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House Plants/Neanthe Bella Palm


Hi!  I have a Neanthe Bella Palm that I am trying to save.  My friend got it in a floral arrangement for her husband's funeral and she didn't water it for about 6 weeks.  It's very, very dry.  I re-potted it in a 6" terra cotta pot, watered it thoroughly, and have it near a north facing window but not in direct sunlight.  I have not purchased fertilizer for it yet but I will.  What kind of fertilizer do you recommend?  And, my main question -- do I need to do anything else to try to save this plant?  It's still green but so very dry and brittle. Thank you for your help!

Hi Karen,

It is hard to believe that your Parlor Palm is still alive after going six weeks without water! Any fronds that are dry and brittle will probably not recover. Each palm stem has a single growing tip at the top. If that tip remains green and produces new growth, then your plant will survive and gradually recover, eve as the lower fronds die back. But if that growing tip turns brown and dies, then that stem will not ever recover.

North window light is good for a Parlor Palm as long as the window is completely uncovered throughout the daylight hours. Allow the top half-inch of soil to dry before watering thoroughly. It is essential that the pot has drainage holes for any excess water to run through.

Fertilizer is not medicine and is intended for use only on healthy plants that are growing vigorously, so avoid using it on yours. Be very patient, because recovery will be very slow at best.

I have written detailed articles on fertilizing and on Palm care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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