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Areca Palm Care

Areca Palm Care
Areca palm is a popular plant used in homes, offices, and landscaping. This article lists some care tips to ensure healthy palms.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Areca palms are also known as Chrysalidocarpus lutescens. They are native to Madagascar and prefer a warm climate for growth. They are well-known for their rich, green, feather-like fronds that emerge from the multiple trunks. They are widely used as decorative plants in homes, offices, and landscaping because of their attractive look. They can be grown both outdoors as well as indoors. However, some special care is needed when grown indoors.
Care Tips
When you are planting this palm tree, make sure the size of the container is twice the size of the root ball of the plant. This will ensure sufficient space for the roots to grow. Moreover, there should be drain holes at the bottom of the container.
This palm can be grown in any type of soil, provided that it has good drainage. If the soil does not drain properly, then it has to be amended to improve its draining capacity. For this, mix 2 parts of soil, 1 part of sand, and 1 part of compost. Preparation of the soil has to be done before planting the palm.
Light and Temperature
This palm requires warm temperatures for growth. It is intolerant towards freezing temperatures. Adult plants can survive in short spells of cold weather, but young plants will die. The light requirement of these plants ranges from medium to high. However, direct sunlight exposure may turn the leaves yellow. Therefore, the palm should be kept at a distance away from the window. Partially shaded light should be provided to the plant for 6 to 8 hours every day.
Regular watering is crucial. The soil should neither dry out nor get over-saturated with water. This palm requires abundant water during the growing season, and much less is required during the winter. You can decide whether the plant needs water or not by digging a finger into the soil. If it feels dry, then it's time to water it. Too much watering can cause the roots to rot.
Fertilizer is added to the plant to enrich the soil with nutrients. Water-soluble palm fertilizer should be applied to the soil after a gap of two weeks during the growing season. However, excessive fertilizer is not good for the roots of this plant. If the fertilizer sits on the roots for a long time, it can cause extensive damage.
Pruning is done mainly to maintain the visual appeal of the plant. A young plant does not require any pruning. As it grows older, some of the fronds become brown which have to be eliminated. Similarly, any dead branches of the plant should be cut off as well. If the tip of the leaf turns brown over time, it does not mean that it is burned. So, do not try to cut off the tips, as it will stop the growth of the entire branch.
Areca palms look lovely as houseplants. Following the care instructions will maintain the palm's healthy growth and beautiful appearance. This plant has high sensitivity towards salts present in the water which in turn causes dark spots on the leaf surface. If you notice such spots appearing on the leaves, then you must change the type of water being given to the plant. In such cases, bottled water that contains no minerals will be more suitable for these plants.
Young Farmer checking the soil on his field
Farmer pouring chemical fertilizer in the field