The areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is a tropical palm species that occurs naturally in Madagascar. There the areca palm grows mainly in humid areas along the coast. Areca's are rare in other areas or further inland. The areca is classified in the Red List as almost threatened ("Sensitive"). This is because this popular houseplant is regularly taken from the wild to be sold.
The palm needs large amounts of sunlight, but not direct sunlight. A spot in the semi-shade is therefore ideal for this plant.
In addition, the plant can grow quite large, so it fits best in large spaces. Good spaces are spacious living rooms, hallways or office spaces. It is advisable to place the plant in front of a window facing north. A window facing west or east is also possible, but take a little more distance from the window. If there is too much sunlight, the leaves will discolour and if there is too little light, no new leaves will grow. In both cases the ornamental value will decrease.
A minimum daytime temperature of 15 degrees Celsius is recommended and a minimum nighttime temperature of 7 degrees Celsius. The plant lives best at temperatures between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.
The lower leaves will become uglier and new beautiful leaves will replace them. This cannot be avoided as this is a natural process. It is advisable to prune the older leaves to maintain the ornamental value. Moreover, it takes energy for the plant to keep these old leaves.
It is important that the soil of the Areca always remains moist. Make sure that the roots are not under a layer of water, as this can cause irreparable damage to the roots. Water several times a week in summer and only in winter when the soil is dry. You can check whether the soil is still wet or dry by putting your finger into the soil. Not giving the right amounts of water can result in massive leaf loss. So take the water seriously if you want to prevent this.
Make sure you repot the Areca once every 2 to 3 years in a larger pot. This will provide space for the roots so that the plant can grow well again. The pot should be about 20% wider than the old pot. Always pot in the spring, so that the roots can still recover from any damage.
The Areca grows fast in summer. In case of rapid growth it is important that the plants receive extra nutrition. Give once every 2 weeks extra plant nutrition.
The Areca originates from the island of Madagascar. The plant only grows here in the dune area where the soil is very moist. The Areca has unfortunately almost disappeared from the wild, because the plant is taken from nature to place in living rooms for decoration.
The Areca must be cared for in a high humidity. If this does not happen, the plant can suffer from spider mites. This can be hidden by regularly wetting the plant with the plant sprayer. Furthermore, the Areca does not suffer much from diseases.
Excellent air purification
The Areca plant is one of the most air-purifying plants sold as an indoor plant. The Areca is able to remove the harmful substances formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene and rope from the air. Let this be the substances that will be present in almost every home and office.