Palms are generally thought to be these great towering plants we can tie our hammock to and watch the sunset. There are also many small palms and a few that can fit very nicely indoors along with cleaning the air.
We’ve looked at Chamaedorea elegans ‘Bella’ also called the Neanthe Bella palm and parlor palm (parlour palm). Let’s look at another small palm – Chamaedorea metallica this one is tough as nails.
Chamaedorea metallic palm is very different than most palms. The leaves are stiff and have a very simple undivided leaf. In deep shade the leaves become dark green and almost black with a metallic sheen. Hence the name Metallica.
More growers are beginning to produce this slow growing plant. In the past it was typically found grown in 6 inch pots only. Now as more plants are produced you’ll find it planted in 8 and 10 inch pots with 3 plants per pot.
Metallica is slow growing so you can expect to pay more than usual. It’s slow growth also means you’ll be able to enjoy the plant in the same place for years.
One good rule of thumb in purchasing plants – Most of the plants that do well indoors are slow growers. Don’t judge a plant based just upon price and height. Slow growers usually cost more and may not be as tall but are better over the long haul.
Normal height for Metallica is 24 – 36 inches tall. They are very tolerant of low light conditions and work well when you need something different and upright.
The genus Chamaedorea from family Arecaceaeconsists of low-growing perennial palm trees, with a total of 107 species. Most of these come as native in tropical and sub-tropical regions of America. Here are some of the most popular species apart from the Chamaedorea Metallica.
Chamaedorea Cataractarum – also known as cat palm, cascade palm, or cataract palm. This species comes from Southern Mexico and Central America. They grow up to two meters tall and bears slender, green, cane-like foliage.
Chamaedorea Microspadix – also known as hardy bamboo palm that distinguishes itself from other species due to its cold hardiness. It loves sunny setting and a moist, but well-drained soil.
Chamaedorea Costaricana – common names Costa Rican bamboo palm, despite being a tropical palm, can tolerate cool weather.
Chamaedorea Tepejilote – also known as Pacaya palm. It’s frequently found in the forests of Central and South America.
Chamaedorea Plumosa – this type of chamaedorea plant reaches up to 12 feet in height. It is sun tolerant and has compact growth habit.
Care For Chamaedorea Metallica
They’re pretty easy to care for. Metallica does well with lighting that you’ll find in most homes and offices. If the plant is placed in brighter light levels the leaves lighten to a grey-green color.
DO NOT allow plants to sit in saucers full of water or never allow the soil to dry, this can lead to root rot. Overwatering will lead to leaf tips that turn yellow.
Wait until the soil has dried down about half the soil depth. When you water, thoroughly water the soil evenly making sure the soil and roots have all had a good drink.
DO NOT let the plant sit in water!!!
Pest problems are hardly an issue with Metallica. The wide leaves make it easy to wipe down and keep the foliage clean. The leaves are also rigid and thicker making it more difficult for insects to “feast”.
Palms grown indoors can get spider mites and mealy bug.
Do not prune the metallica palm as you would other plants. It grows from a main stem, and the leaflets should be “tipped” or the leaf itself removed.
If you’re looking for a low light palm that is also an accent plant check out the Chamaedorea Metallica palm, just be careful not to over water.
This isn’t a plant that you’ll find in the normal Garden Center. You’ll find it in nurseries or garden centers carrying a wide array of different indoor plants.
Remember buying a big plant that’s cheap doesn’t mean you’re receiving a good value, you could be buying a headache. Don’t pass over those small plants you may be missing some plants that are tough as nails.