Betel Nut/Supari Plant
- Scientific Name: Areca Catechu.
- Common Names: Supari Palm, Areca Nut Palm, Betel Palm.
- Mature Size: up to 20 m.
- Sun Exposure: Part to Full Sunlight.
- Watering: Regular watering.
- Fruits: Egg-shaped, deep yellow to red fruits.
- Soil: Prefers Moist, Well-draining soil.
- Special Feature: Produced lots of Supari which can be consumed and Useful for herbs & medicinal plants.
Betel Nut or Supari Palm can be easily distinguished as this is the palm that produces the popular Supari, which is an essential ingredient of paan. It is a medium-sized palm tree growing up to 20 m tall. The leaves are long, pinnate, with numerous, crowded leaflets.
The tree bears small, fragrant, and whitish-yellow flowers which give way to deep yellow to red fruits that are much larger than the normal supari. They are 2-2.5 inches long, egg-shaped.
It is an ornamental as well as an economically important plant. Supari has many uses including medicinal uses. The palm is also perfect as an understory crop.
Plant Care and Requirements
- Sun- The preferable location to grow betel nut is where the sunlight is abundant, a minimum of 4-5 hours of complete exposure is essential.
- Soil- Betel nut plant can grow in a variety of soil, mildly acidic to alkaline soil with a pH range between 5-8. It thrives best in medium-textured soil with a good moisture-holding capacity but drains well at the same time. Avoid growing it in heavy clay soil as it lacks sufficient drainage.
- Water- Betal nut tree requires regular watering to grow properly and can’t withstand long periods of drought. Once affected by it, it takes 2-3 years for the plant to retrieve its normal growth rate and yield. It is better to irrigate the plant in intervals of 4-10 days thoroughly. If water shortage is a problem, you can adopt modern-irrigation techniques like introducing water sprinklers and drip irrigating in your field.
- Pruning- Prune within 4-5 weeks of planting the betel nut tree. This ensures the plant receives adequate sunlight and air, thereby improving the growth rate. Kindly ensure you are not harming the branches while pruning. However, do bear in mind that pruning is not possible in the later stage of the betel nut tree.