The golden cane palm, Dypsis lutescens, also known as areca palm or butterfly palm, is a loose, feathered palm variety. A native to Madagascar, the golden cane palm is one of the most popular and attractive palms with golden stems and yellow-green fronds. The golden cane palm is a versatile palm and can be grown in full sun to part shade or in a bright spot indoors. It will give any room a touch of natural green and tropical detail.
Part of the Arecaceae family, this evergreen plant produces a fantastic gold-coloured fruit, hence its name. Although unlikely to flower indoors, when it does bloom in the right conditions, it produces lovely panicle flowers.
Commonly grown as an ornamental, indoor potted palm, the golden cane palm has wonderful air-purifying qualities, making it a great option for homes, and offices alike.
If you have ever wondered how to grow golden cane palms in Perth then look no further. Golden cane palms are relatively easy to grow, and there are a few tricks to successfully growing golden cane palm trees in Australia. Get these right and you will be laughing.
When to plant golden cane palm trees in Australia
Golden cane palms grow well in Australia. If planting indoors any time of year is fine. When planting golden cane palm outdoors it is best to avoid any periods of frost. Golden cane palms love full sun and are ideal for the poolside.
How much water do golden cane palm trees need?
Once the top few inches of soil or potting mix is dry then you can water your palm again. In the peaks of summer you should be watering approximately every 5-7 days. In Winter, you can decrease watering to once every 7-10 days. Using a plant moisture sensor is a good idea.
How long can golden cane palm trees live?
Golden cane palms can live to be over 30 years old. It is worth noting that they have a relatively slow growth rate.
How to prune a golden cane palm:
The most appropriate time to prune your palm is when you notice dead or dying fronds, this will help eliminate breakage and damage to the palm, you can tell a palm frond is dead or dying when it’s yellow or brown.
Cutting away yellow dying fronds helps improve the overall health of your palm tree since it utilises less energy for growth on dying leaves and can focus more on the good fronds.
- Grab any dead or hanging fronds with your hands, a dead frond will usually appear yellow or brown.
- Prune the dead stems by cutting one inch from the base of the stem with secateurs.
- Maintain a weekly task of pruning the base of the tree by trimming away any new growth and by keeping a well-manicured golden cane palm.
How far apart to plant golden cane palms:
To grow golden cane palms in a row as a screening hedge, plant palms 3m apart initially; once they grow together their canopies will hang down and form a thick screen. Golden cane palm leaves are not very dense, this means they should not be grown as shade trees.
How fast do golden cane palm grow:
Golden can palm grow at a rate of approximately 30cm a year and will take around 28 years to reach their maximum height.
How to grow golden cane palms in the garden:
If you are wondering how to plant a golden cane palm tree in the garden then look no further. Growing golden cane palm trees outdoors has always been popular.
- Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Enrich the soil with a dynamic lifter if required. If the soil is clay based, add gypsum and mix in well.
- Dig the planting hole for your golden cane palm twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any tangled roots.
- Position plant in hole and back-fill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant’s root zone. This helps keep water where it’s needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new golden cane palm establishes.
- Mulch around the base with organic mulch, like bark chips, keeping it away from the trunk.
- Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
- Feed in Autumn and Spring with a Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser to ensure strong root development.
How to grow golden cane palm trees in pots:
Growing golden cane palm trees in pots is a great idea if you want to grow a relatively small golden cane palm tree. I love to grow golden cane palm trees in pots because it gives you the flexibility to move them around the yard for maximum impact.
- Choose a pot at least 60 cm wide and deep. Position in a full sun.
- Fill chosen pot with quality potting mix. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
- Position in hole and back-fill with potting mix, gently firming down. Water in well.
- Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
- Feed in Autumn and Spring with Soil Improver and Plant Fertiliser to ensure strong root growth.
- Move to a larger pot only when the previous one is filled to capacity with roots.
- Do not stand potted palms in a tray of water, because golden cane palms loathe wet feet. To increase humidity around the palm, fill a shallow tray with pebbles and almost cover with water. Then stand the potted palm on top of the pebbles. Good indirect light is necessary for healthy growth.
How to propagate golden cane palm trees from cuttings:
The best method to propagate your golden palm tree is simply cutting off and offshoot and starting a new tree.
- Pull an offshoot away from the trunk of the palm. Wear garden gloves to avoid getting cuts on your hands. Dig around the soil beneath the offshoot to help loosen it up a little. Firmly grip on the offshoot, take a sharp utility knife or saw and cut it away from the branch. Wiping away any dirt from the offshoot.
- Next, grab a bowl that’s large enough for the offshoot and fill it halfway with lukewarm water. You can use tap water. However, it’s better to use distilled water if you have it. Make sure that the root of the offshoot is completely submerged in the water. Let the offshoot soak for an hour, as this will help the roots prepare to be re-planted.
- After the offshoot has soaked, transfer it to a planter’s pot. Fill the pot with a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and or sand using a 3:1 ratio to help make the soil a bit heavier. Add water to the pot so that the roots can attach to the new soil. Then, cover the base of the offshoot with the soil.
- Place the bowl in a well-lit area so the offshoot can receive daily sunlight. Also, be sure that the temperature in the environment remains warm and humid, ideally, above 24 degrees Celsius.
How to fertilise golden cane palm trees:
Feed your Golden Cane Palm with a slow-release fertiliser during the growing season. You also should give your golden cane palm a regular misting, especially during the winter if the humidity is exceptionally dry.
Golden cane palm problems:
Below is a list of common problems with golden cane palms to keep an eye on.
Yellowing leaves – Possible under watering or too much direct sunlight (burning of the leaves).Browning leaves – Dry or cold air can cause the tips of the leaves to brown. Lower leaves will turn brown naturally after a period of time and die off to allow new growth, you can remove these with secateurs.Root rotting – This can occur if the plant has been over watered or if there is not enough drainage for the soil.
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