How To Care For Your Golden Palm Tree (Areca Lutescens)

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:44 pm

Golden palm is one of the most popular houseplants. It is very decorative and can turn your apartment into an urban jungle. The golden palm care is really simple. We show you exactly what you need to pay attention to.

Characteristics and origin

The golden palm or Areca lutescens originally comes from tropical Madagascar. There it can grow up to 10 meters high and is unfortunately very endangered. The cultivated form of the golden palm is produced in large quantities and is therefore the most frequently sold indoor palm in the world.

How To Care For Your Golden Palm Tree (Areca Lutescens)

In your apartment, the golden palm can grow up to 4 meters high with proper care. However, it takes several years for it to reach this size, as it grows very slowly. However, you can also keep the golden palm small, so it is also good for smaller apartments.

Tip: In garden centers you can also find the golden palm under the name “Areca lutescens”.


The right location for your golden palm tree

The golden palm grows in Madagascar in humid forests and on the banks of rivers. It is used to the high light intensity of Madagascar, but grows there mostly in the shade of other plants. Therefore, the golden palm care is also possible in our latitudes. So a sunny warm location by the window would be the perfect place for your golden palm.

After the winter, however, you should not yet place it directly in the sun. The golden palm has to get used to the sun again after the dark winter quarter.

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From Madagascar, the golden palm is used to average temperatures of about 28°C and would like to be kept quite warm here as well.


Gold palm care: it’s that simple

Which soil should you buy and how often do you have to fertilize?

You can use normal houseplant soil. It tolerates slightly acidic soil rather than soil with a high pH and high lime content.

If you want to do something good for your golden palm during the growth phase, then fertilize it every 14 days. You can use special palm fertilizer or liquid fertilizer with similar NPK values.

The recommended NPK ratio is: 3:1:3 (15% N=nitrogen, 5% P=phosphate, 15% K=potassium).

Why does the plant need NPK and how can you easily make fertilizer yourself? We have the perfect article for you.

What you should pay attention to when watering

The root ball in the container should always be slightly moist, but never in waterlogged conditions. However, water your golden palm only when the top soil has dried slightly.

The golden palm likes high humidity, so you can spray it more often with low-lime water if the air in the room is dry. This way you can easily care for your golden palm.

Tip: You can also keep your gold palm well as hydroponics. However, when you buy it, make sure that it is already a young plant grown in hydroponics. The subsequent conversion to hydroponics often goes wrong because of the sensitive roots.

Repotting your golden palm tree

Repotting is one of the most important steps in the care of a gold palm. It is best to repot it immediately after purchase. Because a 24cm pot is not enough for a palm that has a height of 1.20 meters. Put it in a pot that is at least twice as big. According to experience you have to put your palm into a bigger pot every 2-3 years.

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Have a look here if you want to know more about repotting your plants.

Do you need to prune your gold palm?

The golden palm can grow up to 4m high in your home. However, if you have a small apartment and cannot offer it so much space, you can cut it back.

You have to cut away the leaves that are too high and close to the trunk. However, you should leave a 5cm long piece of the stem on the trunk. Withered leaves can be removed in the same way.

What do you have to keep in mind during the winter months?
The golden palm can only overwinter outdoors in the tropics, so you should leave it indoors over the winter. The temperature should be between 15 and 20 degrees during the winter. Between December and February the palm tree takes a rest period. During this time you should water it less and not fertilize it.

How to propagate your golden palm tree

You can propagate your golden palm easily by cuttings. The plant normally forms ground shoots, which you can separate from the mother plant in spring. Ground shoots with a height of 30cm usually already have their own roots. You can easily put them into a small pot with growing soil.

The safest way to grow them is to put a transparent foil with ventilation holes over the pot. Then place the pot in a warm and bright place without direct sunlight. After about 4-6 weeks new fronds should sprout, then you can remove the foil. You can fertilize your new plant after about 4 months.

Is the Golden Palm poisonous?

The golden palm is not poisonous. However, especially cats should be prevented from eating the leaves. They can be very sharp and cause injuries in the esophagus or digestive tract. The leaves can also collect in the stomach to form thick lumps, which the animal can only get rid of by vomiting.

The right room for your golden palm tree

Since the Golden Palm can grow quite large, it should be placed in a room where it has enough space. It should also be warm and bright. So how about the living room? The Golden Palm also likes high humidity. So if you have a big bright bathroom then it can also be placed here.

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Tips for problems with the golden palm tree

In winter, the golden palm often lacks resistance. Therefore, infestation with spider mites, scale insects, mealybugs and whiteflies often occurs during the winter months. So always monitor your palm well, this is the best way to prevent a bad outbreak.

However, if you have already discovered an infestation, there is only one thing that helps: separate the plant from others and fight the pests mechanically. That means collecting, washing off, brushing off, if necessary repotting in new soil.

The golden palm care, is really very simple. You should pay special attention to a moist root ball and watch out during the winter months that the pests do not take over.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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