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The areca is a large palm tree, native to tropical Asia; it develops up to 12-15 m in height, developing a high rough trunk, which at the top carries a crown of large bright green fronds; in nature it produces large pendulous panicles of white or cream-colored flowers, followed by large fruits similar to large walnuts, called betel nuts, widely used in the countries of origin. In Europe it is cultivated as a houseplant, in a pot, where it remains within decidedly smaller dimensions. In pot the areca reaches the 150-180 cm height quite quickly, to then stop its development; in pot it hardly has a palm development, more easily develops a head of thin stems, which carry single fronds. It is a very pleasant palm, which is much cultivated at home, obviously it is necessary to have a large space in which to hold it, since in general the leaves are arched, and an adult specimen may need about 150 cm of free space even in width .
Let's grow it at home
It is a plant well adapted to apartment living, with average temperatures close to 20 ° C, in fact this palm fears the cold, and we can keep it outdoors only during the summer. Let's put it in a large vase, which contains the root system well, but avoid excessively large containers; we use a good universal soil, mixed with coconut fiber and shredded bark, to better maintain humidity. It is positioned in a well-lit place, but not directly exposed to sunlight, to prevent the foliage from being ruined by them. Let's make sure we leave a good space around the crysalidocarpus, to favor the circulation of the air, and also to avoid crawling against the branches, which tend to ruin easily; we therefore avoid placing our areca in a place of passage, like a stairwell, otherwise we will have to periodically remove ruined and blackened foliage from accidental bumps. We also avoid closing our plant in a narrow corner, otherwise it will tend to completely undress from the side near the wall.
Areca - Crysalidocarpus: Irrigation and care
From March to April, until September, we water regularly, trying to keep the soil moist, but not soaked in water, in fact, water stagnation favors the development of rot; in this period we also remember to dissolve a good fertilizer for green plants in the water, about once every 10-12 days.
During the hot season, or when the heating or air-conditioning system is active, remember to often spray the crysalidocarpus, to increase the environmental humidity.
In the cold months we water only sporadically, avoiding to soak the ground with water; even if in the apartment and with a mild climate the plants in winter come into partial vegetative rest anyway, since the hours of insolation decrease.