Palms add an elegant ambiance to any room, and the parlor palm is no exception. When grown indoors, these popular houseplants — also known as neanthe Bella or Chamaedorea elegant — offer several benefits, from cleaner air to stress reduction. When deciding where to place a parlor palm, taking the plant’s environmental preferences into account is key. Feng Shui principles may guide placement within your room, home or office. Keep reading to learn the best places for a parlor palm to both thrive and facilitate beneficial energy.
- Where to Position Parlor Palms in the Home – The Essentials
- About Parlor Palms
- Parlor Palms and Feng Shui
- Where to Position Parlor Palms in the Home
- Essential Parlor Palm Plant Care
- Where to Position Parlor Palms FAQs:
- The Best Locations for Areca Palms in the Home – The Final Word
Where to Position Parlor Palms in the Home – The Essentials
For Feng Shui benefits, a parlor palm should be positioned in the east or southeast sectors of your home to activate Zhen (family) and Xun (wealth) energy. For optimal Parlor palm care, a position with bright indirect light, away from bold drafts or dry heat, will also help parlor palms thrive.
About Parlor Palms
Parlor palms belong to the Chamaedorea genus, which contains about 107 species of palms. All are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America. Chamaedorea is a member of the Arecaceae family, which has about 2,600 known species known as palms.
C. elegans is native to Central America, from Mexico and Guatemala to Belize and Honduras. It grows up to 7 feet tall and 3 feet wide in the wild. Unlike other houseplants that grow much smaller indoors, parlor palms can also reach 6 to 7 feet tall indoors. Parlor palms will grow outdoors in warmer North American climates, such as Florida.
In their native habitat, parlor palms grow in the dappled shade of the forest canopy. This means they prefer bright but indirect light and can tolerate some shade. In their native habitat, the parlor palm enjoys relatively mild temperatures and humidity year-round. Replicating these conditions in the home or office helps these palms to thrive when grown indoors.
Parlor Palms and Feng Shui
In the Chinese tradition of Feng Shui, the placement of objects, such as plants, within a room or home can help direct or guide the flow of energy or Ch’i. Where certain objects are placed can also attract or deflect different types of energy.
The practice of Feng Shui allows you to bring your surroundings into balance, and provide harmony in various areas of life. Originally used to protect tombs from the ravages of water and wind, today, Feng Shui informs design practices worldwide.
As living things, plants — such as parlor palms — play a special role. They can ward off negative energy or Sha. When placed in optimal positions within the home or office, they may also attract beneficial energy. Of course, you still need to consider the parlor palm’s environmental needs when choosing a position. After all, unhealthy or dead plants aren’t considered auspicious.
Where to Position Parlor Palms in the Home
How do you use Feng Shui to determine the placement of your parlor palms? Start by using the Bagua map as a guide.
Feng Shui Theory and the Bagua Map
The Bagua map divides your space — whether that’s your home, office, or room — into eight (ba) areas (gua). The areas are organized into a grid or octagon. Each connects to a part of life and has specific attributes, including colors, directions, elements, and more.
Remember that a complete understanding of the Bagua takes much study and time. But as an overview, starting at the top left and moving clockwise, the gua include:
- Xun, money/wealth/abundance, purple, south-east, wood
- Li, fame/reputation, red, south, fire
- Kun, love/marriage/partnership/relationships, pink, south-west, earth
- Dui, children/completion, white, west, metal
- Qian, helpful people/travel, gray, north-west. Metal
- Kan, career/life path, black, north, water
- Gen, knowledge, dark blue, north-east, earth
- Zhen, family/new beginnings, green/teal, east, wood
With the grid shape of the bagua in mind, place it over your home or room, aligning the northern part of the map to the northern part of the room or home. Now you can begin to associate the different life areas of the grid with the corresponding sections of your room or home.
To activate a gua, place an attribute in the area you want to focus on. By placing a plant in a gua, you can direct or activate the Ch’i in that part of life. For instance, placing a parlor palm in Kun may help strengthen relationships, while a palm in Kan may boost your career opportunities.
Living plants are also associated with the wood element. This element, in turn, corresponds with east and south-east. Place parlor palms in the east and southeast sectors of your home to activate Zhen (family) and Xun (wealth).
Plant Care Needs and Position
Along with Feng Shui considerations, it’s also essential to take the parlor palm’s needs into account. Of course, you’ll need to accommodate the plant’s height, which can reach up to 7 feet.
While parlor palms aren’t the most demanding plants, they still do require specific conditions to thrive. This includes spots with bright but indirect light exposures. However, parlor palms can tolerate lower light conditions and will thrive under grow lights if need be.
Keep plants in rooms that offer relatively stable temperatures. Don’t let them remain in spots that drop below 50 degrees F.
Where Not to Place Parlor Palms in the home
According to Feng Shui principles, you may want to avoid placing the palm in the center of the home or in a bedroom. The energy the palms activate may be disruptive and clash. You may also want to avoid exterior doors that lead to the outside of the home.
Practically speaking, avoid spots that may expose the parlor palm to a cold draft, such as by a door, window, or A/C register. They don’t tolerate temperatures much less than 50 degrees F.
Finally, don’t place palms where they can dry out too much. Near heating vents or registers or in a south or west-facing window may lead to too-dry soil.
Essential Parlor Palm Plant Care
Good news: Parlor palms are relatively low-maintenance houseplants that can tolerate various growing conditions. However, if you want your parlor palm to truly thrive, try your best to replicate its optimal growing conditions. These include:
- Medium to bright but indirect light exposure, such as that found in an east-facing window, near a south- or west-facing window, or in a south- or west-facing window that’s covered with a sheer curtain
- Temperatures that remain between 65 and 80 degrees F year-round
- 40 to 70 percent humidity
- A spot away from cold drafts or heat sources
- Water from the top down once a week in summer and once every two weeks in winter with the goal of evenly moist soil.
- Loose, well-draining potting soil
- An acidic pH level between 5.5 and 7.0
- A container with adequate drainage holes
- Repot your parlor palm every 18 months to 2 years.
Where to Position Parlor Palms FAQs:
What room is best for a Parlor Palm?
For Feng Shui, a room in the east or southeast sectors of your home may be best. For the palm’s growing needs, a room with bright indirect light, steady ambient temperatures that don’t drop below 50 degrees F, and consistent humidity are best.
How far away from window should a Parlor Palm be?
Keep your parlor palm at least a few feet from an open south- or west-facing window. You can place a parlor palm directly in an east-facing window or a south- or west-facing window that’s covered by a sheer curtain.
Can I put my Parlor Palm in a corner?
You can put your parlor palm in a corner. You can use grow lights for your parlor palm if the corner is too dark.
Can Parlor Palms thrive in low-light environments?
Parlor palms will tolerate lower light environments. However, they won’t grow as quickly and may not thrive.
Can Parlor Palms tolerate drafts?
Parlor palms don’t tolerate temperatures below 50 degrees F for any considerable length of time. Keep them away from cold drafts.
The Best Locations for Parlor Palms in the Home – The Final Word
Parlor palms bring many benefits to your home or office. According to Feng Shui principles, these plants are best placed in your home’s east or southeast sectors, otherwise known as Zhen (family) and Xun (wealth). Along with Feng Shui, consider the plant’s environmental needs, as well. For more, see our in-depth guide to the meaning and symbolism of palm trees.
If you’re looking for your next parlor palm to add to your collection, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering parlor palms nationwide.
Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.
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