Plant Profile: Areca Palm

Also known as yellow palm or butterfly palm, the Areca Palm is one of the most popular and graceful palms. It is tolerant of the indoor environment, releases copious amounts of moisture into the air, removes chemical toxins, and is also beautiful. One of the faster-growing palms, the areca features a cluster of cane-like stalks that produce feathery, yellow-green fronds. Because of its all-around good qualities, the areca is commonly found in commercial settings as well as in the home. An underplanting of golden pothos or English ivy adds to its aesthetic appeal. In a houseplant setting, a 6 foot (1.8 meter) areca palm transpires approximately 1 quart (one liter) of water every 24 hours. The areca is consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins tested. It also has the unique ability to move salt accumulations to selected branches. When saturated, these branches die and should be quickly removed. Its high marks in all rated categories make the areca one of the top eco-friendly houseplants.

Family: Arecaceae (palm)

Origin: Madagascar

Care:Keep the root ball damp. Provide a complete fertilizer on a regular basis, except in winter. Mist regularly to give a fresh appearance and to provide humidity to discourage insect infestation.

Lighting: Semi-bright

Ideal Temperature: 65-75°F (18-24°C)

Challenges: Spider mites and brown tips on fronds from over-dry atmosphere

Propagation: Cuttings