An ornamental tropical palm with long, arching fronds and a bushy appearance, the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is an attractive plant. This is a popular indoor palm tree that is also known as the butterfly palm, golden cane palm, or yellow palm. Although it is a result of an incorrect pronunciation of “Areca,” the Areca palm is also known as Eureka palm.
The areca palm is relatively simple to take care of when compared to other indoor palm plants. Your areca palm will stay healthy and avoid developing brown tips if you provide it with enough light and humidity.
How to care for areca palm: Only water your potted areca plant when the soil has mostly dried, and feed it occasionally, keeping it indoor in bright, indirect sunlight. High humidity and temperatures of 65°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C) are required by Areca palms.
Prune the leaves occasionally, but don’t chop off brown tips; doing so might kill the entire frond. The bamboo-like appearance of the clumping palm houseplant Due to the appearance of both stems and leaves, this tropical plant is sometimes known as the bamboo palm.
Between 6 and 10 inches per year is the typical growth rate of Areca palms. They may reach 6 feet (1.8 meters) indoors. An indoor areca palm can live for around ten years if it is taken care of properly. You’ll learn how to take care of an areca palm in this article. You’ll also discover what to do about the most prevalent issue with these palms: brown leaf tips.
Areca Palm Varieties
The wild originates of the Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens, previously Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) are found in Madagascar. Because it is inexpensive and easy to grow, the areca palm is one of the most popular houseplant palms. The Triangle palm (Dypsis decaryi) and Betel Nut palm (Areca catechu) are two similar varieties.
Indoor palm plants such as Areca palms (Dypsis lutescens) are common in many homes.
Areca Palm Brown Tips
Too much or too little water, insufficient light, low humidity, too much fertilizer, or using chlorinated water may all cause brown tips on an areca palm. Only water when the soil has mostly dried out and keep it in bright light away from direct sunlight to prevent brown tips. Indoor problems that afflict growing areca palms may also help determine the source of brown tips. The following are a few of them:
- Yellowing leaves—A lack of water or humidity is frequently the cause.
- Yellow leaf spots—They’re a sign of nutrient accumulation. Every two months, apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to the soil or repot.
- Brown tips—Brown palm leaf tips could be due to the plant being in a cold draft or a dry environment, in addition to the problems previously mentioned.
- Root rot—Several houseplants, particularly palms, exhibit this symptom of over watering. Don’t water until the earth is dried out. If your plant looks to be in jeopardy, repot it.
How to Care for Areca Palm (Dypsis Lutescens)
Areca palms have a few essential needs in order to thrive, despite their ease of care. Areca palms need the following four types of care:
- Bright light—The areca palm, like all palms, requires a lot of bright, filtered sunlight to survive.
- Humidity—To avoid brown tips and drooping leaves, air moisture levels should be at least 40%.
- Watering—Moisture rich soil is required by Areca palms, and it should never get soggy or withered. When the potting soil is partially dry, it becomes watery.
- Fertilizer—Feed the areca palm tree only when it needs it, and flush the soil every few weeks.
As a result, maintaining your golden cane plant properly requires just a few things. Let’s take a closer look at how to maintain this indoor palm.
Light Requirements for Areca Palm (Golden Cane Palm)
The areca palm craves bright light, as do most indoor palm trees. A west- or south-facing room with plenty of light but also some direct sunlight would be the optimum location for a palm. Only ensure that it isn’t subjected to too much sunlight. Scorched fronds are a common effect of a lot of direct sunlight.
Indoor palm care may be difficult due to their exact light requirements. Palms are not low-light houseplants that prefer to grow in the shade, especially the parlor palm. Therefore, to avoid direct sunlight from being too dim or excessively bright, position the plant pot somewhere else.
Move it out of direct sunlight if you notice that the palm leaves have turned yellowish-green. Make sure that it’s in a bright enough location and hasn’t dried out if the palm leaves begin to wilt and droop. The yellow color of the bamboo-like canes gives rise to two common names for Dypsis lutescens: ‘yellow palm’ and ‘golden cane palm. The palm leaves should not become golden yellow if you take care of the areca palm.
Best Soil for Areca Palm (Butterfly Palm)
An indoor areca palm needs the right kind of potting soil to be cared for properly. Well-draining, non-moisture retaining soil is ideal for palms. A peat-based mix with perlite makes a lighter medium, which is an ideal potting mix for palms.
There should be drainage holes in the pot if the water is to drain well through the soil and not collect. The potting soil should include peat. The organic material retains enough moisture to be neither too wet nor soggy. Having a butterfly palm sitting in waterlogged soil is the worst thing you can do to it. When it comes to our next care tip, how to water an areca palm, the right soil is also important.
How to Water Areca Palm (Yellow Palm)
When the soil is partly dry, it is time to water an areca palm growing indoors. Before watering, make sure that the top layer of the potting mix is dry. When it comes to watering the plant, pour in enough water until the pot’s drainage holes are full before you begin.
When the soil has mostly dried out again, it’s time to water your palm. How often do you have to water a golden areca palm? The level of moisture in the pot determines the answer. To keep your areca palm healthy and avoid brown tips on the leaves, follow these useful watering guidelines:
- Frequency—Seasonal variations of water availability: spring and summer have more, whereas winter and autumn have less. Before watering, always test the soil for dryness.
- Type of pot—Moisture evaporates faster in clay and terracotta pots. As a result, palms growing in plastic containers might need to be watered more often.
- Water—Leave water out for 24 hours before using alms since they are susceptible to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine. Harmful chemicals evaporate when water is allowed to stand.
- Deep watering—All of the roots are nourished when watering is thorough and heavy.
The Right Temperature for Areca Palm
The areca palm thrives in typical room temperatures because it is a kind of tropical palm tree. Therefore, a temperature of 65°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C) should suffice. Your indoor palm will feel at home if you are comfortable. Areca palms, like many other tropical houseplants, dislike sudden temperature fluctuations.
As a result, avoid exposing your palms to frigid breezes, such as through open windows or air conditioning vents. Hot surfaces like radiators or furnaces should be protected from your indoor palm trees.
Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) Humidity Needs
When growing a golden cane palm indoors, maintaining humidity levels is difficult. Healthy growth requires high humidity. Separate several houseplants, daily misting, sitting on a pebble water tray, and using a humidifier are all ways to increase room humidity for your palm.
Brown tips on areca palm leaves may be caused by dry air. What methods can you employ to ensure that humidity is correct and promote healthy palm development? Here are some useful palm care advice:
- Daily misting—Dip a spray bottle in distilled water. To help keep the palm leaves moist, mist them daily.
- Pebble water tray—Fill a tray with water halfway up the stones and place a layer of pebbles in it. On the pebbles, place the plant pot. The leaves become humidified as water evaporates.
- Put houseplants together—As plants breathe, moisture is released. As a result, a humid atmosphere can be created by combining several indoor plants.
- Humidifier—Your home palms may benefit from the use of a humidifier.
How to Feed Areca Palms
To avoid yellow leaves and promote development, butterfly palms need a moderate quantity of fertilizer. Too much feeding, on the other hand, might cause mineral salts to build up in your palm, which may be harmful. At half strength, use a palm fertilizer or houseplant fertilizer. Throughout the growing season, feed every two months.
Another cause for brown leaf tips is excessive fertilizer. Fertilizer can accumulate in the pot even if you give your areca palm enough food. Flush the soil every few months to avoid this from occurring. This is how to flush the soil:
- Take it to the bath or shower and use the palm pot.
- Let the potting mix run for two or three minutes while the water flows through.
- Let all of the water drain.
- Return your areca palm to its bright spot, far from the heat.
- Just before the following watering, feed your plant.
It may be difficult to strike the perfect nutritional balance for your plant. Magnesium, potassium, and iron are all desirable for the golden cane palm. They may, however, be vulnerable to fertilizer buildup. Avoid feeding your palm more than twice a month and don’t feed it during the winter as a general rule.
Areca Palm Propagation
By propagating from its base cluster of offshoots or canes, the Areca palm spreads. Using a knife, cut an offshoot from the base of the plant to propagate your areca palm. After an hour, transfer the roots to a pot and put them in a bowl of water.
Seeds are another method of propagation for areca plants. Plant a few seeds in seed-starting soil in a pot to grow an areca palm from seed. Put the container in a well-lit area, cover it with plastic, and punched some holes for air circulation. Keep the temperature above 80°F (26°C) and keep the soil damp.
Getting Areca Palm Seeds from the Plant is usually difficult. It’s a good idea to use the older, orange-colored seeds that emerge first since they germinate better. Planting several seeds in a pot is recommended because areca palms are clumping plants. A bushy, bamboo-like palm with elegant arching leaves will be produced by planting many seeds together.
Repotting Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
Indoor areca palms seldom need repotting, which is one of the reasons why they’re so easy to care for. You may repot a golden yellow palm every three years or less, despite the fact that some houseplants need repotting every year. Certain butterfly palms develop into new clumps as they expand.
When the roots of most palms are just slightly rootbound, they flourish. An areca palm repotting every few years can help to refresh the soil and promote development. Fertilizer buildup can also be avoided by changing the potting mix.
When repotting, care must be taken with Areca houseplant palms. As a result, be certain not to harm the roots. Because they damaged too many of the roots, several plant owners notice that their palm leaves develop brown tips after repotting. This is what you should do to repot your butterfly palm:
- Take the palm and root ball out of the pot with a gentle touch.
- To remove any excess soil, gently shake the plant.
- Fill a new palm pot with fresh potting soil.
- Make sure the palm is at the same height as it was in the previous pot before placing it in the new one.
- Gently press around the stems to secure them with fresh potting soil.
You don’t have to feed your palm for another two months following repotting because a peat-based potting substrate already contains enough nutrients.
Pruning Butterfly Palms
To ensure that all of the leaves receive enough light, prune the fronds from an areca palm. Pruning these palms is not usually harmful, and cutting off some fronds may extend the life of a mature palm to ten years. Brown tips on palm leaves should not be pruned off. It’s possible to kill the whole frond by clipping off its brown tips. As a result, if the fronds have browned or appear unattractive, cut them off.
Areca Palm Toxicity
Dogs, cats, other house pets, and humans are not poisonous to Areca palms.
Areca Palm Care: Diseases and Pests
If pests or diseases infect an areca palm, it may appear to be dying. Over-watering is the most common cause of palm diseases. Red spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs, and whiteflies are among the common pests that may attack a golden cane palm.
Only watering when the soil is somewhat dry helps to avoid root rot. Where the earth becomes excessively wet and soggy, do not sit the plant pot in water. How can you tell if an areca palm has pests? Here are a few indicators:
- Red spider mites—To avoid these pests, maintaining high humidity levels is critical in dry circumstances. Mottled yellow leaves and stunted growth are signs of red spider mites.
- Scale insects—Little white bumps on the underside of leaves are what these palm pests look like. Brown spots on palm leaves or leaves that fall without explanation are common occurrences.
- Mealybugs—Mealybugs leave tiny white fluff spots on your plant. They’ll suck your plant until it’s dry, leaving black marks on the branches.
- Whitefly—The tiny white flies that fly off when you disturb the plant are easy to spot. Attract flies by placing yellow sticky tape near your palm, then capture them with a fly trap.
You may spray the leaves of your areca palm with a powerful stream of water to eliminate the pests that might infect it. Do this twice daily until your pests are gone. Instead, you can use an organic neem oil spray to exterminate insect pests on your houseplants.
Common Problems Growing Areca Palm
When growing an areca palm house plant indoors, there are a variety of additional concerns you may face.
Brown spots on leaves
Tap water fluoride, according to Pennsylvania State University researchers, may cause brown, dead spots on leaves. Always water your plant with fresh water that has been exposed to bright sunlight for 24 hours if this happens. During this period, the plant-damaging compounds that cause poisoning are gone.
Over-fertilizing might also be indicated by brown leaves with brown spots on them. Leave off feeding for at least six to eight weeks after flushing the soil.
Under-watering is often indicated by yellow leaves on a palm. Give the soil a deep watering to bring a dying palm plant back to life in order to help it recover. Water the top portion when it’s dry, while the bottom half is still wet, once every few days after. To help raise humidity levels, mist the leaves every day.