How to Care for a Bamboo Palm

Overview

Bamboo palm, Latin name Chamaedorea erumpens, is a tall, narrow palm tree with slender stems that resemble bamboo. The plant's delicate leaves, or fronds, appear in clusters at the ends of the stems. Gardeners primarily grow bamboo palm indoors in the United States due to its narrow growth habit and need for warm temperatures. Hardy in zones 10 and 11, only individuals in the extreme South can successfully cultivate bamboo palm outdoors. When growing in a container, however, moving the plant to an outdoor location during summer is beneficial.

Step 1

Keep bamboo palm in a location that receives indirect light throughout the day. Regulate the temperature surrounding the plant to keep it at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night and 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

Step 2

Water bamboo palm once per week, allowing the soil to dry slightly between applications. Do not allow standing water to accumulate around bamboo palm, as this will cause the crown to rot. Decrease the frequency of watering to once every 10 days during winter.

Step 3

Feed during spring, summer and fall using a liquid plant fertilizer. Apply according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Do not fertilize bamboo palm during winter, when the plant is not actively growing.

Step 4

Wash the fronds of the plant once every three to four days to remove excess fertilizer salts and any pests. Use a clean cloth moistened with lukewarm water to wipe the fronds clean during the early morning for the best results.

Step 5

Transplant bamboo palm into a new container once every two to three years to provide room for growth. Increase the size of the container by about 3 inches each time. Use a growing medium made of 2 parts potting soil and 1 part clean sand to provide adequate drainage.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never expose the plant to temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or cold damage may occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid plant fertilizer
  • Cloth
  • Container
  • Potting soil
  • Clean sand

References

  • University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service: Chamaedorea erumpens
  • University of Minnesota Extension Service: Growing Palms Indoors
  • Clemson University Extension: Indoor Palms
Keywords: bamboo palm, care for bamboo palm, Chamaedorea erumpens

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.