Chamaedorea microspadix

Common Name: chamaedorea 
Type: Palm or Cycad
Family: Arecaceae
Native Range: Eastern Mexico
Zone: 8 to 11
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-11 where it is easily grown in rich, moist, well-drained soils in filtered sun/part shade to shade. Avoid direct sun. Best growth occurs in moist shady locations. Site in locations protected from strong winds. This palm is noted for having exceptionally good winter hardiness (withstands occasional temperature drops to 20 degrees F.). Indoors, this palm serves as an excellent container plant for homes, offices or malls in cooler climates. Plants adapt very well to the limited light and controlled temperatures which are often present in indoor locations. Protect indoor plants from full sun and dry air (especially if moving containers outside for summer). Use a peaty, soil based potting mix. Best in bright filtered light. Keep soils uniformly moist and fertilize once per month during the growing season. Reduce water applications and stop fertilization in winter. Do not prune unless removing an entire frond or stem.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chamaedorea microspadix, commonly called hardy bamboo palm, is a compact, clump-forming palm that has surprisingly good winter hardiness. Plants will tolerate light frosts and may be grown outdoors in USDA Zone 8 locations where winter temperatures periodically dip to as low as 20 degrees F. The stalks of this palm are ringed by leaf scars and somewhat resemble bamboo canes, hence the common name. It is native to forested areas of central to northeastern Mexico where it often forms dense colonies. Outdoors, plants typically mature to 8-10' tall, but sometimes assume a more prostrate growth habit. As a houseplant, hardy bamboo palm usually grows to 4-6' tall where it is noted for its dense, attractive foliage, compact shape and easy maintenance. Each pinnate green leaf (to 2' long) typically has up to 9-11 pairs of narrow green leaflets. Clusters of creamy white flowers may bloom in summer if enough light is present. Plants are dioecious. Red fruit on female plants is attractive.

Genus name comes from the Greek words chamai meaning on the ground and dorea meaning a gift as the fruits are easily reached from the ground.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Scale and nematodes. Watch for spider mites and mealybugs on indoor houseplants.

Uses

Outdoor foliage accent plant for shady areas in climates that suffer occasional winter frost. Screen. Container plant for patios, foundations and other prominent locations around the home. Indoors, it survives well in houses, apartments, offices and commercial establishments such as malls.