Areca palm is also known as the golden cane palm or yellow bamboo palm and can be planted in warm coastal regions of the United States. It can be grown inside or outside if the natural weather permits. These palms are native to Madagascar, though it is considered endangered in its native environment. Planting and growing an areca palm requires proper preparation of the soil, the right amount of sun and the right amount of water.
It is not recommended to try to grow areca palm from seed. To speed the germination of the seeds commercial growers soak viable seeds in a solution of hot sulfuric acid. This allows the seeds to germinate in about 6 weeks. The seed must be planted in ground that remains between 80 and 85 degrees to help them germinate. This process is too dangerous and difficult for consumers to follow. Consumers can more easily plant seedlings that have already germinated. These seedlings are widely available at landscapers in southern states where the palms are often used in landscaping.
Areca palms as with all other palms need to have roots kept moist, but not wet. When planting indoors the soil should be a three to one mixture of peat to sand or a commercial palm soil preparation can also be used. When planting outdoors it may be better to use a mixture of 6 parts peat, 3parts pine bard and 1 part sand. This will provide adequate drainage for the roots and still keep them moist. This will also keep the soil above a 6.0 on the PH scale. Palms are not able to process fluoride that is often in the water when the PH is below 6.0.
Areca palms prefer partial shade when planted outside and need plenty of sun year round when planted inside. They need warm soil, though short periods of freezing may not kill the plant. Areca palms should be planted in the prepared soil so the tops of the roots are under about 2 inches of soil. Water the plant thoroughly, but do not allow the roots to sit in water. Add liquid fertilizer regularly to promote growth.
It is important to rinse an areca palm with warm, fluoride free, water on a regular basis. This will remove excess salts that build up from fertilizer from the soil and from the plant itself. Palms are not able to process fluoride so it is best to allow natural rainfall to water the plant outside and use distilled water for indoor plants. Do not overwater as this is the single most common mistake for palms. Their roots are best when moist, not wet. For indoor plants make sure water is able to drain completely through the pot into a dish below. Remove the dish when water has finished draining so the plant does not sit in wet soil. The Areca Palm is a great plant for indoor or outdoor use.