Parlor Palms (aka Chamaedorea Elegans) make excellent ornamental plants in the home, but there are a few tips and tricks you’ll need to follow for those plants to really thrive. Providing these beautiful palms with suitable temperature and humidity conditions is one key component of their care. Read on for everything you need to know about providing your Parlor Palm with the perfect growing conditions at home.
Native Temperature And Humidity Ranges
The Parlor Palm plant is native to warm and tropical climates and grows natively in the rainforests of Southern Mexico and parts of Guatemala. Like many types of palms, they typically sprout from the forest floor and live happily amongst the adjacent vines and trees.
They’ve been cultivated for years now as indoor houseplants in temperate regions across the United States, Europe, Asia, and beyond. In suitable climates, these also make excellent potted palm trees for outdoor areas.
Signs Your Palm Is Exposed To The Wrong Temperature And Humidity
In my experience, Parlor palms are thankfully quite tolerant of less-than-ideal light, temperature, and humidity conditions and will let you know if something isn’t quite right. While too much light, poorly draining soil, too little water, or lack of nutrients can also interfere with good growth or color from these plants, they’re both relatively easily solved problems.
Common signs of temperature issues include:
- Limp or drooping leaves, a problem also caused by overwatering or underwatering
- Loss of color or pattern, especially if leaves darken rather than turn light-colored
- Slow growth and a lack of new leaves
- Leaf drop if the temperature drop is severe or extended in length.
- Crispy brown edges on older leaves indicate both under-watering and a lack of moisture in the air.
- Wilted leaves that don’t perk up from temperature improvements
- Rapid drying of soil between watering, making it hard to maintain a proper level of moisture
- Slow growth
- Pale leaves with a lack of color or pattern.
Excessive humidity is unlikely to cause a significant problem for Parlor Palms, but it can lead to dark spots on the leaves or grey mold growth around the stems. After adjusting humidity levels, simply water less and avoid misting to encourage the plant to dry out a little.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity Ranges for Parlor Palm Plants
The sweet spot for Parlor Palms grown indoors is to find a location in your home with an ambient temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It will tolerate as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit but will start to struggle in any colder temperatures.
Parlor parlors do best in moderate to high humidity – somewhere between 40% and 70% would be perfect.
I start by keeping the plant away from any sources of cold air or drafts. Don’t place it near doors or winters in the winter, and avoid air conditioning vents in the summer.
While placing the Parlor Palm near a heating vent may keep it warm, it will also dry out the air around the foliage. You’ll have to compensate with extra humidity if you add heating since it tends to dry the plant out.
I also find it helpful to use a humidity monitor (via Amazon) set near the Parlor palm to check when to mist or add additional humidity. Small temperature and humidity meters are easy to find at any hardware or home supply store.
Misting will raise the ambient humidity around the plant by only a few degrees. For my houseplants, I use a small humidifier set next to the plant for a more significant humidity boost. This ensures a pocket of high humidity just for the plant without dampening the rest of the house.
How To Boost Humidity In Your Home
It’s not usually necessary to boost humidity for Parlor palm plants. But if you live in an arid region or your Parlor Palm is consistently too dry, you may choose to increase humidity levels.
There are a few simple ways to boost humidity. One of the easiest methods I like to use is to group several plants together. When plants are placed close to each other, they create a microclimate. As the plants transpire, humidity levels in the air around them increase naturally.
Another option is to set your Parlor palm plant containers on humidity trays (via Amazon) or dishes filled with pebbles. Add water to the dish and place the container on top. As the water evaporates, the air around the Parlor palm plant grows more humid.
For a bigger boost when indoor humidity levels are 50% or below in the rest of the house, try a humidifier instead.
Desktop-sized humidifiers (via Amazon) are an excellent choice for individual or small groups of moisture-loving plants. Larger humidifiers may be needed for extensive collections of houseplants.
Spring and Summer Care Tips
In the growing season, typically warm spring and summer months, don’t let your Parlor palm plant get overheated. Avoid placing it near heat vents or radiators.
Don’t put a Parlor palm plant in or near intense, direct sun exposure.
If you use air conditioning in your home, you’ll also need to watch for too-cool temperatures. During the summer, keep Parlor palms away from air conditioning units and HVAC vents, as blasts of conditioned air may lower the temperature abruptly.
Spring and summer are also the best times to consider repotting your Parlor Palm if it’s outgrown the current potting vessel.
Winter Care Tips
Drafts are a significant problem for Parlor palms in the winter. One blast of cold air from a window or door can lead to dropped leaves. A slow but constant low level of exposure to cool air slowly threatens the plant’s health.
Keeping the plant in a central location in the winter can protect it from temperature fluctuations when doors and windows are opened. Parlor palms need less watering in the winter, but they prefer nearly the same humidity and temperature levels as summer.
Avoid temperatures below 60 degrees at all times to prevent leaf loss and sudden wilting from shock. If you decide to use a space heater to ensure the plant stays warm enough, be prepared to use a humidifier to counter the drying effect.
For more, see our in-depth guide on where to position Parlor palms in the home for optimal care and Feng Shui benefits.
Parlor palms make a beautiful addition to any room. Their low-maintenance nature means they tolerate a range of growing conditions, including temperature and humidity. In most cases, just do your best to keep your Parlor palm plants between 60 and 85 degrees F and 40 to 60 percent humidity, and they’ll thrive.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.