Areca Palm – Dypsis lutescens

golden cane palm – yellow butterfly palm – bamboo palm

Areca Palm - Dypsis lutescens

How To Grow Areca Palm Houseplant

A native plant of Madagascar, the areca palm is also known as golden cane palm, yellow butterfly palm and bamboo palm. Being a tropical plant it is only hardy in zones 10 and 11; however it’s slow growth rate and graceful foliage make it an excellent container plant anywhere within the landscape and garden beds or for interior decor as a houseplant. If you’re using areca palm as a background planting, allow it to retain all its leaves for a full effect. Prune away lower leaves to reveal the yellow, jointed-looking trunks for a specimen plant. Areca palm is relatively pest- and disease-free.

Areca Palm - Dypsis lutescensBasically an areca plam is hassle free. Being drought tolerant and heat resistant, they can thrive in the hottest months of the year. Plus they aren’t to particular about soil type or the amount of light they have available. Within our growing zones in northern New Jersey, you can simply plant them in containers and create a focal point on any porch, patio, or outdoor living area, and bring them indoors during the colder months.

If you’re using areca palm as a background planting, allow it to retain all its leaves for a full effect. Prune away lower leaves to reveal the yellow, jointed-looking trunks for a specimen plant. Areca palm is relatively pest- and disease-free.

To re-pot, carefully remove the palm from its soil, taking care not to harm the root ball. If possible try to dig down an inch or two out from the edge of the root ball and slightly deeper so as to get the root ball in mass. Utilize a new container that is slightly bigger than the size you were currently using, and pot your palm into it, making sure that the root ball is buried at the same height as it was before. Take note on the stems where the soil previously came up to, and make sure the new soil doesn’t go any higher than that.

For the new soil, use a palm specific potting soil, or a mixture of standard houseplant potting soil with a handful of builder’s sand thrown in. Fertilize areca palm plants with a time-release fertilizer in spring. This gives the plant most of the nutrients it needs for the entire season.

For container plants, keep the soil uniformly moist but not soggy, and keep humidity high by keeping the container on a pebble tray or misting it occasionally. Areca palm prefers rich, fertile, acidic, well-draining soil. This plant is very sensitive to fluoride, which is found in some tap water. If you are in an area that has tap water high in fluoride, then you will need to make some alterations to how you feed your Areca Palm. Areca Palm feathery arching frondsYou could use distilled or bottled water to water your plant, or alternatively, you could place a pot outside to collect rainwater during rainy seasons. Potting the plant into fresh soil will be a particular help if the plant has been struggling as a result of salt and fluoride buildup.

Areca palm is one of the most widely used palms for bright interiors. It features feathery, arching fronds, each with up to 100 leaflets. Plus, each stem is covered with dark, lush, green leaf blades that bring a tropical look to any garden setting, porch or patio, or room of the house. These big, bold plants command attention and as a houseplant, areca palm welcomes family, friends and visitors with year round color and foliage. Having creamy white flowers that emerge and then produce small, orangish colored ornamental fruits, commonly called betel nuts. They are excellent plants for filtering air by removing pollutants and other irritants while producing fresh oxygen and clean air.

Over watering this plant is a surefire way to kill it, so water sparingly and with caution. To make sure your Areca Palm doesn’t get too much water, you should allow the soil to dry out between each watering during fall and winter. During spring and summer, you should work to maintain a slightly moist soil for your Areca Palm, never letting it completely dry out, but also not allowing it to sit in wet soil. Test the soil by dipping in a finger; if you can feel moisture in the top inch or two of the soil, then it means the plant isn’t yet ready for another watering. Wait a day or two before testing again.

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