Parlor Palm vs. Majesty Palm (Differences and Similarities)

A parlor palm, majesty palm, or similar house-appropriate palm is a great way to liven up any home.

These low-maintenance and fairly durable palms are a fast and easy way to spruce up any corner and bring a touch of nature indoors to enjoy year-round.

Both palms offer a stunning display that will thrive and be enjoyed by friends and family for years to come if you take care of them under the right conditions.

The main distinction between the parlor and majesty palms is the general size and leaf shape. A majesty palm’s leaves are more delicate and can get quite long. The parlor palms have leaf lobes that are generally thicker and less delicate-looking.

The parlor palm’s habit is to grow more compactly and thickly. In contrast, the majesty has an upright and more fountain-like appearance. Both are smaller compared to typical single-trunk palm trees of the tropics. However, the majesty palm will get bigger than a parlor palm in just about any situation.

Parlor Palm vs. Majesty Palm (Photo by Pluume321, Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY 3.0)

Comparing these two indoor palms can help make it easier to see which suits your unique wants and needs.

Let’s get started with a quick comparison!


Parlor PalmMajesty Palm

USDA Hardiness Zone
10 to 1210 to 15
Scientific NameChamaedorea elegansRaveane rivularis
Mature Height3 to 8 feet10 to 12 feet
Mature Width1 to 3 feet3 to 5 feet
Growth RateSlowSlow
Light RequirementPartial with morning sunPartial to full morning sun
Soil TypeIndoors: rich, well-drained potting mixIndoors: rich well-drained potting mix
Soil pHNeutral to slightly acidicNeutral to slightly acidic
Watering FrequencyThorough soaking every 7 to 10 daysThorough soaking once every week
PestsScale, mealybugs, spider mites, thrips, and wormsCaterpillars, mites, scale, and thrips
DiseasesFungus, root rot, mold, and powdery mildewFungus, root rot, mold, and powdery mildew

Difference Between Parlor Palm and Majesty Palm

With the basics now laid out, it is time to look deeper into what makes these plans such great options for homeowners looking to add color, fresh air, and ambiance to their homes.

Both the parlor palm and the majesty palm have features that make them excellent choices for the home.

Which one is right for you? Let’s figure it out!

Leaves Shape and Texture

Both of these houseplants are known for their beautiful and elegant palm-frond foliage.

The parlor palm will have much smaller leaves, a smaller stem, and an overall frond or leaf shape and size.

The majesty palm will have fuller and longer leaves with a more elegant or dainty look. It will also have a flowing or fountain-like overall appearance.

Both plants are often described as having a fine leaf texture.

Leaf Color

People like both these palms primarily due to the overall aesthetics of the plant and the way they easily bring a touch of exotic forest into the home.

Both plants have a dark to medium green look to mature leaves, with fresh new growth often having a brighter yellow-green tone.

Some brown leaves will naturally fall off as the plant grows and matures.

When both plants reach mature heights, the bottommost leaves will start to mature slowly and fall off each season.

Height and Structure

The parlor palm is by far the smaller of the two and is better suited for small homes and apartments with a maximum height of 3 to 8 feet.

It is also slower growing of these two, so it will take much longer to reach its maximum height and outgrow the corner it is placed in.

The majesty palm is a much larger plant with a maximum height of 12 feet or more when given good conditions and proper care.

It will need care and room to grow. However, it will take years to top off at maximum height.

It is also important to note that both these palms are unlikely to exceed 5 to 6 feet when grown indoors.

Growing Requirements 

Homeowners must also remember that these palms originate from tropical areas of native rainforest and thrive under hot and humid conditions.

Both prefer a range in temperature of around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 27 degrees Celcius.

They can handle about 10 degrees warmer and 5 degrees colder but should always be kept as warm as possible.

They need bright but indirect sun through a window and appreciate added humidity in the air.

Sudden temperature drops will shock the plant, so protect it from the cold and avoid putting it in the way of the air-conditioning draft.

Low and sudden rises and falls in temperatures will kill the plant, and you will start to see the leaves turn yellow and then brown as they fall off.

Watering Requirements

Both the parlor palm and the majesty palm require little watering.

This is a big part of what makes them great as houseplants for those who tend to forget about their plants, sometimes for weeks on end.

The parlor and majesty palms do not like damp or wet soil and are fairly drought-tolerant.

They cannot tolerate being overwatered, as overwatering will cause them to become stressed out, leading them to wilting and death.

Weekly deep waterings are best, and the soil can completely dry out for a day or two between waterings without causing harm to the palms.

Soil

The parlor palm enjoys organic, rich, and well-drained soils, so a peat-based potting mix works great indoors.

Adding sand can help with water retention without risking the roots becoming waterlogged or saturated.

The majesty palm can survive under the same conditions, so it is easy to use the same sort of potting mix between the two varieties of palms. 

Fertilizer

In general, the parlor palm does not need much, if any, fertilizer due to its smaller size and slow growth.

If the leaves are a little yellow or the plant is not looking healthy, you can use a diluted liquid fertilizer on each watering for a few weeks, which should perk it up.

The majesty palm likes some fertilizer when it is actively growing during the warmer months.

With a faster growth habit and larger size, it can use the fertilizer to ensure healthy frond growth.

Again, a diluted water-based fertilizer is perfect and can be used with each watering for the active growing months.

Pests and Diseases

These plants share common pests that generally tend to attack palms that are weakened or stressed in some way.

The best way to protect against scale, thrips, mealybugs, and similar pests is to keep your parlor and majesty palms healthy and ensure they are grown in appropriate conditions.

Other issues, such as rust leaf rot and root rot, can affect both palm species and are usually caused by poor watering and fertilizing practices or an environment that is too cold.

Taking care of houseplants is a popular and wonderful pastime for many homeowners.

With palms being a common choice, knowing how to care for your plant is essential to keeping it looking its best year-round!

Related: Parlor Palm vs. Areca Palm, Kentia Palm vs. Parlor Palm, Parlor Palm vs. Cat Palm

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