Botanical Name - Areca catechu L.
Family - Palmae

Mangala, Sumangala, Subamangala, Mohitnagar, Srimangala, Samruthi (Andaman), Hirehalli dwarf, VTLAH 1, VTLAH 2 and Thirthahalli dwarf.


  • Arecanut is capable of growing in a variety of soils.
  • It thrives best in well drained soils.
  • Adequate protection from exposure to South-Western sun is essential to avoid sunscorch.
  • Quick growing shade trees have to be planted on the southern and western sides
    well in advance of planting seedlings.
  • It is sensitive to moisture deficit and should be grown where adequate water facilities are available.

Climate –

  • Grows in a wide range of temperature ranging from minimum of 40 C  
  • Altitude upto 1000 m above MSL.

Rainfall –
750 – 4500 mm.

June – December.

  • For raising seedlings seed nuts from pre-marked and pre-potent mother palms of outstanding performance are selected.
  • Sown immediately after harvest at a spacing of 5 – 6 cm apart in sand beds under partial shade with their stalk end pointing upwards.
  • After the sprouts have produced two to three leaves (90 days old), they are transplanted to Secondary nursery beds at a spacing of 30 x 30 cm or polythene bag of 30 x 10 cm filled with forest soil and are allowed to grow for 12 to 18 months under partial shade.
  • Periodical watering should be given.
  • Dwarf and compact seedlings with more number of leaves of 1 – 2 years age should be selected.
  • Plant in pits of 90 x 90 x 90 cm at a spacing of 2.75 m either way and covered with
    soil to the collar level and pressed around.
  • Provide shade during summer months.
  • Growing Banana or other crops in advance may also provide shade.
  • Irrigate weekly once during November – February, once in 4 days during March – May.
  • Flood irrigation 175 lit/ tree/ day. In drip irrigation 16 – 20 lit/ tree/ day.
  • Apply to each bearing palm (5 years and above) 10 – 15 kg of FYM or green leaf.
  • 100:40:140 g of NPK/ tree/ year.
  • To palms less than five years old, half of the above dose is recommended.
  • Manures are applied during January – February after the North – East
    monsoon in a basin of 0.75-1.00 m radius around the tree to a depth of 20 – 30 cm.
  • Weeding is done twice or thrice in a year.
  • Wherever the land is slopy terracing has to be done to prevent soil erosion.
Cocoa, black pepper, coffee, cinnamon, clove and citrus


Deficiency Symptoms :

Plants are stunted and generally yellow with lower leaves being most affected. Older leaves are golden yellow colour.

Correction Measure :

Foliar application of 2% urea thrice at fortnightly interval or soil application of 1-2 kg urea / tree.


Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Symptoms first appear on oldest leaves and later spreads to young leaves. Translucent yellow or orange spots develop on leaflets.
  • The tree appears yellow and nicky, the trunk in slender with few short leaves. Leaflets with necrotic areas along the margins which later withero.
  • The midrib remain alive.
  • Yellowing more pronounced and accompanied by irregular brown blotches along the edges of leaflets than along the midrib.
Corrective Measure :

Soil application of KCl 1.3 kg/tree.


Deficiency Symptoms :

Abnormal growth of young leaves and growing points resembling boron deficiency severe deficiency leads to death of the bud.

Correction Measure:

Application of gypsum 2-5 kg/tree/year.


Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Broad light yellow band along the margin of older leaves.
  • The centre of the leaf remaining green.
  • In severe cases leaflet tips may become necrotic.
  • Older leaves become bronzed and dry appearance.
  • Leaflets show necrosis and turn to reddish brown with translucent spots yellowing starts at the tip and spreads to the base.
Corrective Measure :

Soil application of MgSO4 1-2 kg/tree/year.



Deficiency Symptoms :

Reduced growth and dark green colour of leaves, twin led malformed leaves. New leaves shriveled, bushy growth. 

Corrective Measure :

Foliar spray of CuSO4@0.5%



Deficiency Symptoms :

  • Irregular and chlorite leaf spots, mottled leaf, small leaves, severe dieback of twigs.
  • The area near midrib and lateral veins remain green.
  • Terminal twigs with narrow small erect leaves.

Corrective Measure :

Soil application of ZnSO4@0.5kg/tree


1.Foot rot or Anabe roga: Ganoderma lucidum


  • The leaf lets in the outer wholes of leaves become yellow and spreads to the whole leaf and the leaves drooping down covering the stem.
  • Later, the inner whole leaves  also become yellow. Subsequently all the leaves droop, dry up and fall off, leaving the stem alone.


  • Clean cultivation
  • Destruction of infected trees and stumps
  • Digging trenches to avoid root contact from diseased to healthy.
  • Drench 1% Borde
  • aux mixture at frequent intervals.

2.Yellow leaf disease: Phytoplasma


  • Yellowing of tips of leaflets in 2 or 3 leaves of outermost whorl.
  • Brown necrotic streaks run parallel to veins in unfolded leaves.
  • The yellowing extends to the middle of the lamina. Tips of the chlorotic leaves dry up. In advanced stage all the leaves become yellow.
  • Finally the crown leaves fall off leaving of a bare trunk. Root tips turn black and gradually rot.


  • Maintain trees in seed vigour.
  • Growing resistant varieties like true Mangala and south Kanara
  • Application of potassium and magnesium more than the recommended level.

3.Mahali / kolerogo/ fruit rot: Phytophthora arecae


  • Rotting and excessive shedding of immature nuts from the trees.
  • The water soaked spots initially develop at the base of the nut. Fruit stalks and rachis of inflorescence are also affected.
  • Nuts show large vacuoles and dark brown radial strands.
  • Very often the top of the affected trees dries up resulting in withering of leaves and bunches.
  • Affected nuts fall off and show the white mycelial growth of the fungus.

4.Bud rot:Phytophthora arecae


  • The first symptom is the change of spindle leaf colour from green to yellow and then brown.
  • The leaves rot and the growing bud rots causing death of the palm.
  • The affected young leaf whorl can be easily pulled off.
  • The outer leaves also become yellow and droop off one by one leaving a bare stem.


  • Destruction and removal of dead palms and bunches affected by mahali disease and drenching crowns with Bordeaux mixture 1% including surrounding healthy palms.

5.Inflorescence die back & button shedding:Colletotrichum gloeosporioides


  • Disease appears on rachillae of the male flowers and then in the main rachis as brownish patches which soon spread from tip downwards covering the entire rachis causing wilting.
  • The female flowers of the infected rachis shed and the whole inflorescence show ‘die back’ symptom.
  • The fruiting bodies of the fungus, (conidia ) appear  as concentric rings in the discolored areas.
  • The disease is severe mostly during dry condition. (February – March)


  • Spraying with COC 0.25% or Mancozeb 0.2%

1.Spindle bug: Carvalhoia arecae

Symptom of the damage:

  • Sap sucking bug – damage the unopened spindle leaf
  • Inhabit the inner most leaf axils, usually below the spindle.
  • Suck the sap from tender leaflets and spindle 
  • Severe infestation – blackish brown linear lesions on the spindle leaf
  • Stunted growth and twisted
  • Leaves become dried and shed


  • Spray application of dimethoate 0.05%
  • Filling the inner most leaf axils
  • phorate 10% G (10g/palm)

2.Root grub:  Leucopholis burmeisteri 

Symptom of damage:

  • Grubs feed on growing roots
  • Infested palms show a sickly appearance
  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Tapering of stem and reduction in yield.


  • Collection and destruction of adult beetles
  • Digging and forking of the soil
  • Addition of organic amendments and anti-feedants (neem, pongamia and oilcake)
  • Application of phorate (Thimet 10G) @ 15g per palm give effective control
  • Soil application of phorate around the plant twice a year
  • Before onset of southeast monsoon (May)
  • After the monsoon (Sep-October)
  • In severely infected gardens, the soil should be drenched with eco-friendly insecticides

3.Cholam or white mite : Oligonychus indicus 

Symptom of damage:

  • Adults and nymphs presence on the lower surface of leaves.
  • The colony is found under white webs.
  • Feed on lower surface of arecanut leaves.


  • Removal of heavily infested and dried leaves and burning
  • Spraying under surfaces of leaves and crown with Dicofol (2 ml/litre) or Rogor (1.5 ml/litre)
  • Repeat spraying at an interval of 15-20 days

4.Inflorescence caterpillar: Tirathaba mundella 

Symptom of damage:

  • Caterpillars feed on the inflorescences (tender female flowers) and rachillae
  • Webbing and feeding the inflorescence 
  • Spathe opening is delayed. 
  • Yellowing of spadices, 
  • Presence of small holes with frass and drying on the spathe


  • Infected spadices may be forced open and sprayed with malathion 0.05%
  • The bearing starts after 5 years of planting.
  • Nuts are harvested when they are three quarters ripe.
  • The number of harvests will vary from three to five in one year depending upon the season and place of cultivation.

1250 kg/ha