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Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Family: Arecaceae

Synonyms: Dypsis lutescens

Distribution & Habitat: found in humid tropical forests from Malaysia to the Solomon Islands.

Common Names:
Yellow palm, Golden Cane Palm, Areca Palm, Golden Fruited Palm, Yellow Butterfly Palm, Golden Feather Palm

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens

Description: Only one species of the genus Chrysalidocarpus is widely grown as a house plant: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens. This plant – which used to be known as Areca lutescens and is still sometimes called areca palm- produces many reed like stems in clusters, and these stems carry arching fronds on 60 cm long, deeply furrowed, yellowish orange stalks. The fronds of a 1.5 m high Chrysalidocarpus can be up to 1 m long and are divided into many rather stiff, glossy, yellowish green segments which are up to 60 cm long and 1 cm wide. The segments are arranged in almost opposite pairs on a prominent midrib. Older stems are marked like bamboo canes.

Development is relatively slow. An annual increase of 15-20 cm in height is average for a plant grown in good light at normal room temperature. Specimens in pots normally produce many small suckers at the base; these can be used for propagation.

Proper Care:

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens - Care

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens – Care

Light: These palms do best in direct sunlight filtered through something like a translucent blind or curtain.

Temperature: Normally warm room temperatures are suitable. A minimum temperature of 13C is ideal for healthy growth though the plant will survive quite cool winters as a patio plant.

Watering: Water plentifully as often as necessary to keep the potting mixture thoroughly moist, but never allow the pot to stand in water. If the temperature falls as low as 13C, give only enough water to keep the mixture from drying out completely.

Feeding: Apply a liquid fertilizer to actively growing plants about every two weeks or so.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Move plants into pots one size larger every second spring until maximum convenient pot size is reached; thereafter, top-dress with fresh potting mixture annually. Make sure that the mixture is firmly packed around the roots, but be careful not to damage the thick taproots.

Propagation:
Propagation can be achieved by fresh seed sown at a temperature of at least 18°C in late spring. If seed can be acquired, it is quite easy to germinate in the home, but it will take several years to produce a plant with adult characteristics. These plants can be increased much more simply by means of the basal suckers, which should be removed for propagation in spring. The ideal sucker is about 30 cm height and has some root growth (this can be ascertained when the plant is taken out of its pot for the operation).

Plant each sucker in a 10-12 cm pot filled with a moistened mixture of two-thirds soil-based potting mixture and one-third coarse sand or a substance such as perlite (the latter component to encourage active root growth). Enclose the whole in a plastic bag and keep it in a warm room in medium light for four to six weeks. Thereafter, remove the plastic bag and water the potted sucker sparingly, allowing the top centimetre of the mixture to dry out between waterings, until growth indicates that roots are well established. Then treat the plant virtually as a mature specimen, but do not feed it for the first three or four months. It need not be moved into standard mixture until the following spring.

Usage
Because of its dense and clustering growth habit, Chrysalidocarpus primarily is used as a shrub, hedge or screen in subtropical or tropical landscapes. There is almost no limit to the uses of the Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, and because it is easy to grow and readily available, it has become a landscaping standard. It also can be used as a specimen palm to show of its golden canes, especially if older leaves are pruned. In cooler climates, Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is commonly used in interior design to add a tropical touch.

General air purifier, especially as it grows larger. Chrysalidocarpus lutescens is known for being one of the better performers in purifying the air.

Outdoor growing
Growing in full sun where it makes an excellent specimen or screen to the rather dense shade of patios, porches or as house plants, Chrysalidocarpus lutescens prefers fertile, well-drained, acid soil. Small palms benefit from some shade until they are about one metre tall and palms should be watered during periods of drought. They require regular fertilizer applications to maintain a good appearance. Young palms in full sun and those in high pH soils develop yellow leaves. Older leaves on plants of any age become chlorotic, frequently from a deficiency of potassium. Affected leaves are often speckled with bronze or yellow. Yellow Butterfly Palm is moderately salt-tolerant.

Summary:

Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
These plants require some special conditions and are unlikely to thrive without them.

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – bushy

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 13C  max 24C
Temperature in active growth period – min 16C max 24C
Humidity – high

 



Palms, Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants , ,

Phoenix roebelenii

Family: Arecacea / Palmae (palm Family)

Common Names:
Dwarf Date Palm or Pygmy Date Palm, Miniature Date Palm

Distribution & Habitat:
Rainforest of Laos/Vietnam/Thailand.

Phoenix roebelenii

Description:
Phoenix roebelenii is small to medium sized palm to about 3m, although older plants can be quite tall. It has a thick crown of narrow, arching, dark green fronds, which are much finer than those of the other types and have a thin layer of white scales. The short, slender stem eventually becomes roughened as old leaf bases accumulate along its length. Although the plant normally has only a single stem, it sometimes produces several.

To maintain single-crowned plants which tend to look better as pot specimens, remove any surplus stems while they are still young. Phoenix roebelenii rarely grows taller than a metre, but it may achieve a spread of more than a metre, with 90 cm long fronds.

Cream colour flowers are held on short, 30 cm inflorescences and are followed by small black dates on the female plants (male flowers are borne on a separate plant). Although this palm is single stemmed most nurseries offer it in containers planted with 3 to 5 specimens. When grouped like this, the stems tend to curve gracefully away from the centre of the clump creating an especially attractive arrangement.

Proper Care:

Phoenix roebelinii Care

Light: Phoenix roehelenii does best when kept in filtered light, but will also thrive in full sunlight.

Temperature: All these palms grow well in normally warm room temperatures, but they do best if they are encouraged to have a winter rest period at about 10-13°C.

Watering: Water sparingly, making the mixture barely moist during the rest period. When active growth begins, increase amounts of water gradually; and water plentifully during the active growth period, giving enough to keep the mixture thoroughly moist. Never allow pots to stand in water, however. As winter approaches, begin to reduce amounts gradually once more.

Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertilizer to established plants once every two weeks during the active growth period only.

Potting and repotting: Use a soil based potting mixture. Repot these palms in pots 5 cm larger every two or three years just as new growth starts in spring. One sign that a plant needs a bigger pot is the appearance of many fine roots on the surface of the potting mixture. In repotting, it is essential to pack the mixture down firmly, but be careful not to damage the thicker roots. Pots from 25-30 cm are big enough for a metre or so tall specimen; small tubs should be used for larger ones. Leave enough space between the mixture surface and the rim of the pot to take plenty of water.

Once the maximum container size has been reached, an annual top-dressing with a few centimetres of fresh potting mixture will suffice.

Propagation: Commercially, phoenix palms are raised from seed. This is a slow process (they take about 3 months to germinate), however, and is not recommended for amateur growers. Some gardeners plant date stones. The stones germinate easily in spring if they are placed in a warm position and kept moist, but the first leaf is a single undivided section, and it may take two or three years for leaves with divisions to appear.

Set the stones individually in 8 cm pots or start those in seed boxes. In the latter case, pot in 8 cm pots after they have germinated and have made about 5-8 cm of growth. Thereafter their cultivation needs will be those of mature phoenix palms.

If sucker shoots at the base of Phoenix roebelenii are carefully detached, they should have some roots already formed, and such shoots can be used for propagation. Pot each shoot in an 8 cm pot of the standard potting mixture, place it in bright filtered light, and water it sparingly-just enough to keep the mixture barely moist. After new top growth indicates that the shoot is well rooted, treat the young plant in the same way as a mature phoenix palm.

Usage
Pygmy date palm excels in containers of all kinds. Also looks great by patios and entry ways. Use clumps of these palms as specimens and to serve as focal point in a mass planting of annuals. Also nice combined with evergreen shrubs in a mixed hedge. This rugged little palm looks great indoors – just give it a bright spot and keep it out of drafts (and away from where someone could brush against the spines – see Warning).

Phoenix roebelenii is said to remove formaldehyde and xylene (a chemical found in plastics and solvents) from the air.

WARNING
Many palms are armed with dangerous spines and other sharp edges. But we are most likely to come in painful contact with those of smaller stature like the pygmy date palm. This palm has sharp needle-like spines arranged near the base of the leaf stem. These can easily penetrate skin, tissue – sometimes even protective clothing. This often results in painful infections and possibly other, direr complications. Keep this plant away from children’s play areas and walkways. Use caution and sturdy protective clothing when gardening near this and similar palms.

Summary:

Phoenix
These plants require some special conditions and are unlikely to thrive without them.

CHARACTERISTICS:
Foliage – green
Shape – bushy

PROPER CARE:
Watering in rest period – sparingly
Watering in active growth period – plentifully
Light – bright filtered
Temperature in rest period – min 7C  max 16C
Temperature in active growth period – min 16C max 24C
Humidity – low

 



Palms, Top Anti-Pollutant Houseplants , ,

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