How to grow and care for Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Indoors

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Areca Palm Care, Dypsis lutescens Care

Photo Credit: Gardening Know How

Botanical name: Dypsis lutescens
Synonym: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Family: Arecaceae
Common names: Areca Palm, Butterfly Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow palm

Areca Palm Description

Areca Palm also called Butterfly Palm or Golden Cane Palm is a popular, easy to grow indoor palm which adds an unmatched exotic feel in any space.

The Areca Palm belongs to a group of palms (called cane palms) which produce tall reed-like stems which look like bamboo canes when mature.

Golden Cane Palm's smooth yellowish bamboo-like canes and beautiful yellowish-green leaflets make it stand out as a focal point plant.

The long, feathery fronds of Areca Palm grow in a canopy lending an air of elegance and sophistication to any space.

Areca Palm's fronds grow in clusters or thick clumps. The clusters comprising of 6-8 leaves grow on long petioles which curve upwards thus the butterfly appearance.

Areca Palm Size

The Golden Cane Palm can grow to a height of 6-10 ft under good conditions. The fronds may reach 3 ft or more.

The Areca Palm grows slowly and may take a few years to reach the average height of 6 ft. Once grown and mature, Areca Palm may also produce flowers.

Areca Palm Origin

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) has its origins in Madagascar.

Areca Palm Air Purifying

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) was found to clean indoor air of common VOCs like formaldehyde, xylene and toulene.

Areca Palm Care, Dypsis lutescens Care

Photo Credit: Garden Goods Direct

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Care Indoors

Areca Palm Light Requirements

Areca Palm grows best in partial shade, close to an east- or west-facing window.

Too much light will cause your Areca Palm to develop a yellowish color. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Areca Palm

Water Areca Palm thoroughly to keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season.

Reduce watering for your Areca Palm during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Water your Areca Palm with chlorine-free water; like all palms Areca Palm is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid getting the base of your Areca Palm wet as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of your Areca Palm.

Do not allow your Areca Palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of your palm. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Areca Palm

Average warmth with a minimum of 120C is ideal for Areca Palm. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is suitable for your Areca Palm.

Protect your Areca Palm from cold draughts. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Areca Palm

Mist the leaves during hot weather or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Areca Palm. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the mature leaves of your Areca Palm by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Areca Palm

Feed Areca Palm with a water-soluble fertilizer rich in micronutrients on monthly basis during the growing period.

Take care not to overfeed your Areca Palm as it can lead to yellowing of your Areca Palm.

Withhold feeding for your Areca Palm during the cold season as the growth is minimal.

To prevent fertilizer build up for your Areca Palm which is indicated by leaf burn and brown spots, water thoroughly until water comes out through the drainage hole. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to repot Areca Palm

Repot Areca Palm every 3 years when it has overgrown its current pot. Keep it crowded to prevent it from growing too fast.

Use a pot with a drainage hole and free-draining sandy soil to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease.

Apply a slow release fertilizer to the potting soil to promote faster establishment of your Areca Palm. The fertilizer will be adequate for the next 3-4 months.

Take care not to damage the roots of your Areca Palm and don't try to seperate or spread out the roots.

Water your Areca Palm thoroughly and gently press down the soil to get rid of air pockets.

How to prune Areca Palm

Pruning Areca Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the palm neat and tidy.

Where Areca Palm seeds are required for propagation, allow the fruits to mature and drop then cut away the spent flower stalk.

Where Areca Palm seeds are not required, cut away the flower stalk immediately it begins to form to prevent the palm from wasting energy on developing the flowers and seeds. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Propagation

Areca Palm can be propagated from seeds, offshoots or splits. Seed germination is difficult and may take up to 4-6 months. It also requires that the soil be kept moist through out the period.

How to propagate Areca Palm from seeds

Seed germination of Areca Palm may take up to 4-6 months.

Sow the Areca Palm seeds in moist soil and place in a warm place, about 300C.

Keep the soil moist through out the period until germination of Areca Palm seeds takes place.

Lower the temperature slightly after germination and maintain the soil moist until the new Areca Palms are well established after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Areca Palm from offshoots

With a sharp sterilized knife or scissors, carefully cut the Areca Palm offshoot from the mother plant. Ensure the offshoot has adequate roots before seperating it from the mother.

Pot the Areca Palm offshoot in its own pot, place in a cool shaded place and maintain the soil moist through out.

Allow the Areca Palm offshoot to be well established before transplanting after which routine care can begin.

How to propagate Areca Palm from splits

During repotting, divide Areca Palm into sections and plant the sections in individual pots.

Place in a cool, shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges.

Allow the new Areca Palm to be well established after which routine care can begin.

Areca Palm Care, Dypsis lutescens Care

Photo Credit: Plantshop.me

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Problems Indoors

Areca Palm brown leaf tips

There are four reasons for brown leaf tips in your Areca Palm. Trim off the brown tips with sterilized scissors.

One reason for brown leaf tips in your Areca Palm is dry air. Raise humidity for your Areca Palm by more frequent misting or set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second reason for brown leaf tips in your Areca Palm is underwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times for your Areca Palm during the growing season.

Reduce watering for your Areca Palm during the cold season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

The third reason for brown leaf tips in your Areca Palm is cold draughts. Protect your Areca Palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

The fourth reason for brown leaf tips in your Areca Palm is is damage by touching. Place your Areca Palm from the line of traffic.

Areca Palm yellowing

Underwatering is the cause of yellowing fronds in your Areca Palm. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Areca Palm sooty flecks on the fronds

Sooty flecks on the fronds of Areca Palm are normal. Clean them off by gently wiping them off with a soft damp cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Areca Palm brown leaf spots

There are two possible causes of brown leaf spots on your Areca Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard.

One cause of brown leaf spots on your Areca Palm is overwatering. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times during the growing season but not soggy.

Ensure the pot for your Areca Palm has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of brown leaf spots on your Areca Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.

Protect your Areca Palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

Areca Palm leaves browning

The lower leaves of your Areca Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling.

If the browning of the leaves of your Areca Palm is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil.

Areca Palm Pests

Common plant pests in Areca Palm are Red Spider Mite, Scales and Mealy Bugs.

Regularly check underneath the leaves of your Areca Palm for these pests. Isolate the affected Areca Palm to prevent spread to the other houseplants.

Is Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) toxic?

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) is non-toxic to humans and pets. Areca Palm is safe to grow indoors.

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