Plants A to Z

Growing Areca Palm With Useful Tips

Despite the fact that the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is now extinct, it was formerly considered a threatened species. If you drive down any street in a warm location, you'll see many of these tall, gorgeous, clumping palms that resemble bamboo. Palm trunks are smooth, sometimes golden, and look like bamboo bundles.

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Despite the fact that the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is now extinct, it was formerly considered a threatened species. If you drive down any street in a warm location, you'll see many of these tall, gorgeous, clumping palms that resemble bamboo. Palm trunks are smooth, sometimes golden, and look like bamboo bundles.

Their fronds resemble bamboo leaves in appearance, being slender and full. When grown outside, they are widely used as a privacy screen. Houseplants can also be grown from these palms. They are often planted in the spring and expand at a slow to moderate rate.

Care for Areca Palms

When growing an areca palm outside, it's crucial to place it in a well-drained location immediately away. The root rot of a palm tree can be easily triggered by damp soil. A well-draining container is required as a houseplant.

Plan to water your areca palm whenever the soil begins to dry out for regular maintenance. This is very beneficial for maintaining the health of outdoor palms during hot weather. Furthermore, unless you have a very bright window, indoor palms frequently don't get enough light. As a result, bringing your palm outside in the summer to be exposed to diffused sunshine can be beneficial to your palm. During the growing season, feed both indoor and outdoor palms. Pruning and trimming aren't required for these palms. Wait until withering fronds are mostly brown before removing them, as they can still contribute to photosynthesis.


These plants like bright, filtered sunshine outside, but they can even endure the full sun. They should, ideally, be shielded from the harsh afternoon sun, as too much light can scorch the foliage. Areca palms thrive in bright light from a south- or west-facing window indoors.


A well-draining, peat-based potting mix is ideal for potted indoor plants. A rich, somewhat acidic soil with excellent drainage is suitable for outdoor specimens. To improve porousness and lower the pH of the soil, it may be required to amend with sand and peat moss.


Like many other palms, Areca palms prefer moist soil, but they are sensitive to overwatering and cannot handle being waterlogged or resting in a wet potting mix. So, between waterings, let the soil or potting mix dry out a little. Because areca palms are sensitive to fluoridated water, use distilled water or rainfall collected from the roof.

Humidity and Temperature

This plant thrives in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, whether indoors or out. It can be grown in the garden in areas where the temperature does not fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When planted as an indoor plant, keep the leaves away from cold windows, air conditioners, and heat sources. Also, if you leave potted plants outside during the summer, bring them inside before the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Sudden cold blasts can cause dark stains on the leaves.

Furthermore, keeping an areca palm at its best necessitates a high level of humidity. The plant will become accustomed to average indoor humidity levels. However, if the air is excessively dry, the leaf tips are likely to become brown.


Because the areca palm is a heavy feeder, it needs to be fertilized with a liquid fertilizer from spring to early fall, as directed on the package. When the plant is dormant in the late fall and winter, don't feed it.

Areca Palm Propagation

You can propagate the areca palm through root division, which creates a luxuriant plant much faster than seed, but you will not be able to reproduce it through cuttings or seeds. Root division can be done at any time of year, although the plant is at its best in spring. To divide a potted areca palm through root division:

  1. Select a mature plant with several stalks.
  2. Water thoroughly the day before you divide the plants to release the roots from the soil.
  3. Pat the sides of the container to loosen the root ball and remove the palm from its pot.
  4. Gently shake the soil away from the roots. Rinse the soil from the roots to discover which one can sprout stems.
  5. Pick four to five stems and cut them away from the parent using a sharp knife.
  6. Gently mix a 2-to-1 mixture of ordinary potting soil and coarse sand in a pot with the separated stems.
  7. Water the plant normally and place it in bright, indirect light (not direct sunlight).

Areca Palm Seeds: How to Grow Them

Seeds of Areca palms can also be sown. Areca palm seeds are uncommon at garden centers, but they can be harvested from the fruits that develop after the palm's golden blooms bloom.

If you're propagating with seeds, germinate them at home by placing them in a seed-starting mix, slightly covered. Older ones and orange in color have a higher germination rate than newer, greener seeds. When the soil temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity is high, germination takes about six weeks.

As you wait for germination, keep the seed-starting mix moist but not soggy, and then save the seedlings moist as well. Plant the seedlings outdoors when they have a few leaves, 3 to 6 feet apart, or three to four seedlings to a 12-inch container for a bushy look.

Areca Palm Potting and Repotting

Areca palms prefer a little confined container with plenty of drainage holes, and packed roots will help keep the palm's size in check for indoor development. However, repotting every other year or so is recommended to renew the potting mix and eliminate any fertilizer salt deposits accumulated in the container. If the palm's root ball still fits comfortably in the pot, you can utilize it. Otherwise, go one container size larger. The palm should be replanted at the same depth as before.

Common Plant Pests and Diseases

Pests and illnesses aren't a problem for Areca palms. Lethal yellowing, an insect-transmitted bacterial illness that causes fronds to die and eventually the entire palm, can strike a palm at any time. Outdoor palms are the most commonly affected, and because treatment is usually ineffective, it's recommended to remove the palm before the disease spreads.

Common houseplant pests, such as mites, aphids, mealybugs, scale, and whiteflies, can cause foliage damage and discoloration in indoor areca palms. Any infestation should be treated as soon as feasible.

  • Areca Palm Issues That You Should Be Aware Of

Although the plant is very easy to care for, it is susceptible to one problem affecting areca palms: Keep an eye out for burnt leaf tips.

  • Burning of the Leaf Tip

Leaf tip burn is a term used to describe the yellowing or browning of the tips and leaves of a plant. This can occur as a result of the following factors: 

  • Chilly air temperature
  • Overwatering or underwatering
  • The soil is in terrible condition.
  • Roots that have become tangled

The areca palm is self-cleaning, which means it sheds its brown fronds on its own most of the time. It's best to adjust the soil for an indoor areca palm first to ensure it drains well and that the roots don't sit in water. Alternatively, consider moving the pot to a location with less light and greater humidity before repotting the plant. To tidy up your indoor or outdoor plant, you can physically shear off brown patches.

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Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci
Elissa Sanci, the owner of the website, and senior writer of New York Garden; graduated from Santa Barbara City College – a famous public school in California with many diverse training professions, and she majored in horticulture.