Cat Palm


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Cat Palm

Chamaedorea cataractarum

  • ​Common name: Cat Palm, Cataract palm, Cascade Palm, Mexican Hat Palm
  • Scientific name: Chamaedorea cataractarum
  • Family name: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Southern Mexico
  • Height: 4-6 feet
  • Width: 6-8 ft
  • Growth: Slow
  • Zone: 9a-11
  • Light needs: Partial shade to full shade
  • Salt tolerance: Low
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers loose well drained soil, slightly alkaline to slightly acidic (pH 6.1 - 7.8)
  • Moisture: Humidity tolerant, should be watered regularly and often to keep soil moist
  • Drought tolerance: Low
  • Pests/diseases: Mealybugs, scale, aphids
  • Growing conditions: Should be grown in a somewhat shady, moist area with well-drained soil. Planting with peat moss or topsoil will help the plant retain moisture. Fronds can be trimmed occasionally for a cleaner look. Individual palms should be planted at least 3 feet apart, and they can thrive in the ground or in a large container.
  • Characteristics: The slender, green, cane-like stems sprout directly from the ground. Leaves are long, thin, and pinnate. Flowers are yellow and grow in clusters on a stalk. The fruit is round, shiny, and dark green.
  • Propagation: By seeds
  • Facts: Chamaedorea palms are also called “parlor palms” for their use in Victorian parlors. The cat palm is not a palm tree as the name might suggest, since it does not have a trunk.
  • Designer considerations: Good for mass plantings and ground cover in shady areas. Also makes a great houseplant.