Live to Plant

Cat Palm Plant Roots and Stems:
an In-depth Look

Updated: March 23, 2022

The cat palm plant, also known as Chamaedorea cataractarum, is a popular indoor plant that is native to Central and South America. It is a small palm tree that grows up to six feet tall and has clusters of green leaves that resemble a cat’s tail. Apart from its ornamental value, the cat palm plant is also known for its air-purifying properties.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the roots and stems of the cat palm plant.

The Roots of the Cat Palm Plant

The cat palm plant has a shallow root system that spreads out wide rather than deep. This means that the plant requires frequent watering, as the roots cannot reach deep into the soil to absorb moisture. The roots are also sensitive to overwatering, and excessive moisture can lead to root rot.

It is important to note that the cat palm plant is susceptible to transplant shock. Therefore, when repotting the plant, it is advisable to be gentle with the roots and avoid disturbing them too much. It is recommended to repot the cat palm plant every two years.

The Stems of the Cat Palm Plant

The stems of the cat palm plant are slender and green, with a slightly textured surface. The stems grow in clusters from the base of the plant, with each stem producing a cluster of leaves. The stems of the cat palm plant do not have any thorns or spines and are safe to handle.

The stems of the cat palm plant are prone to damage from pests like spider mites and mealybugs. These pests can cause discoloration and distortion of the leaves on affected stems. It is advisable to inspect your cat palm plant regularly for signs of pest infestation and treat them promptly.

Caring for Your Cat Palm Plant

To ensure that your cat palm plant thrives, it is important to provide it with the right care. Here are some tips for caring for your cat palm plant:

  • Watering: The cat palm plant requires frequent watering, but the soil should not be waterlogged. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering sessions.
  • Light: The cat palm plant prefers bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves.
  • Temperature: The cat palm plant prefers warm temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F. Avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50°F or above 90°F.
  • Humidity: The cat palm plant thrives in high humidity levels of 50% or more. You can increase humidity levels by placing a humidifier nearby or by misting the leaves regularly.
  • Fertilizer: You can feed your cat palm plant with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).
  • Pruning: You can prune your cat palm plant to remove dead or yellowing leaves. Use clean, sharp scissors to make a clean cut.


Q. Can I propagate my cat palm plant?

A. Yes, you can propagate your cat palm plant through division. Gently remove the plant from its pot and separate the stems into clusters with their own roots. Repot each cluster into its own pot.

Q. Why are the leaves on my cat palm plant turning brown?

A. Brown leaves on a cat palm plant could be a sign of underwatering, overwatering, low humidity levels, or pest infestation.

Q. How often should I fertilize my cat palm plant?

A. You can feed your cat palm plant with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).

Q. Can I keep my cat palm plant outdoors?

A. The cat palm plant is not frost-tolerant and should be kept indoors in colder climates. In warmer climates, you can keep your cat palm plant outdoors in a shaded area.