We get lots of phone calls about the fabled Lipstick Palm (Cyrtostachys renda), which unfortunately does not grow in Brisbane. The Red Crownshaft Palm (Areca vestiaria) however, does much better, and is about as close to a Lipstick Palm as you’ll get in the subtropics! Believe us, we’ve tried.
Areca vestiaria is a slow-growing clumping palm from the rainforests of Indonesia. It likes to grow in shade and won’t tolerate much sun. Prefers warm conditions and high humidity, but generally tolerates the Brisbane winter without to much damage. Can be bought indoors over winter if required but is not recommended as an indoor plant long term.
One of the more interesting features of this palm are the stilt roots. This is often an feature of palms that grow in swampy soil, but that is not the case with Areca vestiaria. They need good drainage, and not too much water when conditions are cold. This palm suffers no major pest and disease issues, but does sometimes attract mealybug and scale.
Remove spent fronds as required. Requires virtually no other maintenance. Does best in rich, well-drained soil. Keep moist, do not let dry out completely. Use quality fertilizer such as Troforte or Organic Link regularly to produce strong, healthy growth.
Broad, pinnate leaves.