Palm - Neanthe Bella
- Botanical Name: Chamaedorea Elegans
- Origins: Guatemala
- Light: High Light
- Watering: Every 2 to 7 Days
- Growth Speed: Slow
- Grower: Novice
- Style: Table Top, Standing
- Home Decor: Eclectic
- Variety Code: 267
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Product Description - Neanthe Bella
Pachypodium is a group of less than 20 species of succulents, the majority from arid regions of Madagascar and some from southern Africa. Most are shrubs, but a few will form trees, up to 20 feet tall (6 m). The name Pachypodium comes from the Greek for 'thick foot', in relation to the fact that most species have a bottle-shaped trunk. Pachypodium is grown for its shiny silver trunk covered with thorns.
The plant's protection against being eaten by animals in the wilderness are long, sharp, stiff, needle-shaped spines 1/2 to 1 inch long that grow everywhere along the trunk and branches. The needles are spaced 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart along the gray-brown stems. The leaves form only at the top of the trunk, like a Palm tree. However the Madagascar Palm is not really a palm. It is actually a succulent related to Plumerias. On new stems, leaves are horizontal; these drop in the fall, and the second year, on the old wood, leaves are vertical. The flowers form only on mature plants that might be 10 years old or more. The flowers are lightly fragrant.
The very attractive, small palm Chamaedorea elegans is one of the most popular indoor palms in the world. This single trunk plant has been famous since the Victorian times as a houseplant. It can be found under several botanical synonyms as Chamaedorea martiana, Collinia humilis, Chamaedorea humilis, Chamaedorea helleriana, Chamaedorea deppeana, Neanthe bella, Neanthe elegans, Collinia elegans, Chamaedorea pulchella, Chamaedorea elegantissim, Table palm, Parlor palm or Neanthe Bella palm, which are all common names in the trade for Chamaedorea elegans. Neanthe bella is originally from Guatemala. The plant is a solitary palm tree, growing very slowly in the garden up to 8 feet (2.4 m), and much smaller as a house plant. The trunk is ringed with old leaf scars. The pinnate leaves are dark green, with 22 to 40 leaflets, up to 8 inches long (20 cm), 0.8 inch wide (2 cm). It is usually seen in clumps, since it looks more attractive this way; however this is just due to multiple seeds being sown together. Because of its small size, this plant is often used for terrariums, and other small spaces. It gives a dimension to interior planting that cannot be achieved with any other plants.
Chamaedoreas can be used in large or small displays. Nolina recurvata (Ponytail palm, Bottle palm, Elephant Foot) is a synonym of Beaucarnea recurvata. Nolina is a small genus of Agave relatives. This distinctive and extremely hardy plant is native to the desert regions of Mexico where it can live to several hundred years. During the rainy season, it stores water in its distinctive trunk (elephant foot) and can thereafter survive long periods without rainfall. The genus is named after C.P. Nolin, an 18th century French agricultural writer. Recurvata is named for the downward curvature of its leaves.
Even though Ponytails are called palms, the plant is not really a palm. It actually belongs to the Agave family. The ponytail is a succulent with a greatly expanded base and a single trunk with a rosette of long, strap like leaves that arch and droop. With age, the trunk eventually develops a few branches. Plants have dark green, grass-like leaves that are 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide by 6 foot (2 m) long. They are clustered in dense tufts at the ends of the branches and arch upward, and then droop downward. They have swollen bases for water storage and can store water up to 1 year. Plants in nature will reach about 30 feet (10 m) in height with a base about 12 feet (4 m) across. In containers, they will only reach about 8 foot (2.5 m) in height. They make an excellent houseplant if they are not over-watered. The plants are dioecious (there are male and female plants) and do not die after blooming like an Agave would.
Plant CarePachypodiums are robust succulents that rapidly respond to their growing environment and therefore require high light levels. A few hours of direct light each day and a minimum temperature of 55 degrees will keep them happy. When the plants are actively growing, night temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees and day temperatures of 75 to 85 degrees are ideal. In the winter, night temperatures of 50 degrees and day temperatures of 65 degrees or lower are preferable. Sandy soil with peat moss and excellent drainage is recommended.
Use a potting mix consisting of 2 parts sand to 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam with small gravel added for increased drainage. They will grow well indoors on a sunny window sill, outdoors during the warmer months, and in a greenhouse as both of these conditions are easily met. As with many succulents, water lightly but consistently. From spring through fall, let the soil become barely dry, then water thoroughly; in winter, water only enough to keep the plant from shriveling. Feed once in spring and late summer with a fertilizer concentration of 1/2 of the recommended rate. Do not feed newly potted plants the first three months. Repot the plant every 3 years; this is quite tricky given all the spines. The best way is to wrap several layers of newspaper around the trunk where it is to be handled. Use a mixture of 1 part commercial potting soil and 1 part sharp sand. To each gallon, add 1 tablespoon of ground limestone and 1 tablespoon of bone meal. Propagate from seeds or cuttings.
Chamaedorea elegans/ Neanthe bella is very resilient to low light, air-conditioning, drying out, and over watering. It can adapt to just about any typical office or home interior. It is very easy to grow, and well suited for a beginner. Neanthe bella does not like to be too wet so pay attention to watering, varying with the time of year. Do not ever stand the plants in water. It generally results in root rot and eventual death. The partial shade is ideal for this palm. The primary pest to watch for is mites. These minute insects that are too small to see with the naked eye can sometimes be a problem. Keep a close watch for light changes in color under the leaves, and if observed, wipe the leaves thoroughly above and below between two pieces of damp old towel. Also change the plant position to a slightly darker place in your home. An insecticide from your local garden center could be used for persistent outbreaks.
Ponytail makes a large and handsome houseplant, doing well even in rooms with air conditioning as long as it has bright light. It's a good specimen plant for a rock garden in a dry, warm climate. The plant likes full sun, tolerates at least 20°F (-7°C) and often much colder temperatures. It is drought tolerant. Water deeply, but infrequently. Ponytails grown as houseplants are especially vulnerable to over watering. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Over-watering is the single most frequent cause of failure when growing Beaucarneas. Use a soil mix with good drainage, for instance a good cactus mix (2 parts loam to 1 part peat moss to 2 parts sand). To this mix, add small gravel to ensure good drainage. In a container, they are very slow growing.
Sunday, 14 April 2013 05:22 |
posted by Tom GreenThumb
I have good luck with plants and have taken an interest in the palm varieties this year. I recently purchased a couple small tufts of Neanthe bella, a Ponytail Palm, and Majesty palm. I replant all my plants as soon as I get them home in Miracle-Gro potting soil and water then 1-2 times a week, depending on the need, and mist them several times a day. They're all doing great and I'm looking forward to them being a beautiful addition to my apartment for years to come. (I have a Peace Lilly that I've had for almost 30 years.)
I decided to take the plunge and bought a Bird of Paradise to try my hand at that, and it's doing well too, but that's a different story. ;)
Tuesday, 19 February 2013 22:27 |
posted by Mario Decossio
Love this palm. It fits in great with my selection of plants, will buy from again.
Monday, 26 November 2012 19:34 |
posted by CA
Love love this plant. Super easy to care and very pretty. Will buy more/
Saturday, 15 September 2012 15:50 |
posted by Dane
Love it you can divide it and get more of these love the soooooo much! I hope mine gets big enough to be transplanted onto the floor.
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 04:49 |
posted by Tori
I live in college and it is a great add in to my room. I am terrible at keeping plants alive and this one is wonderful and cute!I live in the basement and have it sitting on my window sill that gets just the right amount of light!
Everyone should get one!
I love it so much!
Monday, 07 May 2012 21:57 |
posted by jamie
One of the easiest plants for anyone!
Monday, 07 May 2012 02:13 |
posted by MISSY A.
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MINE... IT IS SO EASY TO CARE FOR & THEY CAN GROW TO BE PRETTY LARGE... IT'S KINDA CUTE & WISPY... I HAVE IT ON THE WINDOW LEDGE IN MY OFFICE, HOPEFULLY SOMEDAY IT WILL BE LARGE ENOUGH TO BE TRANSPLANTED INTO A FLOOR CONTAINER... TRY THIS ONE YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!
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