How to Grow and Care for Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Indoors


Areca Palm, Dypsis lutescens

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

Description

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

Dypsis lutescens 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 in Yellow Palm grow in a canopy lending an air of elegance and sophistication to any space.

Butterfly 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.

Size

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

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

Origin

Dypsis lutescens also called Chrysalidocarpus lutescens has its origins in Madagascar. It has been naturalized in many parts of the world like the Andaman Islands, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Canary Islands, southern Florida, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Leeward Islands and the Leeward Antilles.

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.

Where to Buy

Golden Cane Palms are readily available online at Etsy. Buy the spectacular Areca Palms (Dypsis lutescens) online from Etsy.

Areca Palm, Dypsis lutescens

Photo Credit: Garden Goods Direct

Dypsis lutescens Care Indoors

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) thrives in bright, indirect light away from hot direct sunlight, average warmth and humidity and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soil accompanied by monthly feeding.

Golden Cane Palm has no need for frequent repotting as it grows best when slightly pot-bound. It requires regular pruning to keep it neat and tidy and also discourage pest and disease infestations. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

Light Requirements

Areca Palm grows best in partial shade, close to an east- or west-facing window. It can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is not adequate.

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

Watering

Water Areca Palm thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Water the Golden Cane Palm with chlorine-free water; like all palms it is sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid getting the base wet as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the Palm. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Do not allow the palm to sit in soggy soil as it may lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the palm.


Temperature

Areca Palm requires an average warmth with a minimum of 120C inorder to thrive. If the temperature is comfortable for you it is ideal for the Palm.

Keep Butterfly Palm away from cold draughts as they cause leaf drop and eventual death of the palm. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Areca Palm has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is adequate for this palm.

However, when the temperatures are very high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

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

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Areca Palm with a balanced, liquid fertilizer on monthly basis during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as the growth is minimal.

Take care not to overfeed the palm as it can lead to yellowing of the fronds.

To prevent fertilizer build up which is indicated by leaf burn and brown spots, regularly flush the soil. Run a stream of water through the soil until water comes out through the drainage hole. Allow the stream of water to run for some time and repeat the process several times. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

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 loose, free-draining 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 the Golden Cane Palm. The fertilizer will be adequate for the next 3-4 months.

Take care not to damage the roots and don't try to seperate or spread out the roots. Water the palm thoroughly and gently press down the soil to get rid of air pockets.

Soil

The best soil for Areca Palm should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this palm. Buy quality Potting Mix for Golden Cane Palm from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning Areca Palm is easy. Cut away the old brown and dry fronds near the soil surface to maintain the palm neat and tidy as well as discourage pest and disease infestations.

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

If the 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.

Propagation

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) can be propagated during the growing season from seeds, offshoots or splits (plant division).

Areca Palm, Dypsis lutescens

Photo Credit: Plantshop.me

Dypsis lutescens Problems Indoors

Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) problems indoors are due to cultural faults in watering, humidity, feeding and temperature. They include brown leaf tips, yellow leaves, brown leaves, leaf spots, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems, their remedies and solutions.

Brown leaf tips

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

One reason for brown leaf tips in Butterfly Palm is dry air. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

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

Reduce watering during the cold season but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

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

The fourth reason for brown leaf tips in Golden Cane Palm is is damage by touching. Place the palm away from the line of traffic.

Yellowing

One reason for yellowing leaves in Areca Palm is incorrect watering; either underwatering or overwatering (soggy soil).

Water the Butterfly Palm liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to keep the soil moderately moist. Reduce watering in the cold season but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

The second reason for yellowing leaves in Areca Palm is overfeeding. The palm is not a heavy feeder. Feed it with a balanced, liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Brown leaf spots

There are two possible causes of brown leaf spots in Areca Palm. Remove the affected leaves and discard. One cause of brown leaf spots is overwatering.

Keep the soil moderately moist during the growing season but not soggy. Cut down on watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil.

The second causes of brown leaf spots in Golden Cane Palm is sudden decrease of temperature due to cold draughts.

Protect the palm from draughts to maintain an average warmth with a minimum of 120C.

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.

Browning leaves

The lower leaves of Areca Palm may turn brown and droop due to age; remove by cutting and not pulling. If the browning of the leaves is general and accompanied by rotting, the reason is root-rot disease due to soggy soil.

Pests

Areca Palm pests; Red Spider Mite, Scales and Mealy Bugs. Regularly check underneath the leaves for these pests. Isolate the affected palm to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately.

Is Areca Palm toxic?

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

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