The mountain palm is one of the most popular houseplants. No wonder, because it is extremely easy to care for and has no special requirements with regard to location and substrate.By Photo by David J. StangThe mountain palm is the ideal palm for the living room. The palm genus comes from South America and consists of more than 100 species. The plant name “Chamaedorea” is derived from the Greek and stands for “gift” and “dwarf”. In fact, the palm trees are rather short and do not grow taller than five meters even in the wild.
The dwarf palm is always a gift, because it is easy to care for and forgives inexperienced room gardeners a lot of maintenance mistakes. Now learn what should be considered when planting the popular houseplant.
Find the right location
Mountain palms thrive best in a bright but not too sunny location. While the blazing midday sun is not tolerated, there is no objection to the morning or evening sun. Even the winter sun can do little to the plant.
" Tip: A bright location favors growth.
Mountain palms also tolerate a rather dark and shady location, but will appear less growth-friendly there. A west or east window turns out to be ideal locations. If the mountain palm tree is allowed to go outdoors in summer, it should also be placed in the shade. The blazing midday sun would burn the delicate palm fronds. Morning and evening sun, however, may hit the plants. Mountain palms tolerate some temperature differences. Temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees are optimal for healthy growth. The plants are not winter hardy and should move back into the house in late summer. If the thermometer falls below ten degrees at night, this could already damage the plant.
Caution: If the stems of the palm fronds appear unusually long, the palm must conspicuously turn to the light and should have a brighter position.
If the winter conditions are too dark, the palm fronds will fade. The winter location should not only be bright, but also warm enough. The thermometer should not drop below ten degrees.
Mountain palms, as already mentioned, tolerate some maintenance mistakes, including dry air in the room. If the tips of the palm fronds become brown, you should definitely increase the air humidity, spray frequently and place the plant in a coaster filled with pebbles.
- no blazing midday sun
- Temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees
- high humidity
Choose the ideal substrate
The demands on the substrate are rather low. As the plants do not tolerate waterlogging, it is important to ensure that the irrigation water can drain off easily.
" Tip: The substrate can be made more permeable by adding coarse sand.
Mountain palms do not like soil that is too nutritious. In contrast to most types of palm, the mountain palm prefers slightly alkaline soil. A pH between 8 and 14 tells you that it is an alkaline soil. If dolomite lime is added to the irrigation water, the substrate can be moved into the alkaline range.
"Reading tip: Measure the pH value in the soil - This is how it's done
The plants also have no objection to slightly acidic soil (pH 0 to 6). The mountain palm has a preference for clay soil. The addition of sand is particularly important here. The permeability of the soil must be ensured so that the palm can be provided with sufficient nutrients. If the substrate is not too fine, air can collect in the resulting cavities and the nutrient supply to the plant is improved.
- clay soil
- slightly acidic
Planting mountain palms - explained step by step
❶ Select a suitable planter
❷ Place drainage against waterlogging on the bottom of the vessel
Einsetzen Insert the plant
❹ Fill in the substrate
❺ Press the floor lightly
❻ Water the plant
Mountain palms thrive very well in compost that has been upgraded with Lauberde or peat. Sand, gravel or lava granulate make the soil more permeable. Pebbles as drainage in the bottom of the vessel protect the plant from waterlogging and ensure that the irrigation water can drain off well.
Keep mountain palms in hydroponics
Mountain palms are very suitable for hydroponics. However, anyone planning this should be consistent and cultivate the plant accordingly from the start. If the mountain palms are first planted in potting soil and the idea of switching to hydroponics later on, the plant lover is usually disappointed, since the switch to hydro is often not tolerated by the sensitive roots. It is not uncommon for the plants to stop growing and die.
" Tip: An irrigation system can be used as an alternative. The plants will not resent this change and it is possible at any time.