Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Hardy Bamboo Palm
Chamaedorea microspadix

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chamaedorea (kam-ee-DOR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: microspadix (my-kro-SPAY-diks) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade
Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms repeatedly

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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5 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive MusaSam On Dec 8, 2014, MusaSam from VANCOUVER, BC (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have had C. microspadix palms for about 4 years now. I have one growing indoors and about 7 groing outside in Vancouver Canada without any winter protection and they do just fine. I got them as 1-year old seedlings from a colegue who has also been growing them outside successfully in Van for almost 10 years now. They are Zone 8!!

Positive BayAreaTropics On Jan 29, 2009, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

I have a half dozen seeds that sprouted in about three months time.Not sure if that's a long time or quick.
Without a doubt this is a shade palm. A glance at the photos will convince you -why plant them in sun? they look terrible all washed out and yellow. The clump my seeds were collected from are in shade-tall at 5 or 6',taller than I thought they grew.
And I guess it's nice to know,no amount of bay area cold will kill them.
All Chamaedorea palms will be devoured by Gophers. Keep them in pots if those rodents are a problem.

Positive NorCalBrad On Dec 27, 2007, NorCalBrad from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Though I am a long way from regarding myself as competent in germinating palm seeds, I have found the seeds of Chamaedorea microspadix almost absurdly easy to grow--whether nurtured, neglected, or ignored, they manage to sprout. The adult plants are surprisingly cold hardy, but have the drawback of often being exceptionally spindly: a long thin stem topped by a small tuft of dull green leaflets. The leaflets lack the droopy grace and deep green of C. radicalis and cataractarum, or the filigree fineness of plumosa or glaucifolia, or even the heft of oblongata. But they are tough, and easy to grow. Too bad that it takes a substantial clump of microspadix to look impressive; individual specimens look insignificant, if not worse.

Positive bobchang On Jun 11, 2005, bobchang from Huntington Beach, CA wrote:

This is a shade loving palm - exposure to direct sun should be kept to a minimum to avoid severe leaf burns. Old leaves tend to lose rigor within a year or so and fall off - replaced by new growth - as a result, an adult plant will have 4 - 5 leaves near the top at any point in time. Male and female plants needed to produce seeds; it also reproduces itself vigorously thru hard suckers (offshoots), which are of the same-sex as the reproducing plant and difficult to separate. Here in SoCal, this palm flowers year-round: male flowers are of a pale-yellow color and densely packed, while female flowers are yellow-er and more sparsely packed. Once pollinated, green fruit forms and slowly turns red over time. Suitable for potted culture but probably best grown outdoors due to its falling leaves and flowers and, in the case of male plants, year-round release of pollin. All in all, a very handsome, albeit busy (there's always something going on - leaves coming & going, flowers coming & going, fruit, suckers...) palm tree.

Positive palmbob On Aug 11, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

THis is one of the more common Chamaedoreas grown in the southern US. It is one of the few that tolerate full sun, though there is a limit to the heat and dryness tolerance. It is also one of the few Chamaedoreas that does not need a male and female plant to set fertile seed (this plant is not really monoecious but somehow larger suckering plants seem able to form ripe seed... maybe sex changes?). The seed is strikingly orange and makes for an nice ornamental look. Seed tends to set year round, though probably more in the warmer months. It is a suckering palm and can be divided as well as propogated from seed. It is fairly cold hardy for a Chameadorea tolerating frosts down to 22F briefly. Snails LOVE this palm. Indoors, spidermites LOVE this palm.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Berkeley, California
Encino, California
Hayward, California
Huntington Beach, California (2 reports)
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
San Anselmo, California
San Marino, California
Bradenton, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Miami, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Augusta, Georgia
Aloha, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Cayce, South Carolina
San Antonio, Texas

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