Areca (lat. Areca) is a genus of plants belonging to the Palm family (Arecaceae). More than 50 species are known that grow in the humid tropical forests of China and India, as well as in Malaysia, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands.
The homeland of the plant is Tropical Asia, Oceania.
A distinctive feature of the Areca palm is a thin stem with ring-shaped scars at the base. Thick, feather-shaped leaves are bright green in color. Inflorescences-cobs are formed below the crown at the sites of old scars left over from the leaves. Depending on the variety of palm, its growth at home ranges from 35 cm to 12 m, in nature they are much higher.
Other plant names: Betel palm, Chrysalidocarpus yellowing.
Areca - popular varieties:
Areca three-stalked (Areca triandra) - leaves are straight pinnately dissected, with a glossy surface, with pronounced veins. At home it grows up to 3 m. During the flowering period a pleasant lemon aroma emanates from the tree, the flowers are white, the fruit is 2.5 cm long.
Areca catechu (Areca catechu) - the most popular representative of this genus, height 20 m, trunk diameter 50 cm, better known as Bethel palm. The leaves are long, up to 2 meters. The palm tree is most often used to decorate gardens, hotels or shopping centers. It grows very slowly and rarely bears fruit.
Areca yellowing (Areca lutescens) or Chrysalidocarpus yellowing is a medium-sized palm tree, usually grows up to 10 m, trunk thickness 1 m. Long, arcuate leaves are yellowish with small black dots, 1 - 1.3 m long. The axillary inflorescence is densely branched. It grows and develops well at home.
Areca in the online store Flora Life
The unpretentious beauty has won the hearts of many flower growers, her large, feathery leaves of a rich green color, bending beautifully, form a kind of arches around the trunk. A decorative palm tree with its presence can decorate any room.
Great for spacious spaces such as offices and hallways, as this plant requires a lot of light. It will not cause problems, although it requires a lot of attention. To avoid difficulties, you should familiarize yourself with the conditions of the areca.
Do not place the plant near working batteries, direct sunlight and drafts. This can lead to shedding of leaves and loss of attractiveness. To make the palm feel comfortable, you should adjust the frequency of watering, it should not be too frequent, but not very rare. The lower the air temperature, the less often you need to water the areca. With proper attention and care, the palm tree will delight you with active growth and luxurious appearance.
Lighting. This luxurious palm tree loves diffused light. Able to withstand excess lighting. But you should be careful with young plants that are not 5-6 years old, they are especially sensitive to direct sunlight. An adult areca is more resilient, but still experimenting with bright sunlight is not worth it. It is permissible to expose a palm tree to a sunlit area only from May to June, at other times it is better to shade it in order to avoid burning the leaves.
Temperature. Be sure to ventilate the room where the areca is kept, it needs fresh air, just make sure that there are no drafts. In summer, the optimum temperature for palm trees is 22–30 ° С. In winter, 18–16 ° С. Plants over 10 years of age are able to withstand a short-term drop in temperature, young palms do not tolerate temperature fluctuations well.
Air humidity. To provide the necessary moisture, palm leaves must be periodically sprayed with settled water at room temperature, the ideal option would be to use rainwater. Especially do not neglect this rule in the summer, when the areca needs high humidity.
Watering. Excessive watering can lead to decay of the roots, which will have a bad effect on the life of your exotic beauty. Although it is also undesirable to dry out the soil, then the leaves begin to turn yellow. Water often in the spring and summer, but only after the top layer of the substrate dries slightly. Reduce watering in autumn and winter. The palm tree does not like hard water, it is advisable to use filtered, rain or well-separated tap water.
Top dressing. Areca should be fed with mineral fertilizers of normal concentration intended for indoor plants. In summer, once every two weeks, the rest of the time, once a month is enough.
Transfer. It is better not to subject the palm tree to frequent transplants unnecessarily, no more than once every three years. When the plant has become cramped in the pot, you need to carefully transplant it into a more spacious container. An acceptable time for transplanting is spring. At the same time, try not to damage the earth ball, the soil level should be the same as before. Pick an acidic or neutral soil pH 6.0-7.8.
Trimming and shaping. Since the areca is not a branchy plant, it does not need pruning. Only broken or damaged leaves are removed, be careful not to damage the trunk of the palm tree during the procedure.
Bloom. Areca blooms very rarely at home. When this happens, small flowers, collected in a panicle, of a yellow or cream shade, flaunt on it, which are then replaced by dark purple fruits.
Important: Be careful, areca fruits and seeds are poisonous, contain alkaloids and tannins. Do not eat the fruits or self-medicate with this plant, so as not to cause significant harm to your body.
Reproduction. The right time of year for breeding is spring or summer. Two methods of reproduction are known: by seeds and by dividing the bush. When propagating by seeds: a moist substrate is prepared in a mini-greenhouse, its temperature for successful germination of seeds should be 23-28 ° C. Subject to the temperature regime and semi-dark lighting, after a month and a half, you will find the first shoots.
Reproduction by dividing the bush is best done in April - May. Seedlings are planted in pre-prepared containers with a soil mixture, after which they are watered and placed in partial shade. Protect the seedlings from drafts, rooting will take place faster if you provide air humidity and a temperature of 20-25 ° C.
Diseases and pests. Most often it is affected by fungal infections. The leaves will tell you about this, in this case, red-brown spots appear on them, increasing over time. Help consists in treating with a fungicidal preparation and stopping the spraying, until complete recovery.
Also betel palms can be attacked by mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Control methods: treatment with insecticidal agents and maintaining high humidity in the room.
Plant in winter. Hide a tropical guest from the frosty air, she does not belong near cold windows and drafts. In winter, watering should be reduced to less than once a week. Focus on the appearance of the top layer of the substrate, if it is dry enough, then it's time to water your palm tree. Maintain the air temperature at this time of the year at least 16C.
Interesting Facts. Despite the toxicity of areca fruits, they are used in medicine as an anthelmintic and for diarrhea. Filipinos use the fruits of the areca to make gum.
With its presence in the house, areca purifies the air from chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide. This wonderful plant, with its well-groomed appearance, will give your home the mysterious beauty of the green jungle, revive the interior and add a fabulous mood.
PHOTO OF AREKA