Bamboo palm

Bamboo palm

A bamboo palm is a palm in the Chamaedorea genus, with many people thinking specifically of Chamaedorea seifrizii when they refer to bamboo palms. This palm is extremely popular as a houseplant, and it can also be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10 through 12. Many garden supply stores sell bamboo palms, typically at a very young age, because these palms can grow quite slowly, making it time-consuming to rear large mature specimens for sale.

Bamboo palms, as their name would suggest, have a growth habit similar to that of bamboo. They develop light green stalks from which fronds of feathery leaves protrude. Many gardeners grow bamboo palms in clumps to emphasize the resemblance to bamboo, and this plant can grow up to six feet (two meters) tall if it is allowed to thrive, eventually growing to resemble a thicket of bamboo.

The bamboo palm is native to Central and Southern America, where it evolved as an understory shrub in the rainforest. Bamboo palms like indirect light, and they require soil which is moist, but not wet, preferring rich, loamy soil like that found in their native rainforest. Their preference for indirect light makes these palms ideal for growing indoors as houseplants, since they will thrive almost anywhere, as long as there is a steady supply of light.

Bamboo palms naturally shed their leaves as they grow, developing leaves which start to yellow and brown. Pruning dead bamboo palm leaves away is important, as it allows the plant more light. If all of the leaves start to yellow or brown, this is a sign that the plant is not happy, and it may need to be watered less or more, or moved to a new location in the house. Bamboo palms are also at risk of infestation by mites, which can be prevented by washing the plant with mildly soapy water once every few weeks. Pet owners should know that the fruit of the bamboo palm, along with its leaves, is toxic to many animals.

Bamboo plant at home
Most growers use a granular, time release fertilizer in growing their palms. Seifrizii is sensitive to soluble salts, so remove the fertilizer from the top of the pot and leach the soil thoroughly with water. Allow the plant to completely drain.

This plant likes to stay uniformly moist, remember that’s moist NOT wet. When the soil has dried down about one third or half way down from the top you should water the complete top of the soil. Make sure the excess water that can accumulate in the bottom of the planter is removed. These plants do not like to sit in water.

New plants can have a thick canopy… you should expect to lose of some of the interior foliage as the plant begins its acclimation to your indoor setting.

If you are over watering, you’ll usually notice the leaf tips begin to turn yellow and fall off as well as the new growth coming out very pale. The plant may also experience stem rot.

On the other side if you’re under watering the tips of Seifrizii will turn brown as well as the new growth. As with most palms the biggest problem with pest is mites. Regularly cleaning the plant’s foliage with a soapy solution will help reduce their attack.

Once your plant has become acclimated to its new interior home it can be enjoyed for a long time. Just remember to not over water the plant and provide as much bright indirect light as you can.

How to Care for a Bamboo Palm

A bamboo palm is a beautiful, tall, green indoor plant that can reach a height of 3 to 6 feet. This plant does well in bright indirect light so it can stand in the corner of any room. Caring for a bamboo palm can be easy when you follow these simple steps.


      Water the bamboo palm. You can water it from the top by pouring room temperature water into the top of the pot. Drain excess water from the drip pan. Do not let it sit in water or it will damage the roots. This plant should have moist soil at all times. Do not let it dry out.

      Feed the bamboo palm. Fertilize this plant during the growing season. A granular, time-release fertilizer works well. Follow the directions on the package for the amount of fertilizer to use. After feeding, thoroughly water from the top and discard excess water from the drip pan.

      Prune the bamboo palm. Keep your plant pruned as needed. When you see leaves start to turn yellow or brown and wilt, use pruning shears to remove these leaves at the base.

      Repot the bamboo palm occasionally. Repot the plant only when it completely fills up the present pot. Be sure to use rich potting soil made for indoor plants.

      Control pests on the bamboo palm. Mites love to attack this plant. Wash leaves with a soapy solution to lessen the presence of mites. By providing good air circulation and water drainage, removing all dead leaves and providing food, water and light, your bamboo palm will be a beautiful addition to your home.


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