What is this plant? (Neanthe bella)

Question:

Here is one more plant I need identified. Does anybody know what kind this is? It feels very dry and paper like. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be like that or not.

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Michele from East Bethel, MN

Answer:

Michele,

From what I can make out from your picture, this looks to me like a Neanthe bella, also commonly known as a Parlor Palm. These wonderful plants are considered 'feather palms', and are characterized by fronds that are divided on either side of the midrib into leaflets. The leaflets can be soft and dropping or still and erect. The Parlor Palm is the most widely grown plant of all the indoor palms. I received one as a gift about a year ago. Here is what I know about them.

As far as palms go, the Neanthe bella makes a wonderful houseplant. Under optimal conditions, it can grow up to 4 ft tall and has less of a tendency to develop brown tips under dry conditions. Under the right conditions, tiny yellow or white flowers may even appear while the plant is still quite small (although most consider these rather unsightly). It isn't necessary to treat this palm as though it needs the strong sunlight of the tropics, nor does it need dry, desert-like air. It's actually quite happy in an average room. In the winter, it does best in cooler night temperatures (the way you probably turn down the thermostat at night to between 50 F and 60 F is perfect). Keep them in a bright room, but out of direct sunlight. Provide them with well-drained soil, slightly moist, but do not let their roots stand in water. How much water they need typically depends on the light they receive (filtered is best), so more moisture in the summer. Sponge the leaves occasionally to remove dust and do not transplant them until they are good and root bound (palms don't appreciate being disturbed).

Ellen

January 23, 20080 found this helpful

Could you provide a picture or a more detailed description?

Editor's Note: Sorry about that, the photo didn't get posted. It is there now.

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January 23, 20080 found this helpful

I think this one is called, "dracena". I had one of these, too. It needs a lot of humidity or it turns brown and the leaves fall off. Be careful handling this. Those leaves can give nasty paper-like cuts.

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January 24, 20080 found this helpful

I don't have the name, but I know dracaena, and that one looks like green swordblades 2-3" wide, rising out of the dirt.

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January 25, 20080 found this helpful

It looks like some type of palm. Palms do come in different sizes. At the moment, I can't think of the exact name of it.

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January 25, 20080 found this helpful

This is a Chamaedorea elegans also called a Parlor Palm or Neathe bella.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1479/

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January 25, 20080 found this helpful

This is a Chamaedorea elegans also called a Parlor Palm or Neathe bella.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1479/

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May 5, 20080 found this helpful

I think that is a neanthe bella palm.

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