Areca palm: Houseplant of the Month February 2020

As soon as the Areca palm (scientific name: Dypsis syn. Areca) has settled into its spot, it’s a houseplant that projects nothing but calm. The palm has no central trunk - the reed-like stems all emerge directly from the soil and grow upwards in pale green narrow pointy leaves. They grow outwards in an attractive green fountain shape that looks cheerful, creates lots of atmosphere and also lends a touch of grace to the interior.


Areca palm is a member of the Arecaceae family, which also includes other palms. The plant is often still referred to by the old name of Chysalidocarpus. This can be confusing, so scientists and the plant trade have agreed to use the most recent name for this plant: Dypsis syn. Areca or the Areca palm.

Areca palm assortment
The range is limited; the Areca palm that is sold is Dypsis lutescens. It's available from pot size 9 for the smaller sizes from 38cm upwards through to substantial 6.5 metre high palm trees. The latter have pot sizes up to 1 metre, with stem thicknesses ranging from 5 to 7cm. A distinction is made between various growth habits: stem, bush and clump. Alongside the Areca palm there is another plant with the same genus name: Areca catechu, the betelnut palm. This is a much smaller brother which is highly decorative, and the nuts - which are actually the seeds - are often visible on the soil. 

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