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Areca Palm Care 101: Dypsis Lutescens Care Tips You Should Know

Areca Palm Care 101: Dypsis Lutescens Care Tips You Should Know

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Dypsis Lutescens is a tropical and moderately easy to care for plant that is sure to spruce up your garden. This houseplant is well-loved because of its distinctive appearance and feel.

In this post, we’re sharing the most important tips and tricks you’ll need to know to successfully raise a Dypsis Lutescens!

If you’re looking for options to buy this plant, we have a few reasonable suggestions for you to explore. Continue reading to learn more about this Dypsis’s interesting attributes.

What Is Dypsis Lutescens?

The Dypsis Lutescens is known to some as Areca Palm, Butterfly Palm, and Bamboo Palm. It is a tropical plant made popular by its bamboo-like leaves.

This perennial belongs to the Arecaceae family. Its rich green, pinnate leaves love humidity when grown indoors.

If you are in hardiness zones 10-11, you have the option to raise your Dypsis Lutescens outdoors.

Origin And Family

From the Dypsis genus in the Arecaceae family, Areca Palm plants are native to the forests of Eastern Madagascar and produce insignificant small yellow flowers. However, its conservation status is “near threatened” in its natural habitat. 

While considered an endangered species, it has been long naturalized in countries like Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, US states like Florida and Hawaii, and more.

Where To Buy

Dypsis Lutescens is a beautiful addition to any garden, and we’ve had great success buying them online. You may visit your local nursery first, but if you want to select and buy plants from the comfort of your home, then be sure to check out Etsy.

The price tags for a Dypsis Lutescens are usually fairly affordable, ranging between $30 for young plants to $70 for larger or more mature plants. Most plant enthusiasts purchase a smaller plant size to use as a tabletop plant.

Dypsis Lutescens Plant Size

Indoors, the Dypsis Lutescens reaches a mature height of 6-12 feet and a width of 6-8 feet. This Dypsis grows at a moderate rate and beautifully thrives when placed near an east, west or south-facing window. 

As it matures, multiple stems emerge from the base and produce attractive arching fronds with narrow leaflets. These feathery fronds grow in clusters or thick clumps with approximately six to eight leaves on long curving upward petioles. Its leaves have approximately 90 to 110 leaflets that appear in the shape of a “V.” The more mature plants exude many characteristics like a bamboo palm.

Dypsis Lutescens Care Needs

When properly cared for, your Dypsis Lutescens should grow well in your home. With its bamboo-like leaves, this plant adores humidity and wants relatively moist soil.

You’ll want to water your Dypsis when the top two inches of the soil are dry. And make sure you give the water time to leak from the drainage hole. While the Lutescens prefers indirect light, it can do fairly well in direct light in many situations.

Care Difficulty

The Butterfly Palm is considered by most indoor gardeners to be moderately easy to care for. With the right light and proper drainage, it should be simple to keep this plant thriving.

Growth Rate

The Bamboo Palm reaches a height of 6-12 feet when grown inside a home. This plant will usually grow more actively during the spring and summer months.

Most Dypsis species, including the Lutescens, are known to grow at a moderate pace.

Potting

Dypsis plants, in general, prefer a well-draining pot. A large-sized plastic, terracotta, or clay pot is recommended for your Areca Palm.

Poor drainage is one of the primary killers of houseplants leading to root rot. The best way to prevent this is to use a pot with a drainage hole. This allows excess water to safely drain away instead of causing root rot.

Repotting

As your Dypsis Lutescens develops, you should consider moving it to a larger pot when you start seeing roots press through the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot (this is another reason to have pot with holes). The Luteescens is a moderately fast grower, so you can expect to repot every three years or so.

However, the root ball of this beauty adores being pot-bound, so take special care when repotting this plant. It also prefers a tight container so when repotting, only go up a single pot size bigger.

When repotting, use a fresh batch of new soil for your Dypsis so its roots will have more nutrients to absorb. It’s also best to repot during its growing season.

Soil

A standard commercial potting soil is recommended for the Butterfly Palm. A combination of peat, pine bark, and coarse sand can be combined to make your own potting mix. 

The key is to have a mixture that’s well-aerated to support drainage. To make your own soil mix, use components such as peat, pine bark, and part coarse sand. 

We suggest choosing potting mixes such as the following:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.96
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
Sun Gro Horticulture...image Sun Gro Horticulture Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $18.06
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

Your Bamboo Palm likes neutral to acidic soil, meaning you should keep the pH level at 6.1-6.5. If you think your plant is too acidic or alkaline, start with a pH test.

pH levels that are too high or too low can be altered with aluminum sulfate and baking soda, respectively.

Water

When watering Areca Palm, you’ll want to keep your soil relatively moist. Stick a finger into the pot or invest in a soil moisture meter device to gauge moisture. You’ll know it’s time to water your Dypsis when the top two inches of the soil are dry.

Quite sensitive to tap water compounds like fluoride, this plant can thrive best when quenched with filtered or distilled water. If you are using tap water, make sure to leave it overnight or for up to 24 hours to allow the chemical compounds to evaporate.

One of the most common ways to kill an indoor plant is to give it too much water. If you’re not sure what to do, keep in mind that it’s better to keep the Areca Palm underwater than over water. Also, make sure the soil drains quickly and that the pot has holes for drainage. This decorative palm plant doesn’t like the soil to be too wet.

Light

The Lutescens prefers bright indirect light, but it can usually do decently in direct light indoors. That said, if your plant gets too much light, its leaves may burn. The best way to correct this is to simply move your plant away from the window or limit the light through the use of curtains. 

On the other hand, your Lutescens may not grow as fast if it doesn’t get the required rays it needs. In this case, you can move your plant near a window or somewhere with more light. You can also use grow lights with it. We suggest the following products for artificial lighting:

Fertilizer

Like people, plants need more food when they are growing quickly. The Butterfly Palm is a fast grower tha needs quite a bit of fertilizer. This growth spurt usually happens in the spring and summer. During these warmer months, you can use a fertilizer mixed with water once a month.

During the winter, you don’t need to fertilize at all.

Propagating Dypsis Lutescens

The primary way to propagate Lutescens is through a process call division.

Division

A Bamboo Palm is grown in clumps, and as it grows, it keeps making more clumps. So the best way to propagate this plant is to cut apart the groups of stems with tangled roots.

1. Dig up. Tap the sides of the pot with your small shovel to loosen the soil. Pull the plant out by giving it a gentle tug.

2. Separate. You should be able to see where each stem ends on its own, and you can use your hands to separate them. You may need to cut the roots, but be careful not to hurt the main root ball.

3. Repot. Move each piece to a smaller pot with the same soil it was in before.

Humidity And Aeration

This popular houseplant is an interesting perennial that prefers high humidity – often around 70% or higher.

If the edges of the leaves on your plant are turning brown, try one of these ways to increase humidity:

• Put your houseplants close together to make a bubble of humidity.

• Buy a humidifier.

• Put your plant pots on a tray with pebbles and water. This will make a vapor around your plant.

• Mist your plant, but don’t do it too often or you could invite diseases.

Temperature

The best temperature for your Bamboo Palm is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit

Try to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Don’t water your Bamboo Palm with cold or hot water so its roots don’t go into shock. To avoid damage from cold, keep it away from air vents, cold drafts, and air conditioners.

Flowers

Although it happens rarely indoors, you might be able to witness your Areca Palm producing flowers that are insignificant and yellow. Outdoors, this plant blooms from spring to early summer. The flowers grow from beneath the leaves and are both male and female. After blooming, a green to yellow fruit appears. These oval-shaped fruits are non-edible and turn yellow to orange as they ripen.

Non-Toxic

Butterfly Palm is not considered toxic to humans, dogs, or cats! This means it’s the perfect option for homes with babies and fur babies alike! 

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Dypsis Lutescens is a disease and pest-resistant plant. But even resistant plants aren’t immune to everything. Below are some of the common ailments your palm might experience.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are a common and annoying problem with houseplants, including Bamboo Palm. Spider mite damage shows up on the leaves as small brown or yellow dots. If the infestation is really bad, you might start to see sticky webs and small red bugs.

To get rid of the spider mites, start by washing your Bamboo Palm all over with soap and water. If that doesn’t work, you can suffocate the spider mites with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil.

If you have multiple plants in your home, you should quarantine your Bamboo Palm until it has recovered.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small insects that feed on organic matter in the soil. Their larvae are known to devour the roots of plants, which is terrible news for your Areca Palm.

Products such as Pyrethrin sprays, neem oil, and hydrogen peroxide target both the flies and the larvae. If you reapply frequently, you should be able to exterminate these annoying insects in weeks.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs may infest your Bamboo Palm. These little parasites damage your Dypsis by inserting a feeding tube into the plant tissues and sucking on the sap, and they can eventually weaken your plant.

Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol to kill them, then manually remove each mealybug. Neem oil mixed with water can also be sprayed on the leaves to suffocate these bugs.

Brown Leaf Tips

On your Areca Palm, you might see brown tips on the leaves.

To combat this, make your indoor growing space more humid, or water your plant as soon as the top of the soil dries out.

Brown leaf tips could also be a sign of a problem with the plant’s roots. Make sure your plant is growing in a medium that lets air and water through and drains well.

Drooping Leaves

When mealybugs and other pests attack the Dypsis Lutescens, it can lose its leaves. This problem can also be caused by too little water, not enough nutrients, or too little humidity.

Yellow Leaves

If you see that the leaves on your Butterfly Palm are turning yellow, you will need to find out if you have changed how you care for it or if the weather has changed recently.

Yellowing leaves can be caused by too much water, too little water, too much fertilizer, too little fertilizer, too much light, too little light, root damage, changes in temperature, and pests.

Root Rot

The biggest danger to Bamboo Palm is root rot. Indoor gardeners often give their plants too much water or forget to give them enough drainage. Rotting roots will look black and mushy, and they will cause a plant to weaken and die. Prevention is always better than treatment, as the saying goes.

The easiest way to stop root rot is to control how much water the plant gets. Increase the time between waterings, especially if your plant doesn’t get enough wind or sunlight to dry the soil. Also, don’t forget to drill holes in the bottom of your pot to let the water drain!

Root rot can also be stopped by letting air into the soil. If your soil tends to get hard and full of water, add chunky and airy materials like perlite, pumice, coco chunks, river sand, orchid bark, horticultural coal, and many others.

Similar Plants

Are you a fan of the Areca Palm? Here are some other similar palm-like plant options you should try:

Philodendron Mayoi: – With fronds resembling that of a palm, this Philo plant is an ideal perfect choice to start your indoor garden or palm-looking plant collection. It is very easy to care for, and a fast grower easily adapts to its home growing conditions.

Dracaena Marginata: – Often confused with a palm tree with its luscious, green spikes, this plant is a popular, stunning plant that is easy to care for. It’s one of those bold plants that command attention.

Conclusion

Dypsis Lutescens is a fantastic choice with its attractive characteristics if you’re looking for a new great indoor plant. With a little effort, you’ll have a beautiful exotic flora that you can enjoy in your home!

Can’t get enough plant guides? Check out these other options below.

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