9 Greatest Parlor Palm Benefits When Grown Indoors

An indoor palm can be more than just a decoration. A parlor palm benefits your home by improving the air quality and adding oxygen.

The parlor palm, or the Chamaedorea elegans, has been used as an indoor plant since it was brought back to the United States from Central America.

The indoor palm grows in a concentration of trunks with lightly textured and thin foliage.

The dwarf palm has found its way into many homes as a houseplant.

Before we dive into its numerous benefits, it is important to know what the parlor palm is and where it came from.

9 Parlor Palm Benefits When Grown Indoors
Photo by Pluume321, CC BY-SA 3.0

What is a Parlor Palm and Why Should You Want One?

The parlor palm, or the table palm, is a low-light indoor palm generally seen as a houseplant. The palm is native to the rainforests of Mexico and Guatemala.

Because of its native environment, a parlor palm does best in low or bright indirect light in high humidity. When given enough light, a mature parlor palm will blossom, even indoors, with small yellow flowers above the palm foliage.

What is a Parlor Palm
Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0

The parlor palm is compact and easy to care for and has been grown indoors since the Victorian era.

During the Victorian age, the parlor palm symbolized elegance and wealth. Even today, the parlor palm adds a modern and sophisticated aesthetic to a room.

Since the parlor palm is a dwarf species of the large palms found in its family, it is frequently found in small dish gardens. When buying a parlor palm, you will find it happy in small pots near other indoor plants.

The palm-like shrub can be placed in decorative pots to fit your home but can also find its way into flower arrangements and wreaths.

The parlor palm can take years to reach its full height of 2 to 6 feet indoors. However, if grown outdoors, it can reach almost 16 feet.

When you have a parlor palm in your home, you can plant it on its own or with other plants to create a terrarium. They are a great addition to your indoor plants and can even be a great starter plant for a beginner!

9 Parlor Palm Benefits

The parlor palm has many benefits for you, your air quality, and your home.

There are nine stand-out benefits that a parlor palm will be able to add to your home:

  • Filters indoor air
  • Releases oxygen
  • Improved mental health
  • Removes harmful toxins
  • Creates humidity
  • Safe for pets
  • Effective against allergies
  • Added style to your home
  • Low maintenance
Parlor Palm Benefits
Photo by Tangopaso

1. Filters Indoor Air

According to research studies, indoor plants like parlor palms and other indoor palm varieties effectively remove carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from the air.

By filtering the air, parlor palms can effectively create clean air in your home.

2. Releases Oxygen

Plants with more leaves, like palms, produce more oxygen. The parlor palm will effectively reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and create oxygen.

By filtering the air and creating clean air, the parlor palm positively impacts a person’s day-to-day life.

3. Improved Mental Health

The same study that showed the effective removal of carbon dioxide also found that indoor plants positively impact a person’s mental health.

Since parlor palms add oxygen and remove toxins, more clean air creates a more productive headspace.

Indoor plants such as parlor palms improve learning and work productivity. Parlor palms can also relieve negative emotions.

The enhanced environment and air quality can promote physical and mental health recovery.

4. Removes Harmful Toxins

Owning a plant that can effectively remove dangerous particles is essential, as certain toxins, such as formaldehyde, can cause sensory irritations and even lead to more intrusive illnesses.

In NASA’s indoor plant studies, the parlor palm is one of the top plants that can effectively remove pollutants and dangerous particles from the air. A parlor palm can remove formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia particles.

5. Creates Humidity

Research studies have found that the parlor palm can increase humidity by releasing water into the air every hour. The larger and more mature the parlor palm is, the more water it will release.

If the air is too dry in a home, viruses and diseases tend to survive longer. If you are in a more dry environment, it can also decrease work performance and quality of sleep.

When you have a parlor palm or a plant that can release water vapor, you can be positively impacted by it. A parlor palm can increase your work performance and sleep and reduce the chances of becoming sick from a virus.

6. Safe for Pets

A common worry for homeowners when it comes to indoor plants is the safety of their pets. Many houseplants are not pet-friendly and can even be toxic to cats and dogs.

The ASPCA listed the parlor palm as a safe plant for cats and dogs. Other indoor palm varieties, like the majesty palm and areca palm, are also safe for pets.

You can easily benefit from having a palm in your home without it being toxic to your cats or dogs.

7. Effective Against Allergies

Since parlor palms and other palm varieties filter the air and improve the air quality of your home, they also effectively aid allergy sufferers. They can take out some of the harmful particles in the air.

They also humidify your home, lowering the chances of an allergic reaction.

8. Added Subtropical, Sophisticated Style to Your Home

The parlor palm has become a houseplant staple since it arrived in the United States from South America 50 years ago. Since then, homes have widely used it to create a modern and sophisticated style.

A parlor palm can add greenery to a room with its great amount of foliage, along with its amazing benefits of clearing the air and being safe for your pet.

9. Low Maintenance and Easy to Care For

Parlor palms are a relatively easy plant to own. They enjoy bright, indirect sunlight through a window.

However, they can easily tolerate a low light environment, like on a kitchen table or a living room corner.

They also only need to be watered once or twice a week when their soil gets dry. So, if you forget to water them, they will easily live through it until their next water.

How to Care for a Parlor Palm Indoors

Now that you know the benefits of keeping a parlor palm indoors, you might wonder how to grow one.

When growing a parlor palm indoors, there are a few things to remember. While they are easy to care for, they are easy to overwater or even not give enough light to the dwarf palms.

  • Bright, indirect light. When placing your parlor palm near a window or light source, remember that its native environment is the rainforest floor. A parlor palm thrives in bright or medium indirect light. Due to its hardy nature, the palm can even tolerate low indirect light. If a parlor palm is placed in bright, direct sunlight, the palm’s foliage will be brown and crisp.
  • Light watering requirements. A parlor palm should be watered every 1 to 2 weeks. However, if the soil is still damp from the last time it was watered, you do not need to water it. It is important to water your parlor palm when the soil is completely dry.
  • Average humidity and temperature. Due to its native environment, a parlor palm grows optimally in normal to high humidity. The dwarf palm also does well in temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Indoor well-draining potting mix. Any well-draining indoor potting mix will work for your plant when growing your parlor palm indoors. Ensure the soil is not too spongy, as a parlor palm does not do well in sitting or standing water.

Related: Majesty Palm Benefits

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.