Palms have always been recognized as the ‘princes of the vegetable kingdom’. Anyone who looks at the magnificent silhouette of the Areca palm immediately understands the meaning of this botanical homage. With its feathered fronds, which are almost 2 meters long, it can reach heights of up to 10 meters in the wild. Since the Areca palm always forms several of the ringed trunks, at first glance it is reminiscent of a tropical mini palm forest. She owes her middle name, golden fruit palm, to the yellow-gold fruits, which she does not present in indoor culture any more than the yellow flowers. However, this does not prevent anyone from assigning her a place in the top ranks in the ranking of the most popular indoor plants.

Knowing the origin makes care easier

The areca palm with the scientific name Dypsis lutescens is native to Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world in the Indian Ocean. The climate here is tropical, with only rainy and dry seasons instead of the four European seasons. Accordingly, the golden fruit palm is programmed for a rainy growth phase from April to October and a dry dormant period from November to March. In addition, a tropical climate is dominated by high temperatures. The annual average temperature in Madagascar is 25 ° Celsius. For comparison, this value for Germany is around 9 ° Celsius. In view of these drastic climatic differences, the hobby gardener does not need to throw the gun in the grain and forego cultivating an areca palm,

Location and substrate

Even under ideal site conditions, the annual growth of the Areca palm is 15 cm to 20 cm. Accordingly, the ambitious hobby gardener tries to find a place for his palm tree where it feels so comfortable that it gets the maximum of the annual growth out of itself.

  • Bright location without direct sunlight.
  • Full sun causes irreversible leaf discoloration.
  • As warm as possible at temperatures not below 15 ° Celsius.
  • Special palm soil with respiratory flakes as a substrate.
  • Alternatively, compost-based potting soil with perlite.

Placing the areca palm in a dark corner of the room, for fear of the yellow discoloration of the leaves, causes an unsightly ginger. The palm tree, full of desperation, drives thin, weak shoots in search of every ray of light it can get hold of. In the event that the dypsis lutescens is exposed to uneven incidence of light, the experienced hobby gardener takes the time to turn it by 25 ° every 14 days so that it maintains a symmetrical growth shape.

Watering and fertilizing

The water and nutrient requirements depend on whether the Dypsis lutescens is currently in the vegetation phase, i.e. the tropical rainy season, or the dormant phase, the tropical dry season.
Vegetation period from April to October

  • High water consumption.
  • Do not leave the irrigation water in the coaster.
  • Now and then let the root ball soak in a bucket of water.
  • In between, let the substrate dry on the surface.
  • Pamper yourself every 14 days with a liquid fertilizer or special palm fertilizer.
  • Growth break from November to March
  • Only a small amount of water required.
  • Keep moderately moist and no longer immerse in the water bath.
  • Do not fertilize during the break.
Tip: Like all palm trees, the Areca does not tolerate calcareous water. Rainwater collected at room temperature is ideal for the supply of moisture.

Creating tropical humidity

An apparently problematic component of care is the high humidity, which should be 80% to 90% in the immediate vicinity of the palm. Since the average humidity in German living rooms is around 40% – during the winter heating season it is even significantly lower – there is a need for action by the hobby gardener.

  • Spray the Areca palm daily with lukewarm rainwater.
  • Alternatively, use decalcified, lukewarm tap water.
  • In winter, place bowls filled with water on the radiators.
  • Set up a decorative indoor fountain or nebulizer.
  • Fill a coaster with pebbles and water and place the palm on it.

Experienced palm friends advocate keeping the gold fruit palm in hydro-culture, because in this case several care factors are met, including the necessary humidity. With the help of a hygrometer, the humidity in the room can be measured inexpensively and easily.


Given the decorative value of the Areca palm, the desire for more specimens is understandable. Since fully grown palm trees from specialist shops can sometimes be quite a strain on the household budget, propagation by hand is an interesting alternative. The private palm gardener can choose from various methods.


  • Let the seeds soak in lukewarm water for 24 hours.
  • Fill one or more nursery pots with nutrient-poor substrate.
  • Coconut hum, mineral perlite or a peat-sand mix are suitable.
  • Moisten the substrate slightly and distribute the seeds on it.
  • Then cover with a thin layer of coconut or other potting soil.
  • Place in a bright, warm place that is not exposed to direct sunlight.

To ensure that a warm, humid microclimate is created in the pot and that no insects lay their eggs in it, the vessel is covered with glass or cling film. Having a mini greenhouse available should also be useful for this purpose. It is important to note that the lid is lifted every few days so that no mold forms. Many months can pass before germination. Meanwhile, the substrate is only kept slightly moist without soaking it. If it dries up completely, all effort is in vain.

Effectively prevent contamination of the growing medium

Since the germination period can stretch from months to a year, there is a risk of contamination not only from insect eggs, but also from viruses and fungal spores. This handicap can be prevented:

  • Spread out the growing medium on a piece of kitchen foil.
  • Spread the seeds on top and cover with coconut.
  • Form a small package out of this and label it.
  • Store in a warm place, which can also be dark.
  • Moisten regularly and check whether germination starts.

Thanks to this botanical trick, the sowing remains protected from harmful attacks during the long germination period and takes up minimal space. The seedlings are then placed in pots and grown as described.

Offshoot / Kindel

If side shoots form on an adult areca palm that look like the mini version of the mother plant, the hobby gardener receives propagation material that leads to success much faster than sowing.

  • In spring cut off to a length of 30 cm with a sharp knife.
  • A mandatory requirement is that the offshoot has its own roots.
  • Each child comes in a pot with a damp peat-sand mixture.
  • A perforated plastic hood is placed over it.

In a bright, warm window seat, the hood remains over the cultivation vessel for 4 to 6 weeks and can then be removed. The small Dypsis lutescens are poured regularly, whereby the substrate surface should dry again and again. As soon as the first fresh fronds appear, it is repotted in conventional palm soil and the care switched to the needs of an adult Areca palm. The typical fertilization cycle for this type of palm starts after 4 months at the earliest. In this way, the cuttings are encouraged to stretch out their roots in search of nutrients.

To cut

The areca palm really grows very, very slowly. In the rarest of cases, the hobby gardener will therefore have the desire to prune them. Should this still be the case, the leaf fronds are cut off close to the trunk with a sharp, disinfected knife. This procedure naturally also applies to the removal of wilted fronds. However, the palm gardener should immediately ask himself why it was withering.

Diseases and pests

A carefully tended areca palm in a suitable location develops a remarkable resistance to diseases and pests of all kinds. If, on the other hand, neglect of care occurs, this weakens the palm plant, which disproportionately increases the susceptibility to infection or pest infestation.

Brown leaf tips

  • Check the water and nutrient supply.
  • Spray the areca palm with rainwater more often.
  • Cut off brown tips to just above the healthy tissue.

Yellow fronds

  • A typical damage caused by a lack of light.
  • Reduce the watering.
  • Check the pH. If it is above 6, it is repotted in fresh substrate.

First yellow, later brown spots on the fronds

  • Characteristic damage caused by sunburn.
  • Immediately change location, out of direct sunlight.

Whole fronds dry up

  • The palm thus signals that its roots are rotting due to waterlogging.
  • Repot immediately, remove the wet substrate and rotten roots.
  • Pot in fresh substrate and immediately avoid waterlogging.
  • However, it is questionable whether the golden fruit palm will be saved.

Black coating on the leaves

  • Clear indication of a fungal infection from sooty mildew.
  • Thoroughly shower off the areca palm.
  • Then fight the lice with biological means.
  • As a preventive measure, press plant protection sticks into the substrate.

Nodules on the palm leaves

  • The phoenix smut has probably struck.
  • Cut off the diseased fronds in the early stages of infestation.
  • Under no circumstances throw it on the compost heap, but rather in the household rubbish.
  • Otherwise, dispose of the entire palm because it cannot be rescued.

White webs on and under the fronds

  • In this case, the spider mite is affected due to insufficient humidity.
  • Thoroughly shower the dypsis lutescens from above and below.
  • Wipe carefully with a cloth soaked in alcohol.
  • Use predatory mites or lacewing larvae if the infestation pressure is high.


In view of the leisurely growth rate, repotting is only necessary every few years. At the latest when the roots push themselves up through the substrate, the areca palm wants to move. When choosing a new planter, it should be borne in mind that the palm tree forms long taproots and that there should be sufficient space below.

  • Only use palm vessels that have a water drainage hole in the bottom.
  • Spread out a drainage made of gravel, perlite or potsherds.
  • An air- and water-permeable fleece over it is advantageous so that the drainage does not clog.
  • Pour in a first layer of the palm substrate.
  • Place the golden fruit palm in a water bath because it will then be easier to pot.
  • Place it in the center of the new bucket and surround it with soil.
  • A pouring rim is useful so that a substrate-water mixture does not spill over every time.

During the planting process, the palm soil is repeatedly pressed lightly with the fist so that no cavities are created. If the golden fruit palm has already developed a powerful habit, it is advisable to add part of the garden soil to the substrate in order to increase its stability.

The Areca palm is a decorative eye-catcher in every room thanks to its enchanting feather fronds. Even beginners who want to green their first apartment can get off to a good start in hobby gardening with Dypsis lutescens. If the location, water and nutrient balance are correct, nothing can actually go wrong with cultivation. With the help of the right care tips, even minor problems can be quickly eliminated.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *