor Palm in spring and summer, you’ll want to water thoroughly straight after moving the plant to a new pot.

How to Water Parlor Palm Plants

How to Water Parlor Palm Plants

Knowing how to water your Parlor palm plant is just as crucial as knowing when to water your plant. Let’s look at some fundamental aspects of understanding how to water your Parlor palm plant.

The Fundamental Importance of Good Drainage

When it comes to Parlor palm plants, they do not appreciate waterlogged soil. Waterlogged plants resulting from inadequate drainage can result in various diseases and root rot which can ultimately cause the end of your plant. Your pot and soil need to have good drainage to prevent this from happening.

What Type of Water Is Best for Parlor Palms?

Parlor palm plants hail from the tropical rainforests of Guatemala and southern Mexico. Due to this, their roots prefer warmer water. Therefore, it would be best to water your Parlor plants with lukewarm water as the cold water would shock the roots and ultimately cause adverse reactions in your plant.

The Best Watering Techniques

Your Parlor palms preferred watering method is the top-down approach with a watering can. These plants prefer not to have their feet sitting in water which rules out the bottom-up approach. 

Step-by-Step Guide for Top Watering

When you water your Parlor palm plant, ensure water is all around the base. Do not leave any topsoil dry, as this can cause frond loss. 

How Much Water Do You Add?

Parlor palm plants require that you give them enough water to seep out of the bottom of the pot. The size of your plants’ container will depend on the exact amount of water required, with smaller containers needing less water than larger ones. 

A 10 – 12 inches wide container will need around ¾ of a gallon of water, anything smaller will need less water, and anything more significant will need more water.

Should You Remove All Excess Water That Disperses Into the Tray, So the Plant Isn’t Sitting in Water?

Parlor palms do not like soggy or wet feet. For this reason, it’s a good idea to remove all excess water out of your saucer or tray within an hour after watering your plant.

Signs You Might Be Overwatering Your Parlor Palm

Parlor palms will tell you if you are overwatering them. Some signs of overwatering include:

  • Brown tipped leaves
  • Sour smelling, mushy stems
  • Drooping leaves
  • Root rot

Signs You Might Be Underwatering Your Parlor Palm

Like overwatering, your Palor palm will let you know if it has not received enough water. Some of the signs of underwatering include:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Drooping leaves
  • Stunted growth

What to Do In Between Watering Cycles

What to Do In Between Watering Cycles

How and when you water your Parlor palm are crucial steps in your plant care regime, but is there anything else you should be doing in between the watering cycles?

Should You Consider Misting Parlor Palms In-Between Watering Cycles?

If you notice that your Parlor palm plants leaves are getting a bit crispy on the edges, you might find that your plant would benefit from a good misting. If you live in an arid area, you can opt to give your Parlor palm a misting every week or so during the summer months.

Will Parlor Palms Benefit From Sitting on a Humidity Tray?

Parlor palms are hardy plants and will thrive in average humidity conditions. Therefore, there is no reason to use a humidity tray for your parlor palm.

Main Things to Keep an Eye On

Between watering cycles, it’s prudent to keep an eye on your Parlor palm’s’ leaves. Are they wilting, turning yellow, or getting brown edges? Keep your eye on the topsoil to ensure that your plant is not drying out too much between watering. As long as your plant maintains its vibrant, healthy look, then everything should be fine.

Watering Parlor Palms FAQs:

What Are the Most Common Signs Parlor Palms Need Watering?

The most common signs that your Parlor plants need watering are brown edges on your plant leaves or if the leaves are wilting. Keep your eye on the topsoil and make sure it is not too dry.

What Is the Best Way to Water Parlor Palms?

Water your Parlor palm from the top-down with a watering can. Ensure that you wet all around the base of your plant.

How Much Water Do Parlor Palms Need?

When watering your Parlor palm, give it enough water that it starts to seep out of the bottom of its container. Ensure your plant does not sit in the seeped-out water for too long, as parlor palms do not like being waterlogged.

Is It OK to Get Water on Parlor Palm Leaves?

You can get water on your Parlor palm plants’ leaves. The natural habitat of these plants is on the forest floor in tropical rainforests, where they are used to frequent downpours.

What Do I Do if I Over Water My Parlor Palm?

After ensuring that you do not have root rot, you can leave your plant to dry out a bit. Do not let it dry out completely. Once the soil is relatively dry but still moist, resume watering, ensuring that the topsoil is dry before watering it again.

Can I Water My Parlor Palm With Tap Water?

Yes, you can water your Parlor palm with tap water as long as you ensure that the water is lukewarm before giving it to your plant. Parlor palms do not appreciate cold water, which can have adverse side effects on their root system.

Wrapping Up

Parlor palms prefer a watering regime that consists of a top-down approach with a watering can which can be administered 1 – 2 times a week in summer and 1 – 2 times every two weeks in winter. Parlor palms do not like to be waterlogged, so before watering them, ensure that the topsoil of smaller plants and the first inch of topsoil in larger plants are dry before watering.

If you’re looking for your next parlor palm, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering parlor palms nationwide.


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