Sunday, June 30, 2013

Best Tips For Growing Areca Palm Indoors

Areca Palm / Butterfly palm / Bamboo Palm

Areca palm is a popular and commonly seen houseplant which gives tropical feeling to home.  It is identified by long, shiny, feather shaped leaves arched outward and down. It is on the top of NASA list on best air purifying plants.  Areca palm grows 6 to 7 feet average while growing indoors. It is also called as Golden cane palm, Butterfly palm, Yellow cane palm.

Due to the height of the areca palm, choose a fairly large container for it to grow into. Since garden centers tend to cultivate these plants in bright light, gradually acclimate your areca to the lower light conditions in your home. Place your new plant in its container outdoors in a part-shade location, then move it to a bright indoor location after a few weeks. If the roots fill the pot within a few years, you can re-pot the palm tree or plant it outdoors. New growth springs from a central growing point at the top of a palm tree's trunk, which means that palms can't be pruned to reduce their height; pruning can damage or kill the plant. The only recourse if a tree grows too tall is to relocate it to an area with a higher ceiling or outdoors.

A peat-based mix is perfect, with lots of material for drainage. Palms appreciate good drainage to prevent water-logged roots.

The Areca Palm requires heavy watering; however do not allow the plant to sit in water because this could lead then to root rot. The Areca Palm will wilt drastically if you allow the soil to dry out completely. On a good note, once you water it, the plant will stand back up.

Sun / Temperature
Requires bright indirect light so keep it within 5 to 8 feet from a sunny window. If put in too much direct light, the fronds may get burnt from the sunlight. When a frond becomes yellow or dead like in appearance be sure to remove the entire frond.

Feed with a weak liquid fertilizer once or twice during the growing season and not at all during the winter.

Indoor areca palm plants suffer from few pest or diseases. The main problem is root rot from over watering or allowing the pots to remain in standing water. Flecks with a soot appearance on the stem sheaths are normal, but leaves that turn yellow may mean a soil that has an overly high pH or a deficiency of potassium. If a soil test kit reveals a lack of potassium, use sulfur-coated potassium sulfate, applied to the soil at the rate on the package label. Brown leaves are usually a sign of over-fertilizing, dry air or a lack of water. Spider mites are attracted to dusty leaves, especially in winter when humidity is low, but cleaning palm fronds with a mild, soapy water can prevent the problem.