Golden fruit palm: characteristics and care

Golden fruit palm: characteristics and care


The golden fruit palm is a so-called endemic - it comes from a very specific region and is not widespread anywhere else. The endemitic home region of the gold fruit palm is the eastern part of Madagascar. There it has chosen very specific areas of the local rainforest to grow and is considered an endangered species due to this sparse distribution. As early as 1820, the golden palm was imported from Madagascar to Deutschlad.

also read

  • How often do you have to water the golden fruit palm?
  • Yellow leaves of the golden fruit palm indicate pests
  • Bright but not sunny location for the gold fruit palm

To note:

  • Gold fruit palm only comes from very special areas of Eastern Madagascar
  • Original habitat tropical-humid
  • Endangered species


The golden fruit palm or areca palm, botanically Dypsis lutescens, grows as a tree with several tubular trunks that are close together. The individual trunks are quite thin and green at 5 to 7 centimeters, depending on the light intensity they also turn yellow. The palm fronds form a wide, umbrella-like crown with their spreading blade and their overhanging habit. In its natural habitat, the Areca can reach heights of up to 10 meters, in local room culture it usually ends at around 3 meters. Their growth rate is quite slow.

Overview of growth characteristics:

  • Multi-stemmed palm
  • Stems green or yellow depending on the light
  • Spreading, umbrella-like leaf fronds
  • In the wild up to 10 m high, in indoor culture around 3 m
  • Slow growth rate


It is true that its fruit is honored in the name of the golden fruit palm. In the local room culture, however, the main focus on their decorative value is on their leaf fronds. These are not only particularly beautiful to look at, they are usually the only thing that the palm tree can offer in terms of spectacle. It hardly ever forms flowers in the room. The fresh green leaves have a typical palm-like pinnate structure with narrow, lanceolate single leaves that are almost 2 to 2.5 centimeters long and form a handsome, V-shaped blade.

They sit on the approximately 60 cm long leaf stalks, swinging elastically, making them particularly attractive when the palm is outside in summer.

Blade properties at a glance:

  • large, pinnate leaf blades with narrow, lanceolate single leaves
  • fresh green color
  • long petioles, springy movement


As already mentioned, if the golden fruit palm is kept in the room, it almost never blooms. The necessary site conditions simply cannot be adequately met here. When a golden fruit palm shoots flowers, they arise below the crown as large, spreading, multi-branched panicles with small, light yellow single flowers.


The appearance of the golden palm fruits is laid out in their name - in fact they appear in a golden, orange-yellow color. However, at times they can also take on a deep red or black color. They are egg-shaped false fruits 2.5 centimeters long and have a fibrous, leathery texture.

Fruits in key words:

  • Gold-colored to orange-yellow, deep red or black in color
  • Egg-shaped, false fruits about 2.5 cm long


The golden fruit palm, like so many other rainforest plants, likes it very bright but not sunny. In its original habitat it is towered over by much higher plants, so that it is not used to intense solar radiation. So put it at home where it gets plenty of light all day but is shaded by other large plants or a thin sun sail.

At this temperature, the Areca prefers a warm 20 ° C - ideally all year round. So it can best stand permanently in a heated winter garden. In summer you can also do a temporary refreshment on the terrace. In winter it can stand a little, but not significantly, cooler. However, their ambient temperature should not drop below 15 ° C.

Given their tropical home, the humidity should be as high as possible.

Site requirements at a glance:

  • Golden fruit palm wants to be light but protected from direct sunlight
  • Temperature around 20 ° C all year round if possible
  • Can also be removed in summer
  • High humidity


The golden fruit palm needs a fresh and relatively nutrient-rich substrate. A mixture of commercially available potted plant soil with a good proportion of compost is ideal. The pH value should be in the slightly acidic range.

Alternatively, you can hold the golden fruit palm in hydroponics in a soilless substrate made of expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) over a water-nutrient solution. This also makes casting practice easier for you, which needs to be finely dosed.

to water

When it comes to the water requirement of the golden fruit palm, the rule of thumb applies: moist, but not waterlogged. So pouring requires a little dexterity. You have to provide the palm with plenty of water regularly, especially in summer, and make sure that the ball of the earth never dries out. But the Areca is not allowed to stand in water either. Excess water in the saucer should be tipped out, at least the palm should not have wet feet for too long. Use water at room temperature if possible.

To note:

  • Areca needs a lot of water - but it has to be dosed carefully
  • Avoid waterlogging - pour out coaster water that has stood too long


During the main vegetation phase from spring to autumn, you can fertilize your golden fruit palm every one to two weeks with a simple universal liquid fertilizer. Special palm fertilizers are even more suitable. In winter, increase the fertilization interval to at least 3 weeks.

When potting, you provide the palm with good, ripe compost for a permanent supply of nutrients. For long-term fertilization, you can also use fertilizer sticks (€ 1.45 at Amazon *).

To cut

Elaborate pruning measures are not necessary for the gold fruit palm. It naturally grows compactly at the base and does not get out of hand with its palm fronds. Due to its wide, swinging habit, the palm needs a lot of space nonetheless. You can therefore remove external fronds if necessary. Otherwise, only old, dry leaves have to be cut off. You place the scissors directly on the base of the trunk.

If you are bothered by the brownish discolored tips of the leaves, you can also trim them. Be careful not to penetrate the healthy leaf tissue.


Since the golden fruit palm does not grow very quickly, repotting is not necessary very often. As a rule, an interval of around 2 to 3 years is sufficient. With young specimens, however, a new pot can be due every year. But only repot if it is really too tight on the feet of the palm. Because their roots are quite sensitive and should be left alone as much as possible. The ideal repotting time is spring.

To note:

  • Repot fully grown golden fruit palms about every 2-3 years
  • Young specimens every year
  • Repotting time: spring



The easiest way to propagate a golden fruit palm is to use ground shoots. The golden fruit palm forms this when it has reached a certain age. You only need to separate these from the mother plant and put them in a separate pot with a humus-rich soil substrate. Make sure, however, that the shoot is at least about 30 centimeters long and has healthy roots.

Place the pot with the young plant in a bright, warm place protected from direct sunlight. It can be helpful for the growth to cover the young daughter plant with a film with air holes to ensure a uniform, warm and humid climate.

Sowing seeds

Another variant is sowing seeds. It is possible all year round, but spring is best. Of course, a lot more patience is required here - both when growing and when waiting for a beautiful, fully grown palm. Keep in mind that the golden fruit palm grows slowly and therefore takes a few years to grow into a sizable specimen.

Put the seeds in bowls with potting soil and keep them evenly moist, if possible under a foil bag until germination. Golden fruit palm seeds take a relatively long time to sprout, around 4 to 5 weeks.


Special diseases are not a big issue with the golden fruit palm. If it shows damage to the leaves, it is usually a sign of incorrect casting practice or location. More on this below.

As a secondary consequence of pest infestation, sooty mildew can form in the leaves due to the injuries. You first fight this fungus by removing the diseased parts of the plant and, if necessary, using a fungicide.


As with many tropical plants with high humidity requirements, the golden fruit palm in heated indoor cultivation can be infested with drought-loving pests. The typical candidates are spider mites, scale insects, and mealy bugs.

Spider mites

These small parasites have a reddish, yellowish, or thorough color and are best recognized by the fine webs with which they cover their host plants. They suck the sap from the leaves and usually stay on the underside of the leaves, where the larvae are also deposited.

The best way to get rid of spider mites is to first remove them mechanically by rinsing the palm thoroughly with a powerful water disperser. Then wrap the plant in foil and close it off at the lower stem base. After a week, the pests should be gone.

Scale insects

Scale insects are reddish to brownish in color and, when the host plant is tapped, release sticky honeydew that reveals their population. Ants that prefer to eat the honeydew can also be an indicator of scale insect infestation.

You should also remove scale insects mechanically from the golden fruit palm with water. The best way to do this is to use a wet cloth and wipe the leaves thoroughly with it. You can also use a spray cure made from garlic, nettle or tansy brew. In the case of stubborn infestation, oil-based preparations that cause the lice to suffocate are suitable.


You can easily recognize mealybugs by their name-giving woolly, white coating, which they put on their host plant when they suckle. The lice stay on the entire plant and also lay their eggs in the substrate.

If the golden fruit palm is infested with mealybugs, you should first separate it from other plants to prevent transmission. The best way to fight the lice is to spray them with a mixture of alcohol, water and curd soap (mixing ratio 15 ml-1 l-15 ml). If the substrate with the roots is also affected, you have to repot the plant and carefully but thoroughly clean out the roots.


Occasionally the golden fruit palm can also be attacked by the whitefly. These animals are actually not insects, but around whiteflies. They get their name from their fly-like appearance, which is characterized by large wings covered with white wax dust. They live mainly on the undersides of the leaves, where they also place their larvae, and suck the sap of the host plant. Like scale insects, they secrete sticky honeydew.

If you notice a whitefly infestation on your golden fruit palm, you should act as soon as possible, because the parasites spread quickly. First aid, you can stick sticky yellow tablets in the substrate, to which the pests adhere. Furthermore, the use of preparations based on neem tree oil, which are very gentle on plants, is recommended.


You can keep all of these pests away from your golden fruit palm by ensuring that there is sufficient humidity. Treat her to a fine misty shower from the water dispenser on a regular basis. You should also regularly ventilate your conservatory or the greenhouse in which your golden fruit palm is located.

Yellow leaves

Yellow discolored leaves on the golden fruit palm usually indicate an infestation by spider mites. But too much water can be the reason. Never leave the palm in the water for too long.

If the yellow discoloration is accompanied by a spotty structural change and the leaves are increasingly falling off, this is an indication of a pest infestation.

Brown leaves

If the golden palm leaves turn brown, this is usually a sign of excessive drought. Either it has not been poured enough or the room air is too dry. Always ensure there is sufficient humidity.

But it can also be that you have exposed the palm to strong sunlight and the leaves are simply burned. If so, shade them and remove the brown leaves.


The areca palm is not poisonous. So you don't have to wear gloves when cutting or repotting, or keep children and pets away from her.


However, you should not eat parts of the golden fruit palm. There is no danger of poisoning, but the individual leaves of the palm fronds are rightly pointed and sharp-edged. Inquisitive toddlers or cats could injure their mucous membranes if they try to eat them.


The golden fruit palm made it onto NASA's list of air-purifying plants. It is able to neutralize xylenes and toluene to a greater extent from the air. It can therefore have a long-term health-promoting effect in rooms in which adhesives, varnishes and solvents are used and where there is an increased concentration of these substances, which are particularly harmful to the respiratory tract.


There are no special cultivars for the golden fruit palm.

Areca palm approx. 50 cm high 18.63 EUR Buy at baldur Areca palm approx. 120 cm high 48.08 EUR Buy at baldur Indoor plant mix 'XXL' 61.81 EUR Buy at baldur