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The genus Chamadorea brings together some species of palm trees originating from central-southern America; they have slow growth and are very long-lived; they have long erect stems, slightly arched, light green in color, which carry long compound leaves at the end, consisting of lanceolate leaflets, almost papery to the touch, the general appearance is quite feathery and messy, very similar to bamboo. The Chamaedorea elegans, cultivated as ornamental plants, are well adapted to growing in containers. In nature, female plants produce large, fleshy, orange-colored fruits that contain numerous seeds that are difficult to see in houseplants.
It is best to place the Chamaedorea elegans in a luminous place, but not directly exposed to sunlight; they can adapt even to adverse conditions, but they do not tolerate excessively dark areas or direct sunlight; they fear the cold, so they must be grown at home in winter, although they can endure occasional periods with temperatures close to zero without too many problems.
The ideal temperature for the best growth of Chamaedorea elegans is around 18 ° C.
Water the Chamadorea regularly throughout the year, leaving the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another; in general they can withstand short periods of drought, while they fear water stagnation and excess water, so check that the soil in which they are placed allows a good degree of drainage. Every 3-4 months add some fertilizer for tropical plants to the irrigating water. In periods when the air is very dry it is advisable to vaporize the Chamadorea leaves with distilled water every 2-3 days.
Grow these specimens in a soil rich in humus, loose, soft and very well drained; universal soil can be used, mixed with leaf soil and little sand or lapillus. These palms generally grow quite slowly, so they do not need to be repotted very often. Repotting should be done in the spring-summer period and care should be taken not to damage the root system.
The multiplication of this type of plant, in nature, occurs by seed; the large seeds take a few months to sprout. Usually the propagation of chamaedoree takes place by detaching the basal shoots from the mother plant, then rooting them in a vase, with soft and rich soil, which must be kept fairly wet, to favor the development of a well branched root system. For those who want to try multiplication by seed, it is good to do it in the late winter period until early spring, keeping the container in a bright area but not in direct sunlight until germination.
Chamadorea - Chamaedorea elegans: Pests and diseases
Excesses of watering can favor the onset of radical rot; these palms are often affected by cochineal and red spider mites. Sometimes the leaves that have some years can dry, it is advisable to remove them at the base; the dried leaf tips can be a symptom of a lack of watering or environmental humidity. To eliminate the red spider mites it is advisable to increase the environmental humidity with greater nebulizations on the leaves, while for the cochineals it is possible to intervene by cleaning the leaves directly.