Balcony plants are a source of joy for their sheer beauty and in some cases their healing qualities which enhance our environment and our beings. In times like ours, when the greenery around us is getting depleted for various reasons and pollution is becoming a hazardous evil, these green living creatures, bring welcome relief to our lives. We can easily grow and care areca palm balcony garden.
Having been exposed in my growing up years to my mother’s garden, I have developed a special affinity towards plants. For me, they are part of my family just like my pets.
As years went by, I found myself living in apartments where the balconies, whether big or small became the house of my precious plants.
Areca Palm Plants
The Areca Palm has always held a prominent place in my collection of plants being one of the most popular indoor palm trees. With arching long fronds and possessing a tall figure, this palm exudes a tropical sense wherever one places it.
The Areca Palm is most commonly known as the Golden Cane or the Butterfly Palm. The Areca Palm whose botanical name is Chrysalidocarpus Lutescens is an easy-growing ornamental plant.
Its feathery, arching fronds each with up to a hundred leaflets is so often used as a screen to maintain privacy and shade. These big, bold plants definitely command attention.
Being a tropical plant, the Areca Palm prefers to grow in locations with a warm climate, has originated from Madagascar but later was naturalized in the Andaman Islands and other geographies around the world.
There are several varieties of the Areca Palm that exist all around the world, the most popular ones being The Butterfly Palm (Dypsis Lutescens), The Betel Nut Palm (Areca Catechu), and The Triangle Palm (Dypsis Decaryi).
The Areca Palm possesses a tall and clumping figure. It’s smooth, golden trunks and the narrowed foliage resemble the bamboo tree. However, the Areca Palm is a definite preference over the bamboo when considered for an indoor or a balcony placement.
The plant is usually sold in small tree clusters. It is less common to plant the Areca Palm from seeds however it isn’t impossible. One can propagate the Areca seeds by planting them in seed-starting soil, with love, of course.
With proper care, the Areca Palm will grow approximately 6 to10 inches per year. Meanwhile, its maximum height can possibly reach up to 6-8 feet!
Areca palm benefits
Lots of benefits of Areca palm.
The Areca Palm is most commonly found in residential buildings and offices and is often used to cover blank walls and decorate entrances. It is a safe house plant and does not harm children and pets as it is free from all toxic materials.
The Areca Palm grows beautifully indoors where it is known to filter household toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, acetone, benzene, trichloroethylene, and toluene from the air.
These harmful chemicals are emitted from petroleum products, paints, and wooden furniture, some of which are unavoidable in our homes.
To put it into simpler words, it does the job of an air purifier by improving the quality of the air in our surroundings thereby gifting us a set of healthy lungs!
Another great advantage of having the Areca palm in one’s vicinity is that it is a great stress buster and helps with the elimination of tension. This fact is backed by scientific research.
It also acts as a natural humidifier by releasing moisture in the air through a process called ‘transpiration’ thereby keeping the area around us significantly cooler.
Just like most other plants, the Areca Palm aids in improving cognitive ability, which means the enhancement of problem-solving ability and in turn, increasing our productivity.
Global research has shown that being near the Areca Palm can make one feel calm and can help with healing injuries faster.
The Areca Palm is known to help with the development of children and the fetus and also helps with strengthening the central nervous system of human beings and animals as well.
Optimum Conditions Required to Grow The Areca Palm
Below are the optimum to grow and care areca palm balcony garden.
Providing just the right amount of light is one of the key factors in successfully growing the Areca Palm. These palms need bright and indirect light from the south or west-facing direction in order to really thrive. It is best to place the Areca Palm in a location that exposes it to indirect sunlight.
It is to be carefully noted that the fronds and the foliage’s of the Areca Palm turn yellowish-green and sometimes burn if exposed to direct sunlight. Having said that, the Areca Palm can grow in full sunlight but they grow best in areas of partial shade.
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The Areca Palm likes its frequent watering. However, the key is to keep the plant moist while avoiding over-watering. It is true that the plant has a thirst but one must remember to not over-do it.
Once it is observed that the top layer of the soil is drying, you know that it’s time to water. Be careful about not waiting for the soil to dry up completely.
One needs to water the Areca Palm often enough to keep the soil lightly moist in spring and summer and allowing the soil to dry slightly between the watering cycle in fall and winter.
Let me say it again, it is imperative to make sure that the plant is not overwatered. The roots of the plant tend to rot and die if there is waterlogging at the bottom of the pot.
Soil and Climatic Conditions
The Areca Palm needs well-drained soil. The fronds benefit from a micro-nutrient spray in the summer. One can use a liquid houseplant fertilizer that contains micro-nutrients that are beneficial for plants.
However, always remember, it is an important point that the Areca palm should not be fed in the autumn and winter seasons.
There is a requirement to fertilize the Areca Palm with a time-release fertilizer in spring. This gives the plant most of the nutrients it needs for the entire season. This has to be followed by fertilizing the plant four times a year.
In the spring, the plant should be fed with a liquid fertilizer that has a high amount of nutrients. As for the summer, micronutrient spray is enough to keep its foliage’s in a healthy state. One needs to fertilize the palm at least once a month or on a regular basis.
However, during the growing season, it should be fertilized at least 2-3 times a month. Please note that one must never fertilize the Areca Palm in the fall and winter.
The best match with the Areca palm for its blooming growth is a slightly acidic soil with a PH level of 6.1 to 6.5. A great tip is adding lime to the compost which helps in raising the PH levels.
This type of soil provides a good drainage system and prevents the plant from having water-logged roots. If the soil has a low acidic state, one can mix it with peat to create a suitable planting medium for the Areca palm.
These tropical beauties love to grow in temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit in daylight and around 55 degrees Fahrenheit at night time. The Areca Palm cannot tolerate low temperatures falling below 50 degrees.
Therefore, if one is growing the Areca Palm outdoors, be sure to move the plant inside during winter or colder seasons. Besides, these tropical palms love high humidity!
Areca Palm Care
The Areca Palm’s care routine includes several main procedures.
In addition to basic care like watering and fertilizing, the palm needs to be pruned and repotted once in a while.
Below is how to grow and care areca palm in your balcony garden,
The Areca Palm creates new growth from the center of its roots. Trimming or cutting new growths can stunt the plant. One should remember to always remove the old and dried-up leaves even though they are non-toxic.
The fronds which turn brown or yellow indicate that your Areca Palm needs pruning. One must use wet, clean scissors to prune the brown or yellow tips of the fronds.
Utmost care has to be taken while pruning so no damage is done to the other green foliage that is still healthy.
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In general, the Areca Palm does not need to be repotted frequently. However, in order to ensure the palm thrives for years, it is advisable to re-pot the Areca Palm every two to three years.
It is a matter of great importance to make the right choice when selecting a pot or container for the plant. The container should be twice the size of the Areca Palm’s root balls so that it can provide enough room for the root to grow to double its size and also to save the time that would otherwise be spent on repotting the plant frequently.
While repotting, make sure to use a fresh pot that is, of course, much larger size than the older one. Move the plant into the new pot carefully so that no damage is done to the root balls. Moreover, avoid burying the palm too deep because it may prevent the root from growing.
The Areca Palm does not like a tight container and the crowded roots tend to limit the growth size of the plant. The main reason for repotting the plant is to replace the aged potting soil and remove the fertilizer salt deposits that build up in the soil and on and around the sides of the pot.
For this purpose use palm potting soil or a general-purpose mix blended with a handful of clean builder’s sand.
Utmost care needs to be taken while planting the palm into the new pot which should be at the same depth as it was in the older pot because planting it too deeply can cause serious injury to the roots.
The roots of the Areca palm are brittle and delicate; hence it is advisable not to attempt to spread them out.
After filling the soil, in and around the roots, press the soil down with your hands to make sure that it is tightly packed. One can eliminate the air pockets by flooding the pot with water and pressing the soil down once again.
Additional soil can also be added if found necessary.
Besides these few things to remember, all in all, the Areca Palm is an easy-going plant that does not require any special care but having said that, the Areca Palm will not tolerate neglect!
A few general problems with the Areca Palm, which one needs to be aware of, are that there are several types of pests that are attracted to the plant and can attack and damage the palm, especially its fronds.
These include scale, aphid, whitefly, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Disinfestation needs to be conducted as soon as one detects the presence of these pests. Another thing that can cause harm to the plant is the Ganoderma and the Pink Rot disease.
Both of these are responsible for making the palm loses its fronds. These diseases are not treatable but they can be prevented if one provides a good drainage system in the planting medium.
Unfortunately, the future of this house plant is near threatened as the population decreases globally. A common but yet endangered plant, continuous to fashion the lines ‘the bigger the better’.
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The presence of this amazing Areca Palm will add a tropical vibe to one’s surroundings and its lush and beautiful foliage will definitely brighten the environment. Make sure to treat it with love and unconditional care and your Areca Palm will most definitely thrive to provide you with those positive vibes! It will surely be your companion for a long, long time! I hope you got to know how to grow and care areca palm balcony garden.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.