Areca Palm

Picture of areca palm

The areca palm, also known as the butterfly and golden cane palm is the most popular grown indoors from the dypsis genus, and easy to grow.

Multiple cane like stems grow from the root system and produce attractive arching fronds, with quite narrow leaflets.


Facts

Origin: Madagascar.
Names: Areca, butterfly, or cane palm (common). Dypsis lutescens [syn.] Chrysalidocarpus or areca lutescens (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): Height 8ft.

Description

Picture of areca palms

The areca is known as a cane type palm because of the bamboo cane looking stems once it's matured. They're also very similar to the feather types (especially the kentia palm) which displays similar leaflets (leaves) and grows up to about the same height indoors.

Displaying: An attractive species which prides itself in improving home or office d├ęcor and makes a great focal point for large rooms, hallways, reception areas and conservatories. Many sold are about 5ft tall making them a good choice for growers that require an indoor tree type plant. As long as your able to provide enough light and warm enough temperatures your palm will thrive wherever you decide to display it.

Easy to grow: Most people find growing and maintaining this undemanding plant easy enough. One of the worst things a grower can do is overwater and allow water to stagnate near the root system, otherwise they're a real pleasure to grow.

Cleaner air and non-toxic for pets: All plants clean air borne toxins for us to breath in healthier oxygen, but palms (including the dypsis lutescens) was named as some of the best air purifying plants, after a scientific clean air study was completed by Wolverton and Nasa.

ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) state this plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs if ingested.

Giving Some Love And Care

  • Temperature: Average room temperatures of 65°F (16°C) --- 75°F (24°C) are suitable and no lower than 55°F (12.7°C). Sudden cold temperature drops and cold drafts can cause the leaves to display brown spots.

  • spray bottle picture

    Misting: To improve humidity mist the leaves during the summer and when the air is dry.

  • Light: A fairly bright room without direct sunlight is advised. Not enough light will slow growth and too much sun can scorch leaves.

  • Humidity: Normal room humidity is usually fine; however, dry air turns leaf tips brown (this is common).

  • Water: Allow the top soil to become dry between watering and do not overwater. Overwatering is the quickest way to kill an areca palm, especially if the soil does not drain too well.

  • Soil: To prevent roots from becoming water logged use a well draining aerated potting soil mix. A mixture of 1 part peat, 1 part pine bark and 1 part coarse sand is one possible good mix.

  • Fertilizing: During spring and summer feed with a palm fertilizer or just a standard diluted feed. After re-potting with new potting mix do not use fertilizer for 2 months.

  • Re-potting: When re-potting - take care not to disturb the plant too much and only sit it as deep as it was previously in the soil (see marks on the cane from the soil to measure the previous level). This plant prefers being pot bound to a certain degree, so re-pot every three years.

  • Propagation: Propagation is done with seeds, but it's time consuming and quite difficult. You'll need to be able to keep temperatures at around 80°F (26°C) and provide above average humidity conditions. Using a heated propagator is best used to maintain the correct temperate and humidity levels.

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