Can you grow areca palm from cuttings?

If you have a beautiful Areca Palm in your house or office, you may want more of them, but you don’t want the hassle or expense of buying another one. The good news is that if you have a healthy areca palm you can grow more of your own by propagating them. You may ask yourself the question of whether you can grow new areca palms from the leaf and stem cuttings like you can with other plants.

Can you grow areca palm from cuttings? A new areca palm cannot be grown from a cutting. Areca palms belong to the monocot family of plants that do not grow new shoots or leaves from the stems of the plant and as such do not support propagation from cuttings. Areca palms can be propagated from seed or by separating and potting offshoots.

Growing a new plant from a cutting is possible in many plant species and is when a stem growing from a branch or trunk of a tree is planted and grows roots, often aided by rooting hormones.

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Areca palms do not have these kinds of above-ground shoots to root which is why it can’t do so. It is still very possible, and often easy, to propagate areca palms at home though, and at the end of this article, you will be doing it yourself!

Growing An Areca Palm From An Offshoot

Areca palms grow in ‘clumps’ of root systems at the base of the plant and can sometimes look a little like a clump of bulbs. Often you will be able to see a small palm offshoot from one of the larger palm bases.

This shoot emerges and develops its own foliage, almost like a baby palm growing from the mother. By carefully removing this smaller offshoot, with its root system intact, and planting it in a new pot to grow as its own plant, you can propagate an areca palm easily.

In a sense, this may be considered a cutting as a small part of the same plant is being removed and grows on its own. The difference is that the piece being removed already has an established or existing root system.

Growing a new areca palm in this way will give you a lush and healthy plant faster than can be achieved from seed.

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This method also has the benefit of being able to see the health and development of the plant from the first day where any complication in growing from seed may only be evident many days or weeks after planting the seed.

Separating an areca palm offshoot, also called root division, can be done at any time of the year, but the plant usually comes out of dormancy in the spring and is strongest in the summer and so for the best chance of success attempt this in these seasons.

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Step-By-Step: How To Propagate An Areca Palm

Follow these steps to separate and grown an offshoot from a potted areca palm:

Step 1: Choose a mature areca palm with multiple stems and in good health to remove the offshoot from.

Step 2: Water the areca palm well the day before, making sure excess water drains off and the soil is left moist and loose.

Step 3: Carefully remove the areca palm from its pot. Do this by gently rolling the pot on its side if it is plastic or patting the sides of the pot to loosen the root ball.

Step 4: Remove the soil from the roots by gently shaking and using your fingers to remove large clods of soil.

Step 5: Rinse the soil off the entire root system. Check which roots are growing from which stems.

Step 6: Choose four to five of the offshoot stems and, with a sharp knife or another blade, cut them away from the parent in a top-to-bottom motion.

Step 7: Prepare potting soil with a 2-to-1 mixture of regular potting soil and coarse sand. Place a small amount of this in the new pot to line the bottom.

Step 8: Carefully place the divided stems together in the pot and fill in the soil to just above where the roots grow on the base of the offshoots.

Step 9: Place the new pot in bright and indirect light and water normally.

Return the original plant to its pot, add fertilizer and water normally.

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Growing An Areca Palm From Seed

Areca palms do produce seeds and it is possible to grow new plants from these seeds. These seeds appear on the palm and are green and brown in color. It is best to use brown and dry seeds. It is possible to use the green seeds, but these may take longer to germinate.

The fleshy exterior of the seeds will need to be removed before they can be planted.

To do this:

  • Place a handful of the areca seeds on a mesh screen
  • Place under the flowing water of a tap or garden hose
  • Scrub or ‘clean’ the seeds by rubbing them against the mesh screen to remove the fibrous outer skin.

The seeds can also be purchased from a nursery or seed supplier.

Once the outer layer has been removed, you will kickstart the germination, place the seeds in the soil, and wait about six weeks for sprouting to take place. Here is a more detailed process.

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Step-By-Step: How To Propagate An Areca Palm From Seed

Once the fibrous outer layer has been removed from the seed, follow these steps to grow an areca seed into a plant:

Step 1: Place the seeds in a glass container and cover the seeds with white vinegar, allowing them to soak for a few hours.

Step 2: Drain off the vinegar and rinse the seeds with water.

Step 3: Prepare a palm potting mix: ideal pH level of 6.0.

Step 4: Place the palm potting mix in a 3-inch germination pot. Fill with water to about ¾ inch from the top of the pot.

Step 5: Add only one seed to each pot. Point the tip of the seed up and make sure the tip is just sticking out of the soil. Spritz with water.

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While waiting for the seeds to germinate, maintain a room temperature of between 80-85°F. Keep the seeding pots out of direct sunlight during this time.

To keep the soil moist, mist the pots. If all these requirements have been maintained the seeds should sprout in about six weeks.

The seedlings are ready for transplanting into their own pots once leaves start to grow. When they are in the new pot, keep the room temperature between 60-75°F and regularly check the moisture of the soil.

Can you grow areca palm from cuttings
Can you grow areca palm from cuttings

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Conclusion

For whatever reason, you may want more of your beautiful Areca Palms in your house or office, but you don’t want the hassle or expense of buying a new one.

The great news is that while a new areca palm cannot be grown from a cutting, it can be propagated from seed or by separating and potting offshoots.

These in themselves may be considered a cutting as a small part of the same plant is being removed and grows on its own, but the piece being removed already has an established or existing root system.

Growing a new areca palm from an offshoot can be done at any time of the year, so why not get started as soon as possible and have some new areca palms for your home or office in no time!