How to keep them thriving indoors in Melbourne!
Please Note: The information below is specific to this particular variety. For more detailed notes on the general growing conditions required for all Indoor Plants, check out our ‘Growing Indoor Plants Successfully’ factsheet.
A lovely, graceful and very useful palm as it prefers naturally shady conditions and consequently is ideal for an indoors situation. Its habit of sending up new slender stems with 10-15 fronds each gives a full and lush look, only improving over time. Increasingly popular due to its high rating in the 1989 NASA study for removing indoor air pollutants and its low maintenance habit.
Use room temperature water – not cold water. Allow to nearly but not completely dry out in between watering. Make sure it is never sitting in water, but drains freely. A good check: If the potting mix is too wet, frond tips will turn yellow and new growth will be pale. If the problem is severe – stems may rot. If, on the other hand, watering is insufficient, frond tips will turn brown as will new fronds.
Keep out if direct sunlight or it will bleach. Moderate to bright indirect light suits it best. Give it a quarter turn now and then to maintain even growth. It will grow in relatively low light conditions, but will be shorter and will eventually get spindly.
Temperature and Humidity
They prefer cooler temperatures, so keep away from radiant heaters or heating ducts.
It is generally easiest to use an annual application of slow release fertiliser applied during the growing season (when new stems appear). HOWEVER, this palm is intolerant of a build up of salts, so it is more than usually important to flush at least annually .
Trim off the old fronds as they fade and die. Leave 10cm or so, these old sheaths will eventually dry out and can simply be pulled away.
This palm does enjoy a shower – take outside (or into the showerstall) and give it a shower – this washes away dust, raises humidity and keeps the palm looking nice.
Only repot when roots have completely filled the existing pot and use only good quality regular potting mix. Be gentle. Go up one size, centre the palm in the new pot, gently pack fresh potting mix all around and pat down firmly. Water in well. If all goes well the palm should kick along nicely, however it may sulk for a few weeks and then improve.
If conditions are right, these palms may produce small orange berries – these are toxic and must be removed and safely disposed of.
Generally the bamboo palm moves well, but it can lose a frond or two as it acclimatises to a new position. Just be patient and allow it to settle into its new position.
The most common pest is spider mite. If you have time you can regularly wipe the leaves down with a solution of natrasoap. If you don’t you can push in a slow releasing tablet of confidor into the soil.