How To Care For An Areca Palm

How To Care For An Areca Palm

Botanical Name: Dypsis lutescens

Origin: Madagascar


The Areca palm is one of the most popular palms for indoor growing.  Grown indoors it is a medium sized exotic looking plant that usually reaches a height of 6-8 feet.  If grown outside it can reach 20-25 feet tall.

The Areca Palm gets its nickname, the Butterfly Palm, because its long feathery fronds (leaves) arch upwards off of multiple reed-like stems. Each frond has between 40-60 leaflets on it. Areca Palms are a delight; they are good-sized plants with beautiful green upright fronds.

These graceful, bold beauties command attention and will easily add height and accents to bright rooms.  

Height: Grows to 6 – 8 ft. indoors.

Light:  Bright light but no direct sunlight.  Leaves turn yellowish-green in direct sunlight.

Water:  Allow the top 1-2” of soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. The fronds of an Areca wilt when they need water but quickly perk up once the soil is drenched. Like all palms, Arecas do not like chemicals or salt so avoid water that has passed through a softener or contains fluoride or chlorine. Both chemicals and salt cause freckle-like spots on the leaves.

Humidity:  High humidity is essential to keeping an Areca palm looking good.

Temperature:  Average room temperatures of 65-75 degrees F. (18-24 degrees C).  Keep the leaves away from cold windows, air conditioners, and heat sources.  Areca palms are sensitive to low temperatures so if you place it outside during the summer be sure to bring it in before temperatures dip below 50 degrees.

Soil:  Any good quality potting mix; needs very good drainage.

Fertilizer:  Feed monthly spring through mid-summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer; too much fertilizer can cause spots on the leaves.

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