Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm
Neanthe Bella Palm

Neanthe Bella Palm

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Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans ‘Bella’)

What does it take to become one of the best-selling tropical plants on planet Earth? In the case of Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans ‘Bella’), it’s a combination of three factors.

First, it’s gorgeous, with lush, gracefully arching fronds covered in pairs of bright green leaflets 1” wide but up to 12” long. Native to Central America (Belize, Guatemala, the greener parts of Mexico) Neanthe Bella Palm captivates you in that exotic, “this plant makes me feel like I’m deep in the rainforest even though I’m stuck in a cubicle in Accounts Payable” kind of way.

Second, Neanthe Bella Palm purifies the air like you wouldn’t believe. NASA testing revealed this plant removes formaldehyde, ammonia, and several other things we were actually a little alarmed to learn were in our air in the first place.

Third, Neanthe Bella Palm thrives in almost any light—and we do mean ANY. Bright indirect light, medium light, low light, office fluorescents … this plant loves it all. In fact, the only light this plant doesn’t like is direct sunlight, which burns its leaves. Just place it anywhere NOT in direct sun, give it clean water and mist it a few times a week, and it’s all good.

The ability to bring life and energy to our most dimly-lit corners and greenery-starved offices. Who among us couldn’t use a little more of that in our lives?

 

Characteristics and traits of a Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans ‘Bella’)


Scientific Name: Chamaedorea Elegans ‘Bella’

Genus: Chamaedorea

Family: Arecaceae (Palmae)

Common Name: Neanthe Bella Palm, Table Palm, Parlor Palm, Good Luck Palm, Miniature Fishtail Dwarf Palm, Lucky Palm, Table Top Palm, Neanthebella, Reed Palm, Collinia Elegans

Indoor:   All year at temperatures 65°F and above

Outdoor Zones: 10-12

Type: Perennial evergreen; propagated by seed, but best left to professionals 

Mature Height: 4’-8’ (4’ is more likely)

Mature Width: 3’-5’

Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX

Growth Rate: Very Slow

Flower: Yes, but rare indoors. Tiny, non-ornamental, bud-shaped yellow flowers on spindly stalks. Seeds are rarely fertile.

Foliage: Long, gracefully arching fronds lined with lance-shaped leaflets approx 1” wide by 8”-12” long, arranged in opposite pairs.


Plant Care and Advice for Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans ‘Bella’)

 

Grown In:  Inside: all zones year round; Outside: zones 10-12

Light Requirements: Bright indirect to low light; avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch leaves.

Water Requirements: March-August, water evenly when top 1-2 inches becomes dry, then let drain well. Reduce water in cooler months.

Drought Tolerance: Good

Temperature:  Prefers indoor room temp. 65°F-80°F - 75-ish is ideal. If outside, bring in when temps fall below 50°F.  

Air Purification: Excellent - removes a wide range of airborne pollutants, including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia.

Toxicity: Non-toxic

Fertilizer: Feed once per month during spring and summer growing season with palm fertilizer or general houseplant fertilizer at half strength. None in fall/winter.

Container Friendly: Yes - Be sure it drains well


Planting:

Neanthe Bella Palm grows slowly and doesn’t love having its roots disturbed, so it’s best to only repot it when its roots have filled its pot and are peeking out the drainage holes. Spring is the best season during which to repot.

Choose a pot with drainage holes—drainage is vital. If the plant is to be placed outside, it’s a good idea to use a heavy pot that will be less likely to tip when the plant’s leaves catch the wind.

Neanthe Bella Palms do best in relatively rich soil that drains well. A good, peat-based potting soil is a solid choice, especially when mixed 2:1 with sand for improved drainage.


Plant Care:

One of Neanthe Bella Palm’s biggest strengths is its ability to look spectacular not just in bright indirect light, but also in medium, low, or fluorescent light. It may get a little leggier or darker green in low light, but it can still handle it just fine. In fact, Neanthe Bella actually has an aversion to direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves. While it can handle being placed directly in a north-facing window, if its view is to the south, east, or west, it will thank you for placing it a few feet away from the window. 

Water-wise, Neanthe Bella Palm likes it best when its soil is evenly moist, but never soggy or parched. The best way to achieve this balance is to water evenly all the way around the plant (because one “plant” is often a cluster of multiple plants, all of which need water), allow it to drain—this is vital—then wait for the top 1”-2” of soil to dry before watering again. Reduce water significantly during fall and winter, when the plant goes mostly dormant.

Speaking of water, it’s important to note that Neanthe Bella is sensitive to fluoride, which many cities and towns add to the water—good for our teeth, bad for our plant pets. There are three possible solutions to this concern: water with distilled water, water with rainwater, or use normal tap water, but let it sit out for 24 hours before using it so that the “impurities” such as fluoride and chlorine can dissipate out.

Neanthe Bella Palm likes the same temperatures as most people, and is most comfortable between 65°F and 80°F. It can suffer significant damage if allowed to remain in temperatures below 50°F, and frost can kill it outright. Neanthe Bella is vulnerable to both cold air, so place it away from A/C vents, as well as drafty doors and windows.

As a rainforest plant, Neanthe Bella Palm appreciates a little extra humidity. A light misting with room temperature water 2-3 times per week will be welcomed (and helps stave off spider mites). You can also raise the humidity around the plant by filling its drainage tray with pebbles, setting the plant on the pebbles, then adding water to the tray until the water level is just below the bottom of the pot.

Neanthe Bella Palm can get a bit hungry during the growing season. From March through August, give it either monthly doses of slow-release palm fertilizer (preferred) or biweekly doses of half-strength general houseplant fertilizer.

Finally, while there’s no harm in trimming dead leaves or brown leaf tips, we don’t recommend pruning Neanthe Bella Palm unless you’re an absolute expert. It’s too easy to cut off something vital, and palms don’t regenerate the way some other plants do.

 

 

Expert Advice:

Gorgeous as the leaves of Neanthe Bella Palm (Chamaedorea Elegans) are, they’re also an excellent indicator of any challenges the plant might be facing.

Brown leaf tips are one of the most common symptoms you’ll encounter. This is typically a sign that the plant needs more humidity (misting and/or a pebble tray). However, it can also indicate an overexposure to cold air, excess fertilizer, too much fluoride in the water, or a need for more water (especially if fronds are also pale, yellowish, or “crispy”). A quick examination of the plant’s location and your care practices should help you narrow down the true cause.

Yellow leaves can be tricky because there are multiple possible causes. Yellowish-gray leaves, especially on the side of the plant that faces the sun, is a sign that Chamaedorea Elegans is getting too much direct sunlight.

However, if the yellowing is happening on the shaded side of the plant as well, it’s likely a water-related issue. If the yellowing is accompanied by brown leaf tips or a “crispy”, brittle look, the plant needs more water—but, if the yellowing comes with blackish stems, pale yellow new growth, decaying leaves, or a rotten smell to the soil, the plant is getting waterlogged and needs less water.

Yellow spots or streaks, on the other hand, are often a sign that the plant would like a bit of fertilizer (specifically one with potassium or magnesium)—but check the leaf undersides for webs and/or spider mites, just in case.

If the plant just looks wilted overall, especially if its new growth is looking thin or spindly, it probably needs a bit more light.

Black spots on the leaves are typically a sign of fungal disease. Cut off the affected fronds and give the plant a bit more air circulation (but not too much, because that can dry the plant out). 

Finally, Neanthe Bella Palm is known to shed its older leaves as it grows, which is a totally natural process and nothing to worry about.

Chamaedorea Elegans is fairly pest resistant, but can still contract pests such as mealy bugs, whitefly, scale, nematodes, and especially spider mites. Regular misting (and keeping the plant healthy in general) helps prevent these infestations—spider mites in particular thrive in dry conditions, so maintaining humidity is a huge plus—and simply wiping the leaves with a damp cloth can treat many of them. If further treatments are necessary, we recommend neem oil, insecticidal soap, or even just adding a few drops of dish soap to your wash water. Systemic insecticides are a last resort (and in the case of nematodes, may be the only solution).  

Neanthe Bella Palm can be quite challenging to propagate. It is typically propagated via seed, but this is no easy task. It’s seeds are very often non-viable, require a fair bit of pre-planting preparation (scarification, soaking, cleaning, etc), and can take 6-9 months to germinate. Moreover, the seedlings grow so slowly that a Chamaedorea Elegans you see in a 6” pot at the store is likely 18-24 months old.

True, any store-bought Chamaedorea Elegans is likely not one plant, but a clump of 3-6 separate plants all planted together to give a fuller look. So they can conceivably be separated into two or more separate plants. But this not only results in sparser-looking plants, it stresses the plants out to the point that they often lose a ton of foliage and may die completely.

 

As a result of these conditions, the general consensus is that the most pain-free way for most non-professional gardeners to propagate Neanthe Bella is to buy additional plants.

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GET FREE SHIPPING

 when you buy any 3 or more plants!

That's right - As soon as your shopping cart contains any 3 plants, your shipping is FREE!  Eligible for ground shipped orders going to the same address only.

And if you only order one or two plants, shipping is just $7.50 per plant!

 

WE TAKE SHIPPING SERIOUSLY

... SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO

  • We ship orders out of our nursery on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • If your order arrives by Tuesday night, we'll get it out within 24 hours, otherwise it will go out the following Monday.
  • We ship using UPS.
  • Depending on your location, you should receive your plants within 2-7 days from the date we ship them. Most orders average 2-3 days.
  • Our system automatically emails a notification to you with shipping and tracking information as soon as we ship your plants. Be sure your email is entered in correctly when you are checking out, this is the main cause for not getting notified.  If you do not received your order, please email us at Happiness@TropicalPlants.com.

Changing your delivery address

  1. If you want to change the delivery address of your order and it has not already left our greenhouses, we will do our best to modify the delivery. Please send us an email to: Happiness@TropicalPlants.com. No guarantee, but we will try our best.

  2. If the order has already shipped, please go to UPS.com or Fedex.com. Sign up there to make changes to delivery addresses.

Packages arriving in bad condition

On occasion, UPS and FedEx may handle some packages a bit too rough for your plant's liking. Please open your package immediately and document any damage with your camera. Call us at 800-668-3358 or email us at Happiness@TropicalPlants.com (preferably with your photos) and let us know what happened. Also refer to our Guarantee.

Holding Orders

If you need us to hold an order for you, we can for a short time. In the warm months we can only hold orders for a week or two. The plants grow so fast they can become too large to ship very quickly. In the Winter things grow a lot slower and we hold orders due to bad weather a lot better. So if you are not going to be home the week you order, just drop us an email and we will be glad to hold your order.

Winter Shipping

  1. Do you ship all year long? Yes! In the cold Winter and hot Summer months we check each order destination to be sure the temperature is safe to ship your live plant. When the temperature borders on the "too cold" to ship side, we may choose to ship your plants with a heat pack at no extra charge. If the temperature is still "too cold" to ship, we will hold your order in the warmth of our greenhouses until we can find a safe window of shipping weather and you will be notified via email.

  2. Do you ship with heat packs? No need to request one. We will check the weather in your area and add one if the temperature is below safe shipping levels.

  3. Do you charge extra for heat packs? No.

  4. What do I do if my plants are damaged by the cold? Please take good photos of the box, packing materials and the plants and send them to: Happiness@TropicalPlants.com.