How to look after your Dypsis lutescens
- Positioning and light
- Pests and disease
The bBamboo pPalm, also known as Areca, is a lush, elegant tropical plant from Madagascar. These sleek architectural palms with arching feathery fronds are great as a focal point indoors but make sure you have enough headroom. They can get up to 3.5m tall.
Position and light
As these palms can grow inside or out, indoor palms may not receive enough light, so put them in a spot where they will get either bright, indirect light, although they can handle something slightly lower, just not in a really dark spot.
Only water them when the top couple of cm of the soil feels dry, but do water them well especially during hot and dry weather - and check that the pot is draining properly every now and then. They’re pretty sensitive to being waterlogged, so you don’t want to let the soil get too soggy as it will lead to root rot, which will destroy the plant, or will make the plant weak and lead the way for it becoming susceptible to pests. If you can, use rainwater or filtered water when watering them. They don’t like fluoride that much.
If your humidity drops, you’ll notice the leaf tips turning brown, so don’t have them in a room that gets dried out from heaters or air conditioners. Leaf tip burn is caused by chilly air, over- or under-watering, and poor soil conditions.
A well-draining peat-based potting mix is a good choice to plant them in. They do like slightly acidic soil, so when repotting make sure you use a suitable potting mix. Feed them with a time-release or liquid fertiliser throughout the growing season, i.e. spring and summer.
Don’t feed in late autumn and winter as the plant goes dormant. They are heavy feeders, so be religious about making sure they get enough. Don’t be in a hurry to cut off any browning or dying fronds, rather wait until they’re almost totally brown before removing.
Pests and disease
Although they’re not too bothered by bugs, keep an eye out for mites on the underside of leaves, and if you do see any, wipe them away with soapy water, then freshen them up with a wipe of fresh water to clean off any residue and dust. Likewise with mealybug.
Arecas like being cramped by the way, as long as the container has enough drainage holes. And as it can get quite big, having the roots crowded keeps its size in check. But it would be a good idea to repot every year or so, not necessarily into a larger pot, but to refresh the potting mix.
Is my areca palm pet friendly?
We can give you some piece of mind and let you know that this indoor plant is pet friendly. That means that inner desire your cat may feel to start swatting at the tropical leaves shouldn’t be a concern and you can just enjoy the fun.