This ultimate guide on areca palm care will help you to take care for your areca palm houseplant. Get to know sunlight, watering, fertilizers, etc. to take good care of your plant.
Areca palm botanical name is Dypsis lutescens. However they are also known by other names such as Golden palm, Yellow palm, or Butterfly Palm. Areca Palm is a species of flowering plant in the family Arecaceae, native to Madagascar.
And naturalized in:
Cuba, Puer to Rico,
the Canary Islands,
South Florida, Halti,
the Dominican Republic,
the Leeward Antilles and the Leeward Islands.
Gardeners grow it as an ornamental plant in gardens of Tropical and Sub-Tropical regions and elsewhere indoors as a house plant.
The Areca Palm is a Medium-sized palm tree, which can grow up to 20 meters in height. The trunk is small varying from 10 cm to 15 cm in diameter. Its leaves can grow till 1.5 -2.0 meters long and have a pinnate shape. The fruit is oval-shaped, orange-coloured, and bear a hard single seed.
How To Grow Areca Palm?
To grow areca palm, you need to know growing season, potting mix, propagation methods, etc. This will help you in the initial stages of growing this beautiful and useful houseplant.
You can plant and propagate during any season. However soil temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be ideal. Cold temperature can slow or prevent germination. Excessive hot climate can damage seedlings roots.
You can easily grow this plant in plant hardiness zone 10 and 11.
Areca palm loves moist but well drained, peat based slightly acidic soil to grow properly. You can prepare potting mix with 50% garden soil+ 30% coco peat+ 5% sand +15% organic compost. You can use leaf manure or any other organic compost like vermicompost.
Selection Of Pot
You can select 6 – 8 inches diameter earthen, plastic or growing bag for areca palm. Make sure that it has good drainage system to remove excess water. Growing containers should have at least 2-3 drainage holes. Fill your container with potting mix.
You can choose a container as per the size of seedling. I prefer 12 inches pot for growing areca palm.
You can purchase Areca Palm Plant seedlings from the nearest nursery or online store. You can also propagate areca palm by cuttings or seeds. I consider cutting offshoots as the easiest and best method to propagate areca palm.
For commercial production, seed germination is the best method to propagate them. But through seed germination, it will take 3 to 4 months to germinate.
From Cutting Offshoots
To propagate by cutting offshoots use 4-6 inches diameter garden container for developing new seedlings. To propagate by cutting, examine tree base of the areca palm. Try to find any offshoots that are growing from the main branch.
Separate the offshoots with a sharp knife. To propagate an Areca palm remove one of the offshoots that grow from its base keeping its roots intact. If you can’t see the roots, dig around the base of the plant to reveal some of its roots.
Use a sharp knife to split this offshoot away from the main plant. To do this wear gardening gloves to protect your hand. Now grip the offshoot with both hands and try to free it from the soil.
Wash cutting offshoots with dilute broad-spectrum fungicide. After washing let the plant soak for around an hour so the roots are ready to be replanted.
Now cutting offshoots are ready to be transplanted. Dig a hole in the centre of the pot. Press the potting mix by hand to firm the cutting offshoot roots in potting medium and water gently. Place your pot under the semi-shade area till roots development.
You can purchase areca palm seeds at a nursery or online store. Peel out the outer fibrous layer to increase the success of germination.
To peel out the seed coat wet your seeds and rub along the mesh until the outer fibrous layer each seed washes away. Fill a bowl or cup with tap water and place your peeled or clear seeds inside.
Change the water on a daily basis so the hard outer shell of the seed becomes soft. Soaked seeds are more likely to germinate successfully.
Plant the seeds 2 to 6 feet apart if you are planting outside. Or you can also germinate it in germination tray. Dig a small hole in the soil where you plan to grow, now bury your seeds beneath the surface leaving part of the seed visible.
Now place your germination tray in partial shade and maintain consistent moisture till seed germination. Seeds will take 2 to 4 months to germinate.
Now place your container where it can receive at least 4- 5 hours direct sunlight or partial shade sunlight foe germination.
Areca Palm Care Guide
Once you are successful in growing areca palm then the next step is to care for them. People often fail in caring for areca palms. But this guide will help you in giving best care to your growing plant.
These gorgeous plants require a lot of indirect light to grow, but they do not like direct sunlight. Areca palm response good in partial shade and greenhouse.
The leaves starts turn yellowish-green in direct sunlight. They need bright indirect sunlight from a south or west-facing window. Without enough light, the growth of the plant will slow down considerably.
You may keep indoors in south-east or east or west direction windows of the living room or hall where at least 3-4 hour indirect sunlight available.
Areca palm requires a good amount of water to thrive. Keep the soil moist constantly. In peak summer seasons water the plants twice in a day. You should let the soil dry before the next watering. Keep in mind that water logging in container may infect your roots.
Watering must be regular but limited in order to not suffocate the plant’s roots. Avoid overwatering or soggy condition of the soil.
To established your young plants use nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Apply 5gm of any nitrogen reach fertilizer (NPK 3:2:1ratio). You can apply once after every 45 to 60 days. You should spread fertilizer on the top of the potting mix. Regular watering slowly leaches down the fertilizer.
During spring change 2-3 inches topsoil and fill it with fresh potting mix. You can also use organic source of nitrogen rich fertilizers like tea leaf compost for best results.
Areca Palm should only be pruned to remove unhealthy portions of the plant or to maintain a certain shape. Leaves should be cut away when they are completely brown and dead. Don’t trim canes unless they are clearly dead or damage. If you prune too many live canes, it can kill the whole plant.
This is a fast-growing plant. It is best to change pot once every or two years in a large pot. Any time you can change the pot of your plants but it is considered best it to change pot in spring.
Pests & Diseases
Areca palm is not susceptible to diseases. To maintain it is advisable to remove old and dead leaves. Clean leaves with cotton cloth regular intervals if possible. It can suffer from discolouring of leaves if there is too much water. Give less water during this time.
Benefits Of Areca Palm
Areca palm plants absorb harmful pollutants (like acetone, xylene, toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene) from indoor air and provide fresh air. Thus helps in minimizing the risk of upper respiratory tract disease caused because of toluene.
I guess you are now clear on areca palm care guide. I would like to thank Mr. Sital Sarkar for his contribution in this informative article. If you have any ideas, doubts, or queries then you can comment below. You can also connect with Agriculture Review on Facebook, Instagram, and Koo.
Aditya Abhishek is an Agriculture Science student who focuses on learning and delivering knowledge on Agriculture and Home Gardening. He created Agriculture Review as a common platform for all nature enthusiast to learn better practices of agriculture and gardening.