When we think of the image of a palm tree, we see a tall stem with a crown of leaves, but not all palms are like that. Some, like the Areca Palm, are clump forming, and this makes them very useful and attractive houseplants, because rooms are not very tall, and a lower, bushy plant is much more useful in most homes than a tall stem. The Areca Palm is the perfect houseplant where you want a more compact, bushy plant that still has the long fronds and look of a palm tree.
The Areca Palm is one of the easiest palms to grow indoors, because it will grow well in lower light levels. In fact, it should not be grown in direct sunlight indoors at all. Direct sun through windows usually causes the fronds to turn yellow, and become less attractive. The elegant look of this palm fits perfectly into any room of your house, and it goes well with any decorating style, from traditional to modern. It is no wonder this is the number one palm grown indoors, as it is the easiest way to bring the tropics right into your home.
Growing Areca Palm Trees
When grown in a pot, the Areca Palm will grow to around 6 feet tall and about 3 feet across. It is a clump of long leaves, rising from a cluster of short stems at ground level. Each frond arches upwards, and may be 3 feet or more in length, consisting of a central stem with around 50 small side leaves, called leaflets, growing from it. The frond is elegantly curving, and soft to the touch, with no spines, which many palms do have. As the tree grows, more new shoots will come from the base of the plant, and the fronds will grow longer and more arching. This palm will grow outdoors in frost-free areas like southern Florida, and there it will grow 20 to 40 feet tall, and still be clump-forming, growing into a large and beautiful foliage plant.
Plant your Areca Palm in a pot large enough to comfortable hold the plant, with some room for new growth. Make sure your pot has a drainage hole, and always water thoroughly, until some water flows from that hole. Allow the top few inches of the soil to become dry before watering again. Use a foliage houseplant fertilizer from spring to Fall, but only at ½ strength, as palms do not like a lot of salts in the water. As well, do not use water that has been through a water-softener, and if you have a lot of chlorine in your tap water, allow it to stand overnight in the watering can. These salts cause spotting on the leaves. The Areca Palm like humidity, so mist plants growing indoors daily.
When to Bring Outdoors
During the summer months, you can place your Areca Palm outdoors in a bright but shaded spot on your patio or in the garden. Don’t put it outdoors – and bring it in again in fall – when the night temperatures are below 55 degrees. This palm is usually not bothered by pests or diseases. Watering only when needed, and regular misting, will help prevent any problems developing.
History and Origins of the Areca Palm Tree
The Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens) grows naturally on the island of Madagascar, but it has been introduced into several Caribbean islands, as well as Florida, and it now grows as a native plant in many countries. The common name is a little confusing, since there is another plant called ‘areca palm’, which is Areca catechu, the source of betel nuts, consumed as a mild stimulant throughout Asia. The houseplant Areca Palm normally does not produce any fruit, although small flower clusters may sometimes be seen on older plants. Our plants are grown from offset pieces from carefully chosen outstanding specimens of this beautiful palm, and cannot be compared with cheaper plants grown as random seedlings.
Buying Areca Palms at The Tree Center
For a palm to decorate inside your house, nothing beats the shade-loving Areca Palm. The demand for this beautiful plant is always high, so our stocks will not last long. We have a wonderful collection of top-quality plants, but they won’t be with us long. So order now, while this quality stock is still available, and bring beauty right inside your home. You may also want to consider other indoor palms, like the Pygmy Date Palm Tree and the King Sago Palm Tree.