Areca Palm: Air Purifying and Easy to Care Plant – Details and Care Tips

Areca Palm: Air Purifying and Easy to Care Plant – Details and Care Tips
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Areca plant is a semi shaded or indoor ornamental plant that is easy to grow and maintain. They have wide foliage adding to the beauty of the room or balcony. The plant also purify the air by removing the toxins present in them.

Quick Details of Areca Palm

Common NamesButterfly Palm, Bamboo Palm, Golden cane palm, Madagascar Palm, Yellow Palm, Dypsis lutescens
TypeIndoor/Semi-Shade Ornamental Evergreen Plant
Maintenance Low/Moderate
FloweringSummers (Very rarely in potted or in indoor conditions)
LightBright indirect light
WaterWater the plant once top surface is completely dry
Temperature Can survive in wide temperature range
SoilAny well-drained potting soil
FertilizerAny house plant fertilizer like Vermicompost, Cow dung manure, Seaweed liquid solution
HabitatMadagascar
ToxicityNIL
Common DiseasesSpider Mites, Whitefly, Mealy bugs
Scientific nameDypsis lutescens / Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Overview of Areca Palm

They belong to the family of Arecaceae and are evergreen plants. In natural conditions:

  • They can grow to a height of 6-12 m. The foliage can be arched and can reach up to 2-3 m with around a hundred leaflets in them.
  • They flower during summers. Areca palms spread through 2-to 3-inch-wide yellow offshoots or canes growing from its base.
  • The canes are akin to bamboo; hence it is also called a bamboo palm. The canes eventually form clusters as they expand, often growing together so closely that their drooping fronds are forced to grow horizontally.
  • Branching, drooping stalks of flowers grow beneath the fronds, yielding inch-long egg-shaped fruit. Immature yellow fruits become dark purple or black as they ripen. When they grow taller, areca palms shed their drooping fronds and new ones emerge.
  • The shedding fronds on the length of the trunk leave closely packed rings of scars. In those exposed to the sun for the greatest amount of time, these marks vary in color from dark green to orange or yellow.

Special about Areca Palm

They have an ability to absorb the toxins present in the air thus purifying the air present around them. Hence these plants can be used as natural air purifiers inside homes.

General Care of Areca Palm

Soil: Any well-drained potting soil.

Light: The palm requires an ample amount of sunlight and should be placed in a brightly light spot near a window or door where there is direct sunlight. A blind or curtain can act as a barrier to filter the light that falls on the plant. Lack of sunlight can cause yellowing of the leaf.

Watering: should not be over watered. The watering should be done at regular intervals making sure that the soil is moist enough for the plant to grow. They are sensitive to fluoride content and hence water with high fluoride content should be avoided.

Fertilizer:  The plants can be fertilized during summer and spring. They require good nourishment and hence the addition of any house plant fertilizer or palm fertilizer can help. The plant requires enough iron and magnesium to keep the leaves healthy. The deficiency can lead to yellowing of the leaves. Areca palms are sensitive to some of the salts present in the fertilizer hence choosing a correct fertilizer can sometimes be difficult.

Pruning: Palm trees should be pruned when the old branches/fronds have dried and fallen, or just as the fruit starts in spring. It can be done after 12 to 24 months from planting.

Diseases/ problems in Areca Palm

Yellow leaves: Caused when there is no sufficient water. Providing enough water can help the plants to become healthy.

Yellow spots: Caused due to the deficiency of magnesium and iron. The addition of fertilizers rich in these compounds can help the plant or repotting the plant into fresh soil also helps the plant become healthy.

Brown tips: Caused when the air is too dry. Spraying water on the foliage can help recover.

Root rot or pink rot: Caused due to over watering. The root starts to rot. It can be controlled by monitoring the watering cycles and making sure that the soil is dry in between the water cycles.

The plants can also be attacked by spider mites, scales, whiteflies, and mealybugs: Hose spraying of water or the use of soap water of any other insecticides are the solutions to get rid of them

Propagation of Areca Palm

The most common form of propagation is division. One of the offshoots is taken from the base and planted. Cuttings can also be used. The stem cutting is placed in the rooting hormone to ensure the development of roots before it is planted. The plants produce seeds. But this is not a preferred way of propagation because the seeds might take a minimum of 4 to 6 months to germinate.

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