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DYPSIS lutescens

Image of Dypsis lutescens

Carol Cloud Bailey

Family

Arecaceae

Botanical Name

DYPSIS lutescens

Plant Common Name

Areca Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Yellow Bamboo Palm, Yellow Butterfly Palm

General Description

Areca palm is a popular tropical plant that is native to Madagascar. It has glossy, graceful, feathery compound leaves that have long, narrow, bright green leaflets along a yellow frond stem. In summer it produces small yellow flowers followed by yellow to purple fruits.

This pleasing palm forms multiple trunks and large clumps. It is used extensively as a landscape palm in frost-free locations and an interior specimen where not hardy. Outside, it prefers full sun to partial shade and very well-drained, fertile but acidic soil. It is drought tolerant, but looks much better with regular watering. Arecas are heavy feeders and show blatant leaf-yellowing in sandy or alkaline soils; use a complete, balanced fertilizer with minor elements regularly according to label instructions as well as using mulch. Prune by removing individual canes at ground level and divided the clumps for propagation and thinning.

When used as interior plants, provide bright to very bright, indirect light and plenty of humidity. A tray of water-filled rocks placed under the plant will help. Water until the soil is moist and not again until dry, Areca palms do not tolerate wet feet. Fertilize regularly with a balanced liquid product to prevent commonly occurring nutrient deficiencies. This palm is also susceptible to invasion by mealybugs and spidermites; use a damp cloth to wipe the leaves, particularly the undersides to remove small numbers of pest before a serious problem occurs.

Areca palms are great choices for landscape specimen planting, barriers and borders where hardy. They are beautiful as houseplants anywhere.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    10 - 15

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Palm or Cycad

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    10'-28' / 3.0m - 8.5m

  • Width

    10'-20' / 3.0m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Madagascar

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Pollution, Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Yellow, Purple

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Houseplant, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes