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Majesty Palm vs. Parlor Palm: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on June 20, 2024
Majesty palm is a large, tropical palm requiring high humidity and bright light, while parlor palm is a smaller, more adaptable palm suited for low-light indoor conditions.

Key Differences

The majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis) and parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) are both popular houseplants, yet they differ significantly in their care requirements and appearance. The majesty palm is a larger plant that can reach heights of over 10 feet indoors, requiring bright, indirect light and high humidity to thrive. It has long, arching fronds that add a tropical feel to any space. In contrast, the parlor palm is much smaller, typically growing to about 4 feet in height, making it suitable for tabletops or small spaces. It is a versatile plant that can tolerate low light conditions and lower humidity, making it a popular choice for indoor environments.
The majesty palm originates from Madagascar and is characterized by its majestic appearance, with broad fronds that can extend several feet. It prefers consistently moist soil and does not tolerate drought well. Due to its size and care requirements, it is often considered a more high-maintenance indoor plant compared to the parlor palm. The parlor palm, on the other hand, hails from the rainforests of Central America. It is known for its resilience and ease of care, capable of thriving in less-than-ideal light conditions and with minimal watering.
Watering requirements for these two palms also differ. The majesty palm requires consistent moisture and will show signs of distress if allowed to dry out. It benefits from regular misting to maintain high humidity. The parlor palm is more forgiving, requiring water only when the top inch of soil dries out, and rarely needs additional humidity to remain healthy.
Fertilization practices for the majesty palm and parlor palm are similar, with both benefiting from regular applications of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season. However, due to the majesty palm's larger size and faster growth rate, it may require more frequent fertilization than the more slow-growing parlor palm.
Both the majesty palm and parlor palm are desirable for their unique beauty and the tropical ambiance they bring to indoor spaces, their care requirements and environmental preferences make them suitable for different types of plant owners. The majesty palm is best for those willing to provide more attention and specific growing conditions, whereas the parlor palm is ideal for beginners or those seeking a low-maintenance indoor plant.

Comparison Chart


Can grow over 10 feet tall indoors.
Typically reaches up to 4 feet tall.

Light Requirements

Prefers bright, indirect light.
Tolerates low light conditions well.


Requires high humidity, benefits from misting.
Adaptable to lower humidity levels.

Watering Needs

Needs consistent moisture, does not tolerate drought well.
Requires water when the top inch of soil dries out.


Central America.

Majesty Palm and Parlor Palm Definitions

Majesty Palm

Requires high humidity and bright, indirect light to thrive.
We placed our majesty palm near a humidifier to ensure it gets enough moisture.

Parlor Palm

A small, resilient palm suitable for indoor low-light conditions.
The parlor palm on my desk has been thriving despite the dim light.

Majesty Palm

Grows best in consistently moist soil and high humidity environments.
I regularly mist my majesty palm to mimic the humid environment it thrives in.

Parlor Palm

A popular indoor plant that grows slowly and stays relatively small.
The parlor palm in our library adds greenery without taking up much space.

Majesty Palm

A popular choice for adding a dramatic, tropical feel to indoor spaces.
Our living room transformed into a tropical paradise with the addition of a majesty palm.

Parlor Palm

Requires minimal watering and can tolerate lower humidity levels than many palms.
I only water my parlor palm when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Majesty Palm

A tropical palm known for its large size and majestic fronds.
The majesty palm in the corner of the room brings a tropical vibe to the office.

Parlor Palm

Known for its easy care and ability to adapt to a variety of indoor environments.
My first houseplant was a parlor palm, and it's still healthy after several years.

Majesty Palm

Not tolerant of cold temperatures or drought conditions.
The majesty palm on our patio struggled during the cold spell last winter.

Parlor Palm

Often used to add a touch of nature to offices and homes due to its compact size.
We added several parlor palms to the office to improve air quality and aesthetics.


What is a majesty palm?

A large, tropical palm requiring high humidity and bright light.

What is a parlor palm?

A smaller, adaptable palm that thrives in low-light indoor conditions.

Is the parlor palm easy to care for?

Yes, it's known for its resilience and low maintenance needs.

Do majesty palms need a lot of sunlight?

They prefer bright, indirect light.

How often should I water a majesty palm?

Keep its soil consistently moist without letting it dry out completely.

Do majesty palms need high humidity?

Yes, they thrive in high humidity environments.

Can parlor palms tolerate dry air?

Yes, they are more adaptable to lower humidity levels.

Where is the majesty palm from?

It originates from Madagascar.

Can I put a majesty palm outside?

Yes, in warm, humid climates without cold temperatures.

Where is the parlor palm from?

It hails from Central America.

How tall can a majesty palm grow indoors?

It can grow over 10 feet tall.

How often should I water a parlor palm?

Water when the top inch of soil dries out.

Is the parlor palm good for beginners?

Absolutely, due to its easy care and adaptability.

Can majesty palms purify the air?

Like many plants, they can contribute to improved air quality.

Can parlor palms grow in low light?

Yes, they are well-suited for low-light conditions.

Is misting required for a majesty palm?

Misting can help maintain the high humidity it prefers.

Are parlor palms pet-friendly?

Yes, parlor palms are considered non-toxic to pets.

How big does a parlor palm get?

It typically grows up to 4 feet tall.

How fast do majesty palms grow?

They have a moderate growth rate but can grow quickly under optimal conditions.

How fast do parlor palms grow?

They grow slowly, making them perfect for indoor spaces.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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