How to Propagate Parlor Palm

How to Propagate Parlor Palm
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

The parlor palm, also known as Chamaedorea elegans, is a popular houseplant known for its elegant fronds and ability to thrive in low light conditions. If you're interested in expanding your collection of parlor palms, propagating them can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to do so. In this article, we will explore the various methods of propagating parlor palm plants and provide tips for caring for newly propagated specimens.

How to Propagate Parlor Palm

To propagate a parlor palm, start by dividing the plant at the roots or by taking stem cuttings. Ensure that each division or cutting has a healthy root system. Plant the divisions or cuttings in well-draining soil, keep them in a warm and humid environment, and water them regularly. With proper care, the parlor palm will establish new roots and grow into a new plant.

Choosing a Healthy Parlor Palm

Before you begin the propagation process, it's important to choose a healthy parlor palm as your parent plant. Look for a specimen that has vibrant green leaves, free from any discoloration or yellowing. The leaves should be upright and not drooping, indicating a well-hydrated plant. Additionally, check for any signs of pests or diseases, such as mealybugs or brown spots.

It's also important to consider the size of the plant. A mature parlor palm is more suitable for division propagation, while smaller plants can be propagated through stem cuttings or seeds. By selecting a healthy and appropriate-sized parent plant, you increase the chances of success in propagating your parlor palm.

Methods of Propagating Parlor Palm

There are several methods you can use to propagate your parlor palm, including propagation by seeds, division, and stem cuttings.

Propagation by Seeds

If you have access to parlor palm seeds, this can be an exciting method to try. Start by soaking the seeds in warm water for 24 hours to soften the outer shell. Then, plant the seeds in a well-draining potting mix and cover them lightly with soil. Keep the soil consistently moist and place the pot in a warm location with indirect sunlight. With patience, you should start to see seedlings emerge within a few weeks.

Propagation by Division

Division is a popular method for propagating mature parlor palms. Carefully remove the parent plant from its pot and gently separate the root ball into two or more sections, ensuring each section has roots and a few fronds. Plant each divided section in its own pot with fresh potting soil, and water thoroughly. Place the newly divided plants in a location with bright, indirect light and maintain consistent moisture until they establish themselves.

Propagation by Stem Cuttings

Stem cuttings are another effective way to propagate parlor palms. Select a healthy stem from the parent plant and cut it just below a leaf node. Remove the lower leaves to leave a bare stem, and dip the cut end in rooting hormone. Plant the cutting in a pot filled with moist potting mix, and cover it with a plastic bag or a propagator to create a humid environment. Place the pot in a warm, bright location, and mist the cutting regularly to maintain humidity. After a few weeks, roots should develop, indicating successful propagation.

Caring for Newly Propagated Parlor Palm

Once you have successfully propagated your parlor palm, it's important to provide optimal care to ensure its healthy growth.

Providing Optimal Growing Conditions

Parlor palms thrive in bright, indirect light. Place your newly propagated plants in a location that receives filtered sunlight or a few feet away from a north-facing window. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. Additionally, maintain a temperature range of 65-80°F (18-27°C) and a humidity level of 50-60% to mimic their natural tropical habitat.

Watering and Fertilizing

Proper watering is crucial for the health of your parlor palm. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, and ensure that excess water drains out of the pot to prevent root rot. During the growing season, from spring to fall, fertilize your parlor palm every two weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Reduce the frequency to once a month during the winter months when growth slows down.

Preventing and Treating Common Issues

Keep a close eye on your newly propagated parlor palms for any signs of pests or diseases. Common issues include spider mites, mealybugs, and fungal infections. Regularly inspect the leaves and stems for any abnormalities, and take immediate action if you notice any problems. Treat pest infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil, and adjust the watering routine if you suspect overwatering or root rot.


Propagating parlor palms can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to expand your collection and share the beauty of these elegant plants with others. By selecting a healthy parent plant and using the appropriate propagation method, such as seeds, division, or stem cuttings, you can successfully propagate parlor palms. Remember to provide optimal growing conditions and care for your newly propagated plants to ensure their successful growth and longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can parlor palms grow in water?

Yes, parlor palms can be propagated in water. Simply cut a healthy stem from the parent plant and place it in a container filled with water. Make sure to change the water regularly and provide indirect sunlight for optimal growth.

How do Parlour palms reproduce?

Parlor palms reproduce through division or by planting their seeds. Division involves separating the offshoots from the parent plant and replanting them individually. Seeds can be collected from mature fruits and sown in a well-draining soil mix to grow new parlor palms.

How can I make my parlor palm fuller?

To make your parlor palm fuller, ensure it receives adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients. Place it in a well-lit area, but avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. Water the plant regularly, keeping the soil moist but not soggy. Fertilize it every few months with a balanced houseplant fertilizer to promote healthy growth and fuller foliage.

Can you cut a palm and replant it?

Yes, you can cut a palm and replant it. This method, known as palm propagation, involves carefully removing a healthy stem or offshoot from the parent plant and replanting it in a suitable pot or location. Ensure the new plant receives proper care, including adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients, to support its growth.

What is the best time to propagate parlor palm?

The best time to propagate parlor palm is during spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. This period provides optimal conditions for the new plant to establish roots and grow successfully.

Can I propagate parlor palm from a single leaf?

No, you cannot propagate parlor palm from a single leaf. Unlike some other plants, parlor palms require a stem or offshoot with a bud to propagate successfully. Attempting to propagate from a single leaf will not result in a new plant.

How long does it take for parlor palm cuttings to root?

Parlor palm cuttings typically take around 4-6 weeks to root. During this time, it is important to provide the cuttings with proper care, including a warm and humid environment, adequate moisture, and indirect sunlight. Patience is key during the rooting process.