Care of a Bamboo Palm
The Chamaedorea seifrizii or bamboo palm is commonly grown in containers for use as a houseplant or in offices and shopping centers. Bamboo palm works well indoors because it’s small, normally reaching a height of about 7 feet and it doesn’t need full sun. The tree originated in Mexico and Honduras and is found growing as an understory palm. Bamboo palm got its name from the long slender stems that resemble bamboo. The bamboo palm does quite well in containers and will grow outdoors in the ground in USDA planting zones 10 through 12.
Locate the palm in bright indirect light in an east, west or north window. The temperature should be between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the palm outdoors in the summer for fresh air and place in partial shade.
Water with warm or room-temperature distilled or rain water. Allow the soil to dry 2 inches deep between watering. Allow the water to run through to the drain tray for 30 minutes and then empty the tray. Never allow the roots to sit in water.
Apply a slow-release fertilizer to the top of the soil once a year in early spring. Water the fertilizer into the soil well. Keep the fertilizer from coming in direct contact with the trunk of the tree or it may burn it.
Mist the tree once every other day in the winter when the air is especially dry. Use warm distilled or rain water and spray the fronds. Another way to keep humidity in the air is to fill the drain tray with pebbles and fill with warm water. Sit the trees container on top of the pebbles over the water, not in it.
Wipe off the fronds with a clean damp rag about once a month to keep dust off. Use a few drops of mild dish soap in the water if you see any spider mites on the leaves. The soap solution can also be sprayed on with the spray bottle if spider mites become a real problem. Spray once a day for a week and they should be gone.
Cut off any dead or yellow/brown fronds to keep the tree tidy. It is natural for the older fronds to die off and not a sign of a problem.
Bamboo palms rarely flower and bear fruit indoors. However, if it does, the fruit or seeds are very toxic and should not be around small children or pets.
- Bamboo palms rarely flower and bear fruit indoors. However, if it does, the fruit or seeds are very toxic and should not be around small children or pets.
- Slow-release fertilizer
- Distilled or rain water
- Spray bottle
- Drain tray
- Clean, soft rag
- Mild dish soap
- Pruning shears