Areca Palm: Care & Growing Guide

Areca Palm: Care & Growing Guide

When it comes to palm trees, the Areca Palm is by far the most popular houseplant option in Dubai. These tall, beautiful, clumping palms resemble bamboo and can be found growing in abundance along the sides of streets in the warmest regions of the United States. 

They look like clusters of bamboo, but their trunks are smooth and occasionally even golden. Like bamboo leaves, their fronds are full and thin. When planted in a garden, they provide much-needed seclusion. There is a thriving industry for these palms as indoor houseplants.

This article's goal is to instruct readers on how to give an Areca Palm the best possible care. Everything you need to know about keeping an Areca Palm happy and healthy in your home will be covered in this article.

Quick Care Guide

Common Name

Areca Palm, bamboo palm, yellow palm, golden cane palm

Scientific Name

Dypsis lutescens



Height & Spread

Up to 15 feet tall, 8 to 10 feet wide


Bright, indirect sun


Moist, well-draining soil


Once per week

Flower Color

Pale Yellow

Native Area



Fusarium Wilt, Ganoderma Butt Rot, Bud Rot, Leaf Spot Diseases


What is Areca Palm?

These clumping palms have many stems emerging from the base, and each of the soft, feathery fronds has roughly 40 to 60 pairs of leaflets. The fronds are slender and soft, and they have a feathery appearance.

They mature at the height of five to eight feet when cultivated in a greenhouse, with annual growth of six to ten inches. Outdoor planting is possible in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and higher, where they can grow to a maximum height of 30 feet. 

Gold cane, butterfly palm, yellow palm, and bamboo palm are all names for the areca palm. The somewhat acidic, sandy, rocky soil found near the ocean is idejal for these members of the Arecaceae family, which are found only in Madagascar.

Extensive research into Madagascan palms led to the 1995 consolidation of numerous genera into the Dypsis genus, moving Dypsis lutescens from the now-extinct Chrysalidocarpus genus to its current home.

These palms are one of the most widely used ornamental species in tropical gardens due to their widespread naturalization and widespread use as a landscape plant in subtropical and tropical regions around the world.

Areca Palm Types

One can choose from a variety of Areca palms. Some of the most common types of Areca plants will be discussed. Well then, let's dive in and talk about the various species of Areca palms.

1. Dypsis decaryi

This beautiful and widespread Areca palm originated in Madagascar. It's a palm that can range in size from dwarf to medium, with a single stem and a triangular tiara of bluish-green, feathery leaves.

 The Triangle palm gets its name from the fact that its leaves are triangular in shape and originate from three different points on the fronds.

2. Dypsis baronii

These palm tree varieties work well for those with the little gardening area. Even if there are already many large palm trees in the area, the addition of the lesser palms will give the field more character. Since it matures slowly, it can be grown in a pot with well-drained soil.

Even though they thrive in dappled to full sunlight, these varieties are typically grown indoors. The palm fronds are easily damaged by strong winds and should be protected from them. Huge yet fragile fronds grace its foliage. About three meters in height and width describe the eventual size of the palm.

3. Dypsis utilis

This evergreen tree or shrub can grow up to 15 metres tall. Multiple stems could develop on the same palm. While most types of areca plants only have one main stem, this one may produce three additional shoots simultaneously.

Huge leaves form a crown around each individual stem. The palm is harvested for its use in cooking, medicinal purposes, and as a fiber and nutritional supplement because it is such a versatile and healthy plant. More than that, it's a favorite among gardeners.

4. Dypsis prestoniana

Big, beautiful, and extremely rare, this palm tree is a sight to behold. As a result of the optimal climate conditions for palm growth, it is possible to find it largely in the eastern and southern parts of Madagascar. Wet forests at about mid-altitude are the ideal environment for this plant.

The trunk of this palm grows to be 40 feet in height and 16 inches in diameter. The leaves are white at the base and lack the crown shafts found on most palms. The palm does well in both warm and cold environments.

5. Dypsis special

Dypsis pilulifera was the name given to this species before scientists realized how different it was from other members of the genus. The shedding of the elder's leaves reveals a magnificently ornamental large palm with a brilliantly colored orange crown shaft. As an added bonus, this palm can survive and even thrive in milder climes.

Areca Palm Care

If you want your plants to thrive in the great outdoors, select a spot to put them where water can easily drain away. Soggy soil is a major contributor to root rot in palm trees. If kept as a houseplant, make sure the container has adequate drainage.

You should water your areca palm whenever the soil around it seems dry. The importance of keeping your palm plants watered increases when the weather is hot and dry.

Indoor palms may not get enough light to thrive without a very bright window. Palm trees, whether kept indoors or out, require seasonal feedings. You won't have to do much in the way of trimming or pruning for these palms. Until the fronds turn completely brown.

Sunlight exposure

The Areca Palm and the Parlor Palm are commonly mistaken for one another by their owners. Although visually identical, they require very different environments and maintenance routines. Varying degrees of direct sunlight is one such distinction.

Direct sunshine can burn the Areca Palm's leaves, so it prefers indirect sunlight. Like the Parlor Palm, it is not a fan of dim lighting. If your Areca Palm does not receive enough sunlight, its leaves will wrinkle and turn yellow.

Intense or prolonged exposure to sunlight might potentially damage your Areca Palm. If you leave your Areca Palm in direct sunlight, it will suffer from sunburn. Sunburns on your Areca palm will not cause it to revert to its previous color. You can cut off the burnt leaves if you don't want to look at them any longer.

The Areca Palm thrives in bright indirect sunshine but struggles in low light or strong sunlight. If it isn't getting enough light, it will let you know.


The areca palm tree first appeared in Madagascar's warm and tropical climate. Since the Areca Palm is native to a humid tropical climate, we can infer some information about its water requirements.

The native environment of the Areca Palm is damp soil, thus that is where it thrives best. This means that your Areca Palm will need watering at least twice during the spring and summer. The Areca Palm requires a lot of water and food during the spring and summer when it is actively growing.


According to the previous paragraph, Areca Palms prefer consistently damp soil. We'll have to look for soil that can retain water for at least a few days. While the Areca Palm does well in tropical climates, we did find that it is highly susceptible to root rot when overwatered. From this, we can infer that fast-draining soil is essential. Not too much and not too little; the soil should be exactly right.

The necessary Areca Palm soil will be moist for the vast majority of the year. If you use regular potting soil for this plant and water it frequently, you may find that the soil becomes compacted. If the soil is compacted, the palm tree's roots won't get enough air and will die. Inadequate oxygen levels can cause root rot in palm trees. It is likely that this plant will perish from root rot because it does not store many nutrients in its stems.

Fertilization of Areca Palm

Your Areca Palm will experience rapid growth over the spring and summer. Fast growth requires a lot of water and nutrients, as we saw in the section on palm care. During the growing season, fertilizing your palm will help it thrive.

Fertilize your Areca palm once a month during the summer and spring months. Liquid fertilizer is preferable since it may be absorbed by your plant more rapidly. Fertilizing sticks or balls can also be used to provide a single dose of fertilizer to your plant at the start of spring and another at the start of summer.

Since the Areca palm goes dormant in the cooler months, you won't need to give it any fertilizer at this time.

Humidity and Temperature

The Areca Palm is a native of warm, humid regions. No matter what kind of weather you often experience in your area, you can still give your palm all the care it needs to flourish and prosper inside your home. The ideal temperature to keep your palm happy and healthy in the house is over 16 degrees Celsius (65 F).

The Areca Palm should also be kept away from draughts or windows that may be too cold. The Areca Palm will develop brown blotches all over if it is exposed to temperatures that are too low. This necessitates the relocation of your plant.

A high humidity setting will make your Areca Palm happy, as it is most suited to the tropical climates in which it will most likely be grown. To provide the ideal climate for it, we've penned a how-to article on increasing the humidity in your home.

Repotting Areca Palms

If you want to cultivate an areca palm as a houseplant, ensure the container has plenty of drainage holes and is not too small for the plant's roots. The potting mix and any fertilizer salt deposits in the container should be replaced about once every two years. If the palm's root ball still fits snuggly in the container, you can continue to use it. If not, you should upgrade to a larger container. Make sure you replant the palm at the exact same depth it was originally set in.

Toxicity for pets

Like most palm trees, the Areca Palm poses no threat to domesticated animals or humans. This plant is completely non-toxic, so you can rest easy knowing it will be in the same room as your kids and pets. Even though it won't hurt your pets or kids if they consume the plants, you should probably keep them away from them nevertheless.

The Basics of Areca Palm Seed Germination

Seeds can also be used to cultivate areca palms. The fruits that develop after the yellow flowers bloom can be harvested for their seeds, but you often won't find them at garden centers.

If you choose to use seeds for propagation, it is best to do so in a controlled environment at home. The germination rate of older orange seeds is typically higher than that of younger, greener seeds. Soil temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity of 50 to 60 percent are required for germination to occur in around six weeks.

While waiting for germination, provide a wet but not drenching environment for the seed-starting mix. Later, do the same for the young seedlings. After the seedlings have developed a few leaves, you may either transplant them to a larger container or space them 10 feet apart in the garden.

Issues with Areca Palm

Palm trees that are planted in the landscape may look carefree, but they are actually vulnerable to a wide variety of illnesses, insects, and nutritional issues. Cultural practices promoting plant health and vitality can prevent many of these issues. 

Fusarium Wilt

This fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, is responsible for the illness known as fusarium wilt. Palm trees are the only ones that are affected by this. Diseases of palm trees come in many forms, each of which can only be transmitted from one species to another. Fusarium wilt is characterized by discolored, brown, and crinkling fronds. Symptoms typically manifest at the base of the fronds and progress upwards.

Although there is now no treatment for fusarium wilt, a healthy tree can be kept alive for much longer with the right attention. In order to prevent the spread of the illness to healthy palms, it is recommended that you hire a tree service to remove the infected fronds and properly dispose of them.

Thiophanate-methyl fungicides can be used in addition to watering and fertilizing the tree. The fusarium wilt itself cannot be cured by the fungicide, but it will treat or prevent secondary infections such as pink rot from occurring.

Ganoderma Butt Rot

Another fungal disease that attacks palm trees is called Ganoderma butt rot, and it's caused by the invasion of Ganoderma zonatum into the plant's roots and lower stem. All palms are susceptible to this disease, which invades the woody tissue and blocks water flow up the trunk. First, the entire plant will begin to droop and die back. Conks, or mushroom-like structures, might appear on the palm's butt in short order afterward.

There is currently no treatment for Ganoderma rot, and the fungus can spread quickly via the soil to adjacent palm trees. Also, remember to get rid of the tree's stump and roots. Other trees can be infected with Ganoderma rots, but this is due to a different variety of Ganoderma than the one that infects palms; thus, your palm's case of Ganoderma butt rot will not spread to other types of trees.

Bud Rot

Lesser areca palms are susceptible to bud rot, a disease that causes premature death. It can be caused by two different types of fungi: Phytophthora palmivora and Thielaviopsis paradoxa. Fungi infiltrate the palm's core and make it incapable of producing healthy new buds.

The absence of fresh crown development is one of the earliest indications of bud rot. If you look closely, you'll discover that the new buds on your tree are brown, rotting, and curled and that the tree isn't producing any new fronds.

Once a tree has contracted bud rot, it will never recover. Trees that are sick should be removed, and fungicide spray should be applied to healthy trees. Avoid bud rot by maintaining well-drained soil around your palms.

Leaves Spot Diseases

Multiple leaf spot illnesses can affect palms. There are a number of distinct types of fungi that can cause these diseases, but they all share similar symptoms and treatments. The most obvious symptom of a leaf spot disease is the appearance of patches or streaks of fuzzy brown or black mold on the lower surface of the fronds.

You can address the issue by having the diseased fronds trimmed. Apply fungicides to the foliage to stop the fungi from spreading. Fertilizing palms can increase their strength and help them resist leaf spot fungi. If you need to water your palm trees, do so first thing in the morning so that the soil doesn't stay soggy overnight. With TLC, palms may usually make a full recovery. 


There is no better indoor palm than the massive Areca Palm. It is not a good plant for first-time gardeners because it is fussy. Even if you're a novice, you can still provide for it because it will let you know when it's unhappy so that you can fix the problem. It's fascinating in the spring and summer since the plant grows quickly. Put this plant anywhere in your home, and it will instantly seem like you've been transported to a lush tropical forest.

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