Areca palm is a houseplant that has a few well-known names such as golden cane palm, yellow palm, butterfly palm, bamboo palm. It is known as dypsis lutenscens in the scientific language. This kind of plant grows naturally in Madagascar. This plant is also rarely found in far-flung places, for example, in Caribean countries. Areca palm is one of the tropical plants for indoor and outdoor spaces. Of course, this flowering plant is expensive. So you should prefer its smaller types for decoration.
1) General information for Areca Palm Plant
Areca palm is a perennial flowering plant. It is a plant whose thin stems with over 80 leaflets comes out of its base blooms yellow in summer. With proper care, this evergreen plant can live roughly 20 years. Areca palm’s height is 20-40 ft (6-12 m) on average. Its arching leaves’ width is roughly 6-10 ft (2-3 m). Interestingly, some bird species are fed with fruits of the areca palm. Above all, it is a non-toxic plant for pets just like Boston fern, and it is a natural air cleaner as well.
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2) How to Care for Areca Palm (Dypsis lutenscens) Plant
Sunlight: Direct and extreme sunlight is a detriment to Areca palm’s health. So partial sunlight is ideal for this flowering plant. However, inadequate sunlight can lead the unintended consequences such as brown leaf tips.
Watering: Areca palm needs regular watering once a week. But this houseplant requires less water in winter. On the other hand, the overwatering gives rise to the demise of the plant. What’s more, if the flowering plant becomes yellow, it means it is time to remove it.
Humidity: The humid setting is optimal for Areca palm. On the contrary, the dry setting is hostile for this house plant. To illustrate, if the leaf tips become brown, you should immediately adjust the proper conditions for Areca palm to avoid such surprises.
Temperature: In-between 65°F (16°C) – 75°F (24°C) temperatures are quite healthy for Areca palm. Upwards of 80°F (26°C) can gradually go into unlivable conditions. Unlike this, the abrupt cold weather could get dangerous either. The cold weather can cause brown spots on this house plant. In terms of finding out the proper climate for such plants, USDA indexes can give you some ideas. In particular, for Areca palm, these indexes are 9, 10, and 11.
Soil Type: In terms of minerals, the potting soil should be rich. Namely, the rich soils may contain some ingredients such as peat moss, compost, vermiculite, perlite, and so on. What’s more, you can mix them up proportionately and do your home-made soil. Also, Areca palm’s soil must be well-drained and well-ventilated. In the meantime, change the pot once in two years.
Fertilizer: There are two types of fertilizers for Areca palm. They are diluted and liquid fertilizer. With the help of a spray, you can make your plant vivid and robust. The use time of the fertilizer changes between spring and summer in general. Once you added a fertilizer, don’t add a fertilizer again for 2 months.
Propagation: Areca palm starts from seeds. It germinates in 2 months. For a nice propagation, spare each root into different pots.
Repotting: In fact, there are different ways of repotting. For instance, one of them is that the water doesn’t reach into the plant’s roots while you water. In repotting process, first of all, pick a pot/planter that is bigger than the previous pot. Secondly, before putting the plant into the pot, add a little soil as a down layer into the pot for the better development of the plant’s roots. Third, water the plant in the old pot. Fourth, spare the plant from its soil and afterward cut the rootballs and untie the roots. Lastly, put the plant into the new pot.
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3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems for Areca Palm
a) Yellowish Leaves: It doesn’t directly indicate if areca palm has a disease or not. It could also be seasonal. Or some leaves could become yellow in Areca palm’s mature time. But if most of the leaves are yellow, there could be a problem. You should check it out. Apart from that, insufficient sunlight intake can also cause this problem.
b) Brown Leaf Tips: It could stem from either overwatering or lack of watering. Besides this, too much fertilizer and low humidity can affect this flowering plant too. Cut the brown tips with the help of scissors.
c) Brown Spots: It is probably due to overwatering. The excess water suffocates the plant’s roots. In a short time, the plant cannot take its vital feeds. In the end, the plant could die.
d) Dry leaves: This problem stems from inadequate watering. Or direct afternoon sunlight exposure dries leaves.
e) Pest Infestations: The main reason for this problem is neglect. However, any plant that recently joined in balcony beside Areca palm can lead to this problem.
Suggestions for problems: Growing a plant and facing its problems could be tiring. But with proper and decent care, namely, weekly regular watering, adding fertilizer in time, and putting the plant in a correct place, you don’t experience such bitter surprises in general. When it comes to the problems I have mentioned above, for instance, you can use repellents or pesticides for preventing pest infestations.
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