The Dwarf Mountain palm, Chamaedorea elegans, the parlour palm – might be one of the smallest in its family, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it lacks any of the magnificence possessed by its cousins.
The best way to describe this plant would probably be pure a jungle in a pot. The way the leaves are all bunched together so tightly packed yet somehow seeming like they have all the room in the world. The stunning green colour can make the most boring of rooms seem fun and adventurous.
If you’re looking for something that can turn your home or office into a jungle, then the Dwarf Mountain Palm is for you. It’s small size will mean that it can fit into most rooms. You don’t need to have a lot of space to be able to have one of these plants. Even in the wild, they won’t ever get wider than 1.5m.
ORIGINS: The plant has its origins in Mexico and Guatamala. As the name might suggest, it comes from the mountains. It wasn’t until the Victorian era and explorers from England went across the pond and brought this plant back that their popularity exploded. Anyone who was able to afford them couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. The rich at the time would decorate their homes with them, just to show off how wealthy they were. Even though the prices have gone down, and they aren’t seen as the status symbol that they used to be, there’s still no denying they are beautiful.
To care for this plant, you will need to ensure that the compost you’re using is of a high standard.
These plants should be kept well watered during the growing season, as this is what they’re used to in the wild, but it’s essential that any excess water can be easily drained away. The leaves should also be misted regularly and liquid fertiliser watered in from late spring to late summer.
In the winter, keep the plant dry and avoid temperatures below -10C.
Because of how they are in the wild, these plants should have access to bright sunlight. However, it’s better for the plant if this sunlight is filtered. Filtering sunlight can be done in many different ways. You could have a thin silk window covering, you could use plants on the window sill, or you can put the Dwarf Mountain Palm behind other plants.
In the Mexican mountains, the plant is surrounded by other plants which filter out the sunlight. Since you probably don’t live in a Mexican mountain, you’ll need to recreate these conditions as best as you can.
Buy the Dwarf Mountain palm, Chamaedorea elegans, the parlour palm online and in the UK today