Cat Palm vs Parlor Palm – What’s The Difference

Cat Palm vs Parlor Palm
Cat Palm vs Parlor Palm

In the palm tree world, there are two main types of palms that you’ll find, Cat Palms and Parlor Palms. There are plenty of differences between these two types, including their overall size, how they grow, and their general appearance in your yard or home environment. You should consider all of these differences before deciding which one to invest in for your yard or home environment, as each one has its own benefits and drawbacks when compared to the other types of palms.

Cat Palm vs Parlor Palm

Cat Palm

When it comes to palms, the two most popular species are the Cat Palm and the Parlor Palm. The difference between these two varieties is more than just where they grow. There are distinct variations in growth pattern, leaf shape, and overall appearance as well. For example, Cat Palms have long, wavy leaves while Parlor Palms have broad leaves that lay flat against the trunk. Another key difference is in how many flowers each type produces.

For every flower on a Cat Palm tree, there are about fifty on a Parlor Palm tree! This means that Parlor Palms are much better for producing coconuts and edible fruit because of their large flower production, but Cat Palms make for better shade trees due to their smaller size. It’s clear from this information that there is no best palm; different people will find different uses for both types of palm trees.

Parlor Palm

One major difference between the two plants is their size. Because of this, you will want to think about where you would like to put it in your home or office before purchasing. The Parlor Palm typically ranges in height from three feet to five feet while a Cat Palm can grow up to 15 feet tall. Despite their difference in size, both palms have an increased risk of catching a certain type of fungus, which can be dangerous for humans and animals.

The most common way for a palm tree to get infected with this fungus is by touching another infected plant that has spores on its leaves or fruit. If either one of these plants has become infected, they should be immediately removed from the environment and destroyed so that it does not spread further.

Main Differences between Cat Palm and Parlor Palm

  • One has more fruit than the other.
  • Palms spread over a wider area.
  • Cat Palms have spiky leaves that need to be trimmed, whereas the Parlor Palms are more uniform and tidier.
  • Parlor Palms can live up to 75 years whereas Cat Palms only live for about 20 years, meaning it would take much longer to reap the benefits of a Parlor Palm tree.
  • When choosing which type of palm you want in your yard, there is no wrong answer. There are many different factors you should consider when making this decision, but it ultimately comes down to what you prefer.
  • Both types of palms are beautiful and will add character to any yard or garden. The choice is yours! If you’re looking for longevity then go with the Parlor Palm; if you’re looking for something easier to maintain then go with the Cat Palm.


Both Cat Palm and Parlor Palm are indoor house plants that produce small yellow flowers. They are both native to the tropics and require little maintenance, but they vary slightly in the requirements needed for their growth. For example, while the cat palm is a sun lover, the parlor palm prefers more filtered light. It’s difficult to choose which plant is better because they share many qualities and characteristics. It mostly depends on what you need your plant to do and what you have available in your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Cat Palm and Parlor Palm have been around for thousands of years, but scientists still aren’t sure which is actually the more ancient species.
  • Some experts say that because Cat Palms use ferns to reproduce instead of flowers and produce their leaves from underground rhizomes, they’re likely the original species.
  • Parlor Palms are much easier to care for and maintain than Cat Palms, which can be tricky to grow indoors.
  • You’ll need a green thumb if you want your Cat Palm to thrive!

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