Cascade Palm Plant Guide

Cascade Palms (chamaedorea cataractarum) in a white backkground, Cascade Palm Plant GuideCascade Palms have become a favorite among gardeners looking to bring a tropical feel into or outside their home. Planters tend to love their cascading sets of fronds and trunkless visage. This offers a dense amount of foliage. It makes them great for filling up space inside a home.

What is a Cascade Palm?

Cascade Palms (chamaedorea cataractarum), also called Cat Palms and Cataract Palms, originally came from Central American jungles. Their glossy, dark green leaves on thin shoots make them an attractive and popular plant for gardens everywhere.

But Cascade Palms are high maintenance with their need for a very tropical environment. This makes them a challenging plant to maintain for inexperienced gardeners. It'd be best to stay away from these plants unless you're willing to put in a great deal of time and effort.

How to Grow Cascade Palm

Where is Cascade Palm Grown?

Cascade Palms are usually grown as an indoor plant rather than an outdoor one. They've been known to adapt well to containers for smaller garden spaces, as well. But these palms also can be grown outside in the right weather conditions.

In nature, they're found near freshwater sources and streams in hotter or tropical climates. This means they'll require higher watering needs than other palms. 

How Big is the Plant and How Long Would it Take it to Reach that Size?

Planters can expect a Cascade Palm to grow about 3 feet tall indoors and 4-6 feet outdoors. But reaching these heights takes them a long time. Cascade Palms are known for their slow growth, which can make them a challenge for impatient or inexperienced gardeners. To learn more about plan tree growth, check out our post, "How Fast Do Palm Trees Grow?"

Best Growing Zones and Weather Conditions

An outdoor Cascade Palm should be grown in zones 9b-11. These zones are mostly focused in the southern United States and along both coasts. Your particular zone can be found here, in this chart from the USDA.  In the northern end of these grow zones, Cascades should be brought indoors during winter months.

These palms have patio zones of 4b-11, which means the potted plant variety will thrive during summer months in colder zones. But you still must bring them inside when the winter months hit.

Type of Soil

Cascade Palms are best suited for a well-drained, but moist organic mix. This type of soil will ensure these trees grow to their full potential. Planting them in arid, mucky, or wet soil will only stunt their growth. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, try adding some sand or peat moss.

Amount of Light/Shade

Indoor Cascade Palms do best in low light situations. They've been known to thrive in locations where they get a partial shade or filtered light. As a result, placing them near an east or south-facing window would be an ideal situation.

Cascade Palms planted outside should be placed in an area with indirect sunlight. Direct sun can cause their leaves a significant amount of damage. Look for locations that receive bright but indirect light for about half the day.

Watering and Fertilization Requirements

These palms will require regular watering, but it's essential not to overdo it. One or two times a week, when the soil's surface starts to dry, it should do the trick.

This amount of watering should make the soil evenly moist. It will also keep any drying from happening around the root system. As for fertilization, it's suggested to fertilize at least three times a year: in autumn, spring, and summer.

But this number should increase for Cascade Palms in sunny locations. These trees could benefit from fertilization one time every month.

Step-by-Step Guide for Planting Cascade Palms

Cascade Palms (chamaedorea cataractarum) in a white backkground, Cascade Palm Plant Guide


Most Cascade Palms available won't be in seed form, but rather, already grown in a greenhouse. Due to this, you'll likely be dealing with the actual plant. The next phase will consist of moving it into another container. These following five steps will be a guide through this process:

Step 1:

The planting process should start with buying a top tier mainstream potting soil. In most cases, these soils will be lighter than sterile, pest-free, or topsoil. You'll likely come across a few with fertilizer in the soil's mix.

Step 2:

Pick out a container equipped with a hole for drainage. You can drill these holes in containers without them, as well.

Step 3:

You'll need to ready the container by filling it with potting soil until its 5 centimeters from its rim. Once filled, remove the Cascade Palm from its original pot.

Step 4:

Use a trowel or your hand to create a small hole in the soil. This hole should be a little bigger than the plant's root ball. Place the plant inside this hole and press soil firmly around its roots and slightly covering the palm's root ball.

After potting the Cascade, settle the soil by watering it thoroughly. This action will give it an excellent start point. Make sure to place the plant in a location with indirect but bright sunlight.

Step 5:

The plant should be repotted every two years within this same container. If you want to use a different one, look for a container that's a bit bigger than the roots' diameter.

Plant Gallery

1. Adaptable

Cascade Palms can offer appealing visual attractions to various areas in a single room. Their level of versatility makes them adaptable to many heights and locations.

2. Island Vibes

Are you looking to add some island relaxation to your home? Place a Cascade Palm like this one inside your home and enjoy the new vibes.

3.  Space Filler

Cascade Palms are a pretty space filler inside a living room or bedroom. It's a perfect situation for solving what to do with an area that provides a bit of extra space.

4. Patio Usage

Every dull patio area is dying for a little more charm. Adding a Cascade Palm could be the thing to bring this space a bit more life.

5. Stylish Art Piece

Placing a Cascade Palm inside an elegant container could make for an appealing art piece. No other Palm looks better than a Cascade when it's maintained correctly.

6.  Simple


The Cascade doesn't always have to be about style. These palms can work just fine as a simple decoration located between a table and some furniture.

Many rooms suffer from having empty corners. Fill yours with some Cascade Palms and enjoy the ambiance they offer.

8. Garden Living


Gardeners can provide their gardens with some more flair by planting a Cascade Palm. Fellow gardeners will end up being quite jealous.

Cascade Palms look beautiful when the sun hits them. Looking at them should bring some brightness to your day, as well.

10. Living Large Outdoors

Cascade Palm doesn't need to be a solitary plant, either. These palms can thrive side-by-side without issue and look gorgeous when placed together.

11. Tropical Life

Their ability to thrive in a tropical environment is a beautiful thing to behold. Looking at a thriving group of Cascades can offer some much need peace and relaxation.

12. Driveway Attraction

Gardens looking to add some beauty to a driveway area often look at buying a Cascade. Their wild, dense leaves will offer a great distraction away from ugly blacktop or concrete.

13. All Leaves No Trunk

One of the many appealing things about a Cascade Palm is its lack of a visible truck. It gives them a more vibrant and attractive look than other palms, like the Yucca.

Where To Buy This Plant Online?

You can buy a mature Cascade Palm on Amazon. This plant will come with a wicker basket and should be 3 feet high. 

Click here to find this on Amazon.

As for seeds, you can buy them from this site for a reasonable price. These seeds will be sold by the pound, which makes this option a better choice for outside growers. 

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