Areca Palm – The Living Humidifier
Areca Palm, with it’s upright fronds, gives a distinctive tropical accent to your room. Sufficient light and a daily misting will result in a healthy Areca Palm.
Areca Palm is a plant native to Madagascar. In the outdoors, it can grow 20 feet or more in height, although it is usually smaller. Areca Palm is also known by the names Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens, Golden Cane Palm, Madagascar Palm and Areca Lutescens. We should not confuse it with the Betel Nut Palm (scientific name Areca Catechu) of Southern Asia, famous for it’s “intoxicating” nut.
The Areca Palm requires the bright indirect light provided by an east, west or southern window, but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight may burn the leaves of a plant not accustomed to direct exposure.
Areca Palms do well in normal household temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees F, with the temperature 5 to 10 degrees lower at night. Keep the plant away from heat sources and drafts.
Areca Palm can be planted in a regular potting mix with a little coarse sand added to improve drainage. They should be planted in a large container. Areca Palms do not mind being root bound and can be left in the same container for several years.
Areca Palms need higher than normal humidity. Plants should be misted daily to help increase the humidity around the plant.
Areca Palms require heavy watering. Although the plant grows slowly, it does give off large volumes of moisture to the air as it attempts to create the high humidity environment it so loves.
Allow the soil to dry to a depth of 1 inch, and then water thoroughly. Do not let the plant stand in water as this will lead to root rot.
Areca Palms should be fertilized every 3 months during their growing season with a dilute liquid fertilizer mixed into the water.
Areca Palms are frequently grown from seeds. They can also be propagated, from the smaller shoots that form around the base of the plant, by simple division.
Decoration and Placement Tips
Nothing creates the feeling of the tropics like a palm tree.
A well placed palm will make a small room look larger and a small room look more intimate. Palms provide a contrasting accent to other indoor plants.
Keep plants away from drafts and heat sources to help maintain the conditions the palm likes.
Areca Palm are particularly effective in removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from the air according to B C Wolverton from his studies for NASA.
When the leaves brown or yellow, trim the whole leaf to help keep the attractive appearance of the Areca Palm.