The Reed Plant is a clump forming bamboo-like palm with deep green stems and foliage with natural habitat in Mexico. In ideal growing conditions it can reach a height of 2 meters; looking quite spectacular as the maturing flexibly-supple canes bend over giving a semi weeping effect. If grown in conditions where this sort of height and habit is feasible - conservatory or large airy room – space should be allowed for the development of the top growth canopy. It's common name of bamboo Palm will describe the overall habit and appearance.
The large canopy of the bamboo palm tree needs to be compensated for with a decent size pot to assist in stability of the plant.
The pinnate leaf fronds will grow to 2ft (60cm) long – quite spectacular indoors if you have the space.
Yellow flowers on erect panicles are an added attraction to the foliage on a mature well cared-for palm.
Chamaedorea should not be grown in full direct sun when grown indoors, though good light is essential for healthy growth and development of the foliage on the bamboo palm. Otherwise, the Reed Palm can tolerate shade or good light.
Reed palms will inevitably require re-potting to ensure good growth and maturity. The potting mix should be well-draining, rich and friable – preferably with a soil as well as peat compost mix. 50/50 is ideal.
This palm is a very hardy plant when grown indoors, and will tolerate a certain degree of neglect! In this case do not expect a thriving plant – more a surviving plant!
Chamaedorea does not thrive in cold conditions and should be moved to warm position during winter months. It will happily grow outside in dappled shade or non-scorching sun. It will need acclimatizing when first put outside – otherwise leaf scorch can occur. No extra humidity is required. Apply plenty of water throughout the growing season. Regular feeding with a week solution of liquid plant food will keep the foliage looking lush.
The Reed Palm creates clusters of stems, and it may sometimes be considered desirable to trim some of the older woody stems back to base to encourage new growth. This will also help to ‘clothe’ the palm with foliage lower down – though the stems are quite attractive as a feature. If the palm becomes too large for its container, new, outer stems can be cut away from the main plant and re-potted separately.
Reed Palm is susceptible to scale pest and mealy bug when grown indoors. Scale insect pest is normally located and found on the underside of the leaves – especially along the central vein. Mealy bug generally materializes in the crotches of the leaves where they join the stems.
Both have the tell tale signs of sooty mould as a result of the residue left from an infestation.
Good for: Chamaedorea seifrizii - Reed Palm is good for an empty corner, a stand-alone feature plant and is easy to maintain. It could easily outgrow a small space.
Easy to grow new plants by simply taking off a side shoot or two as the plant matures. Ideally a new side shoot up to 12in 30cm tall can be detached with a few basal roots. Cover the newly potted acquisition with a clear plastic bag to ensure humidity until rooted into the pot.