Areca Palm Care

Growing areca palms both out and indoors

Areca Palm-areca-palm-care
Areca Palm

The Areca palm is widely used in many landscapes and gardening designs including the interior. I first became familiar with these plants many years ago as an interior plantscape designer. My team and I would install these palms in the interior garden areas, placing them in decorative containers to line public pathways, the lobby areas, restaurants, etc…

These palms have a good spread in height which can grow to 7 ft or taller and a width that makes this plant perfect to use as a privacy plant to screen certain areas that you want hidden. What I love about the areca palm are the long feathery leaves that give it a unique appearance.

The areca palm is also known as the butterfly plant. Driving around the island these palms can be seen growing in many home gardens. Our international airport’s plant nursery has several of these palms lining the border of the chain link fence which acts as a perfect screen keeping the nursery hidden from passing traffic.

This palm is a subtropical palm that loves warm conditions, so if you are going for that tropical look whether in your garden or interior plantscape then look no further the areca palm will give you what you are looking for. For more on the growth and care of the areca palm continue reading as we journey into the fascinating world of this garden beauty.

Things you must know

Planting Location

The planting location should be an area that is partially shaded because direct sunlight tends to burn the leaves also plenty of room is needed because when planted outdoors these palms can reach heights of up to 25 ft.

Soil Type

The soil type should be soil that drains well, adding compost or organics will help in conditioning the soil.

Watering Methods

Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between watering because overwater can and will encourage root rot that will lead to the death of your areca palm.

Fertilizing Methods

During the growing season which is spring through summer fertilizer your areca palm with a slow-release fertilizer that is formulated for palms and follow the instruction as direct by the manufacturer’s label.

Garden insect pest of the areca palm

Areca palms do have their share of insect pests which include

  • Spider Mites
  • Mealybugs

To bring these garden insect pests under control the use of insecticidal soap will offer great help. When using insecticidal soap get complete coverage of the plant’s leaves both the top and underside. Before using chemicals read and follow the manufactures label because the label is the law or treating with soapy water will also eliminate these garden insect pest.

Diseases of the areca palm

Keep an eye out for Ganoderma and Pink Rot.

  • Ganoderma
  • Pink Rot


Signs to look out for are leaves which turn yellow along with drooping of the lower leaves. This disease is spread by pruning tools that are not sterilized and by soils that are waterlogged or saturated with water. To counter attack provide proper air circulation and monitor the amount of water you are giving your plant, allow the soil to dry out before watering again. If possible changing the soil to fresh dry healthier soil will help.

Pink Rot

Pink rot is encouraged by soils that are waterlogged or saturated with water. Signs that your palm is affected by this disease is the crown of the areca palm turns brown and droops. Allow the soil to dry out before water again or changing the soil to fresh soil that is dry and also proving good air circulation will help.

Ideas on where to install the areca palm

Here are just a few ideas on where to install the areca palm.

1. Areca palms can be installed as a specimen or stand-alone plant.

2. Can be installed along a fenced area.

3. Looks great installed along a wall.

4. Can be placed on either side of the main entrance door.

5. Can be installed in containers and the containers can be placed on a porch or patio.

7. Does well on the interior.

8. Looks amazing planted along garden walking pathways.

Container grown areca palms

A great way to grow areca palms is from containers because the containers can always be moved around when shifting things up or moved to a more secure spot to be protected from the elements. When growing areca palms from containers the soil should be well-drained soil that holds the right amount of water but will allow excess water to drain through.

Install your palm in a container that is twice the size of the root ball, the container should have drain holes to allow excess water to drain. Place the container in an area that gets bright indirect sunlight and fertilizer with a fertilizer that is formulated for palms. Follow the manufacturer’s label. Keep an eye out for disease and garden insect pests and treat as discussed earlier.

Growing and caring for the areca palms on the interior

When growing areca palms on the interior install your palm as when growing these palms from a container as was discussed, Place your palm in an area that gets bright indirect sunlight. The container should have drain holes to allow water to drain and a saucer to collect this water. Providing the right humidity will help in keeping your palms healthy.

A great way to provide humidity is to mist the leaves or by purchasing a humidifier. The room temperature should be anywhere in the area of 63-75 degrees during the daytime and 55 degrees at night time. Water and fertilize your palms as stated earlier and treat for disease and insect pests as discussed also.

Additional information

1. The Areca palm is a great air purifier so if you what to breathe air that is pure then this natural air purifier can do the job for you.

The final word

The areca palm is a great plant to have as a part of your garden and interior plantscape. Easy to maintain unique in nature with beautiful leaves and an amazing spread that acts as a security screen you get the best of both worlds with this palm. Look no further because this is the plant for you. The areca palm a plant that is worth the investment.



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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.