Plant of the Month

Areca palm: Houseplant of the Month

February’s houseplant the Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) gets its nickname of Golden Cane Palm from its golden yellow stems. This palm will make you daydream of tropical beaches, hammocks and sunshine, even when Jack Frost is blowing on the window panes. To keep it in tip-top condition, mist it with plant spray from time to time.

Air purifying tropical eye-catcher

Your ticket to the tropics: the Areca palm is straight out of the jungle, and one of the best air purifying plants. It’s perfect for ushering some hot holiday memories into your home.

Shapes and colours

A beautiful full plant, consisting of reed-like stems with narrow, pointed, ‘pinnate’ bright green leaves. Its elegant stems are golden yellow.

An extra plus: according to none other than NASA, the leaves create good humidity in the house and purify the air. The palm reduces harmful substances and increases the amount of oxygen in the room. It is often considered to be the best air purifying plant. Worth its weight in gold!

Origin

The Areca palm belongs to the Araceae family, also known as Palmae. It originates from the humid tropics of Madagascar, an island with high humidity off the east coast of Africa.

Symbolism

The Areca palm has more names than meanings, such as: golden cane palm, Dypsis, yellow palm and butterfly palm. And the Latin name is, wait for it…; Chrysalidocarpus Lutecens.

It is hard to find specific symbolism for the Areca palm. Palm branches in general were already the symbol for the goddess Nikè, the goddess of victory, in Roman times. The dove of peace also holds a palm branch in its beak.

care

It loves light, but doesn’t want sun all day, except in winter when this is no problem.

Do water regularly, about once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. 

The soil should always stay slightly moist, but please do not allow to stand in the water. Do not water in a dish from underneath, but instead on top of the root ball. This way you can make sure that the smaller palm trees with shorter roots get enough water.

Spray the golden cane palm daily preferably. Especially in winter when the heating is on and the humidity is dry. The plant is sensitive to the cold here in the Netherlands, so use nice lukewarm water.