The golden fruit palm not only looks beautiful, it also has an air-purifying effect. Here you will learn how to properly care for the Areca palm and that it can even be kept in water.
The golden fruit palm is a common houseplant from Madagascar [Photo: Pixel-Shot / shutterstock.com]
The golden fruit palm, also called the areca palm ( Dypsis lutescens ), is a popular indoor and office plant due to its refreshing appearance with its feathery leaves. It is considered to be particularly air-purifying and can not only be kept in traditional soil culture, but also in hydroponics. In this article, we will show you what is important when it comes to maintenance and how to recognize common mistakes.
Golden fruit palm: flower, origin and characteristics
The Areca palm belongs to the palm family (Arecaceae) and originally comes from the tropics of Madagascar, where it can reach a height of up to ten meters. Its flowers are small and light yellow in color, the fruits are golden yellow and have given the golden fruit palm its name. As a houseplant in our apartments, the areca palm does not grow taller than three meters and almost never blooms. Nevertheless, it is very popular with its evergreen, feather-like leaves and upright growth. It is also said to have a strong ability to clean the air and produce high levels of oxygen, which is why it is particularly popular in offices.
The Areca palm is significantly larger in its home than in our apartments [Photo: Onkar gawade / shutterstock.com]
You should pay attention to this when planting: location, soil and Co.
The golden fruit palm likes it light and warm and always needs a fresh to moist substrate. In spring, the tropical plant can be planted in a pot with classic green plant soil – such as our Plantura organic universal soil – which ensures a good supply of nutrients and offers the Areca palm optimal conditions with its pH value in the slightly acidic range. To ensure permanent drainage, it is advisable to mix the soil with at least 30% sand, pumice or lava grit.
In addition, it is important that excess water can drain out of the pot, because the golden fruit palm cannot tolerate water stagnation. The pot should be as deep as possible, as the golden fruit palm forms a taproot that requires a lot of space below.
The plant should then be placed in a bright place with sufficient light, but without direct sunlight. A consistently warm temperature and high humidity are also important. In winter the golden fruit palm can withstand lower temperatures, but these should always be between 15 and 24 ° C.
Hydroponic care is also possible with the Areca palm without any problems. Here the plant is kept without soil, but exclusively in water or in a nutrient solution. To do this, you fill a vessel with expanded clay or another suitable substrate such as expanded slate or lava granulate, which gives the plant support and provides enough air for the roots. The water is then in a planter. A water level meter shows the water requirement, a special hydroponic fertilizer provides the necessary nutrients. Hydroponics also automatically increase the humidity around the plant and make it possible to water in advance.
The golden fruit palm should be in a bright place without drafts [Photo: Aquarius Studio / Shutterstock.com]
Gold fruit palm care: the most important measures
Caring for the areca palm is not complicated, but it is important to take care of the plant regularly. Due to its tropical origin with rainy and dry seasons, high humidity and warm temperatures, the golden fruit palm also needs appropriate care in summer and winter as a houseplant.
Water dypsis lutescens
When watering, it is important that the areca palm never dries out, but also never stands in water. A bit of practice is required here. The amount of water varies depending on the size of the plant and the volume of the vessel. Basically, it is better to water more often and less than rarely and very much at once. The substrate should always be nice and moist. As soon as the upper layer of soil has dried, it must be poured again. Slightly acidic, low-fluoride water should be used. For example, rainwater, which is naturally slightly acidic, distilled water or mineral water without fluoride are suitable. In winter, when the growing season is over, the plant needs less water, but the root ball must not dry out completely.
Tip : Since the golden fruit palm needs a high level of humidity, you should regularly spray it with water. In winter, placing a bowl of water on the heater can also help.
Its golden fruits gave the golden fruit palm its name [Photo: Explore Reloaded stock / Shutterstock.com]
Fertilize golden fruit palm
The areca palm needs a lot of nutrients to grow. It is therefore important to always supply the plant with new nutrients through fertilization. Since the golden fruit palm reacts sensitively to deposits of chloride and fluoride, a mineral fertilizer is not advisable, as the nutrients are present here in the form of these salts, among other things. Organic fertilizers are more suitable, for example our mainly organic Plantura organic indoor and green plant fertilizer, which provides the golden fruit palm with important nutritional elements from vegetable raw materials and can also be used for other green plants. It should only be fertilized during the growing season, i.e. in spring and summer, approximately every two weeks.
Cut the areca palm
The Areca palm does not need pruning. The only important thing is to remove yellow, dead or dried up leaves. These often arise at the edge, as the plant always forms new leaves in the middle. To remove this, cut the leaf at the base close to the trunk.
If the golden fruit palm becomes too big or grows too overgrown, you can also cut off some outer leaves at the base.
If the areca palm gets yellow leaves, it can have various causes [Photo: Alohapatty / Shutterstock.com]
Repot the golden fruit palm
Older areca palms should be given new soil every few years. In the meantime, it may be sufficient to only renew the upper substrate. At the latest when the pot is filled with roots and has become too small, the plant should be repotted. It is best to repot in spring, at the beginning of the growth phase, in two thirds of fresh green plant soil mixed with one third of sand or lava granulate to improve drainage. Above all, the new pot should be deep enough so that there is enough space for the roots. The fresh soil holds new nutrients ready and a larger pot volume also enables a higher water supply. It is also important in the new pot that excess water can drain off. For example, a layer of potsherds or stones over the drainage hole is helpful. The roots of the golden fruit palm are quite sensitive, which is why caution is advised when repotting.
The Areca palm should be repotted carefully because the roots are sensitive [Photo: LuxMockup / Shutterstock.com]
Pests and diseases
The most common pests on areca palms include:
- Mealybugs: form a web of cotton wool on the leaf.
- Scale insects: are very well camouflaged, which is why the plant should be checked regularly and thoroughly.
- Spider mites: occur especially in winter when there is not enough humidity in the room.
Why does the golden fruit palm get brown tips?
- Cold, dry air or drafts : sometimes manifest as brown leaf tips.
- Direct sun : can lead to yellowish brown spots or yellow and dried up leaves.
- Too much or too little fertilizer : sometimes manifests itself in yellow discoloration of the leaves.
- Excess water : indicated by completely dried out palm fronds
Tip: Not only the amount of fertilizer, but also the fertilizer itself can be responsible for yellow lightening, so-called chlorosis, of the leaves. The damage is often caused by an iron or magnesium deficiency. Both trace elements are only slightly present in normal potting soil and in many fertilizers and must be added individually or made available through regular repotting.
The Areca palm can be easily propagated by cuttings [Photo: Spino Kim / Shutterstock.com]
Propagate gold fruit palm
The areca palm forms offshoots that can easily be used for propagation. To do this, separate the daughter plants from the mother plant and place them in a separate pot. This is best done in spring when the growth phase begins. It is important that the offshoot has already formed its own roots and is at least 30 cm long. The temperature for the offshoot of the golden fruit palm should ideally be over 20 ° C, the soil must be kept moist and the location must be bright. In the beginning it can help to put a plastic bag with a few air holes over the plant to ensure higher humidity. When the first palm fronds have formed, the plant can be treated like an adult golden fruit palm. If necessary, you can then repot again. The first fertilization should take place after four months so that the offshoot has time to form sufficient roots.
Propagation via seeds is also possible with the golden fruit palm, but it takes a long time before you can see the first successes. Sowing is best done in spring. The seeds should first soak in water for about two days before they are sown on green plant soil and lightly covered with soil. The pot must now be placed in a light and warm place and the soil must always be kept moist. The temperature should be more than 18 ° C. To further increase the humidity, the pots can be covered with cling film or a plastic bag with a few small air holes. The seeds only germinate after about 40 days – so your patience is required here.
Golden fruit palms can also be grown from seeds [Photo: ADI Stock / Shutterstock.com]
Is the golden fruit palm poisonous?
As far as is known, the golden fruit palm is non-toxic for humans and animals. It can therefore be placed in the home and in the office without hesitation.
Not only the golden fruit palm is considered to be air-purifying. Here we introduce you to more air-purifying plants for your home.