How To Grow Cat Palm Tree (Chamaedorea cataractarum)

Cat Palm Tree (Chamaedorea cataractarum)
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum). Photo by Flickr.

The Cat Palm Tree, scientific name Chamaedorea cataractarum, is very similar to Areca Palm and Kentia Palm. It is an attractive trunkless palm that is often used as a house plant.

A very popular combination used for landscaping is the Cat Palm with the Christmas Palm and Bismarck. It is cold hardy and can tolerate cold down to 25F.

Quick Facts:

Scientific name:Chamaedorea cataractarum
Common names:Cat Palm, Cascade Palm, Cataract Palm.
Origin:Native to Southeastern Mexico.
Growth Rate:Slow to Moderate. Up to 5 – 10 ft tall and 5-10 ft wide.
Cold Tolerance:USDA Zones 9b (25 – 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).
Light Req:Partial shade
Water Req:High
Soil Req:Widely adaptable.
Fruit:Yes. Yellow. Not edible.
Propagation:By seeds, germinating over several months.

Cat Palm Identifying Characteristics

Appearance: It grows as a dense clump of slender, green, cane-like leaf stems with pinnate, or feather-shaped, leaves that are about 1 ft long. Each leaf has about 30 to 50 narrow leaflets that are evenly spaced along the blade of the leaf.

Cat Palm Flowers and Fruits

In early spring, it produces bright yellow flowers that grow on branched inflorescence. Male and female flowers are born on different stalks in the same group of plants. After male flowers release pollination, female flowers turn bright orange color as the seeds mature.

Fruit is dark green, ovoid, shiny about 1/2 inch in diameter, turning black when ripe.

How To Care For Cat Palm

Cat Palm Tree can tolerate cold down to 25F and is great for growing in USDA Zones 9b (25 to 30 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

It prefers shade or partial shade and does best in moist well drained soil. In the natural habitat, it grows near streams and rivers.

Very easy to maintain. Requires some trimming of old leaves. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during growing season.

Propagated by seeds and dividing.

Cat Palm Pictures

Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum).
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum).
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum). Photo by Wiki Commons.
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum). Photo by Flickr.
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum). Photo by Flickr.
Cat Palm (Chamaedorea cataractarum). Photo by Wiki Commons.

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