Things You'll Need
Gallon-sized plant pot
Soilless potting mix
Areca palm seed
The areca palm, also known as the Chrysalidocarpus lutescens, has a graceful appearance. This palm species originally hails from Madagascar, thrives in full to partial sunlight and is very drought-tolerant, which makes it ideal for gardeners who want a low-maintenance, hardy palm tree. Instead of buying a started palm in a garden store or nursery, which can often be expensive, grow your own areca palm via seed.
Fill a gallon-sized pot with soilless potting mix to within an inch of the pot's brim.
Clean the areca palm seed if it was not harvested immediately prior to you planting it. Using a knife, cut into the fibrous husk that covers the seed and peel it off to reveal the smooth seed inside. If you're planting the seed immediately after collecting it from an areca palm, cleaning is not necessary.
Bury the seed in the soilless potting mix to a depth so that its top surface is just barely visible.
Water the pot twice a day or as necessary to keep the top couple of inches of potting mix moist.
Place the pot in a brightly lit area that is out of direct sunlight. For the best germination rates, maintain a temperature around the pot of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The areca palm will typically germinate within two to six weeks.
To identify which palm seeds have freshly fallen off of the areca tree and thus have the best viability rates, rake the area under a mature palm tree to clear away all fallen seeds, leaves and twigs. If any new palm seeds appear on the ground, you'll know that they just fell off the tree and are therefore the freshest.
For the best results, plant the areca palm seeds immediately after collecting them from the mature palm tree. If you're storing them for future use, you must store them properly to maintain viability. The University of Florida recommends cleaning them by peeling off their outer husk, then putting them in a breathable bag at a temperature of 73 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 12 months.
Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.