Bamboo palms (Chamaedorea costaricana) are popular indoor plants. They originate from Central and southern part of America. There are about 100 different species in this group. They can tolerate shade and are capable of growing up to 10 feet tall. These plants feature green pinnate leaves, reed-like trunks and a smooth attachment at the base of each leaf. The most common bamboo palms for growing indoors are;
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)
This plant resembles a bamboo in appearance. It has long bamboo-like canes and dark green leaves. When the canes grow, they form dense clusters of fronds. Each cane is slender. The palm spreads by suckers just like a bamboo. It can be grown indoors and outdoors. It can also tolerate brighter light. The plant thrives in well-drained soil mixed with organic matter to facilitate drainage.
To ensure the plant gets all the necessary nutrients, household fertilizer should be applied during the summer season. This keeps the plant green and healthy. This plant will do well in zones 10-11. It’s capable of growing 8-10 feet tall and 5-7 feet wide. It can be propagated by removing shoots from the parent plant or through seeds. The seeds take more than 6 months to germinate. This is a good screening plant.
Dwarf bamboo palm (Chamaedorea radicalis)
It’s much smaller compared to the regular palm. This plant is called dwarf, because most of the time the trunk is below the ground. It can grow 4-6 feet tall. This makes it unsuitable for screening. Since dwarf bamboo is well adapted to slightly cooler regions, it thrives in zones 9-11. In addition, it requires well-drained soil with water retention material and part-shade to part-sun environment. It belongs to the clumping variety. In case the dwarf bamboo grows a trunk, it can only be 1-inch in diameter. This bamboo variety produces pale- yellow unisex flowers and a reddish orange fruit when ripe.
Hardy bamboo (Chamaedorea microspadix)
This is an elegant, clumping palm. It features Matt-green feathery leaves and bamboo-like stems. This plant is referred as hardy due to its ability to grow from the ground after a hard freeze. It’s capable of surviving down to -10 degree C without damaging the stems or leaves. Hardy bamboo requires shade to part-shade environment.
It thrives in well-drained soil mixed with compost material for water retention. The hardy bamboo grows well in climate zones 8-11. It’s capable of attaining a maximum height of 8 to 10 feet when fully mature. It makes a good indoor plant.
How to grow palm plants indoors
Choose a healthy plant with dark green leaves. Secondly, select a container that is 2 inches larger than the nursery pot. Make sure it has enough drainage holes. Fill the container with rich fertile soil. Place the palm at the center, then cover gently with top soil. Make sure you water the plant before placing it in bright indirect light. It’s advisable to transplant the plant as soon as possible after purchase.
Care and maintenance of palm plants
- Water the plant moderately without leaving sitting water around the plant
- Use granular fertilizers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions prior to application.
- When the bamboo plant becomes too wide for the container, you should re-pot it
- Check the underside leaves to make sure they are not being attacked by mites. In case you see some mites, wash the leaves with soapy water.
- Brown leaves should be removed regularly
Why grow bamboo palm indoors?
- The lighting requirement makes them easier to grow indoors
- They are easy to grow in containers
- It’s easy to give them the humidity they need
- One can place water pebbles below the tree to bring a touch of decoration
With proper care, you can grow any of above bamboo species to enhance your indoor space.