Skip to main content

Why your home should have an areca palm (and how to care for it)

Tips for properly caring for an indoor areca palm plant

Your indoor plants should reflect your unique style and integrate seamlessly with your home’s decor. Indoor palms are a joy for anyone wanting to bring a piece of the greenery from warmer climates into their interior design. If you’re looking for a bold, tropical addition to your indoor space, an areca palm is a perfect choice. With their substantial height and sharp, feathery foliage, these palms add a fresh and bright statement to any room.

Palm plant in a teal pot

Is the areca palm a good indoor plant?

Not only does an areca palm bring a mood-lifting splash of the tropics into your home, but it also offers numerous health benefits. This attractive palm can improve indoor air quality by removing toxins and adding humidity to the air, which is great if your indoor air tends to be a bit dry. Caring for a living thing, like this palm, is also a mood booster.

Palm plant in a white pot

Can an areca palm grow indoors?

While they can get substantially taller when planted outdoors, areca palms can still grow pretty well indoors, reaching heights between six and seven feet tall. They’ll grow between six to ten inches every year until they reach their mature height, then these plants can last up to a decade indoors. You can limit the size of your areca palm by housing it in a planter that keeps it root-bound.

White watering can

Areca palm care and maintenance FAQs

These beauties can certainly flourish indoors, but they’re a little high maintenance and will not withstand neglect for long. You’ll know if your plant isn’t getting proper care when large amounts of leaves start to yellow or brown. Here are some frequently asked questions about properly caring for areca palms.

Do areca palms need big pots?

While these palms do get fairly large, they grow well in a well-draining pot that keeps them root-bound. Make sure the pot is only a few inches wider than the palm’s root ball when planting it. This allows the plant to grow but also keeps its root system in the tight conditions that it needs.

Can areca palms bask in direct sunlight?

Areca palms like bright light while they’re indoors, preferably from any west- or south-facing windows. However, be careful that they are not in full sunlight too often as the direct beams can scorch the foliage and turn it yellow or brown.

How often does an areca palm need water?

During the spring and summer, water the soil often enough to remain slightly moist when you stick your finger in it. During the fall and winter months, allow the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings to avoid root rot. Ensure you’re using distilled water or rainwater since this plant is susceptible to chemicals like fluoride and chlorine.

What are areca palm’s preferred temperatures and humidity levels?

While they will acclimate to standard indoor climate conditions, areca palms are, after all, tropical plants, so they prefer warmth and high humidity. Keep your plant in a space that stays between 65 and 75 degrees F and has decent humidity levels. You’ll know the air is too dry for the plant if the tips of the leaves start to brown. If this happens, try running a humidifier in the room to increase the moisture levels.

Should you fertilize areca palms?

These palms benefit greatly from the extra nutrients of fertilizer and an occasional spray of micronutrients, as long as the spray is appropriate for palms. You can use a time-release fertilizer to ensure your palm gets these nutrients from spring to fall. However, you should not feed your areca palm in late fall or winter.

Do you ever need to repot the areca palm?

Since these plants enjoy being root-bound, it’s not necessary to repot them more than once every few years. When you do, make sure the new pot is only a few inches wider than the previous one and plant the root ball at the same depth as it was previously planted. This will prevent damage to the root system.

Palm in a beige livingroom

Vacationing in the tropics allows you to soak in the sun and breathe in the fresh air from palm trees and other tropical plants. An areca palm is a great choice to bring this rejuvenating energy into your home. Though caring for this palm requires special attention, the benefits of both style and health perks make it all worth it. With these care tips, you’re sure to have the healthiest areca palm possible in your home.

Editors' Recommendations

Veronica Sparks
Veronica Sparks is a writer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who loves writing about gardening, home décor, and DIY life. She’s…
The best indoor plants to decorate your home with in October
Resilient indoor plants to brighten your home during the fall months
Croton plant

Fall is a slow and underwhelming season for avid gardeners. Summer plants start to die off or go dormant, and it's too early to cut down a Christmas tree, right? So, what can you do to keep some of that glorious greenery in your life when the air starts to get chilly? The good news is you don't have to give up your green thumb just because summer is over. There are a ton of indoor plants that can thrive right inside your home during the brisk fall season.

What makes the best indoor plants for fall?
Not every indoor plant is suitable for indoor life in the fall and winter. Many varieties need high heat and long hours of direct sunlight, and they just won't get the vital things they need while inside your home in the fall. The days are shorter and the air is cooler, after all. To prevent the disappointment of browning or wilting leaves, look for indoor plants that have a few key characteristics so you can reap all the benefits of your fall foliage.
Pick plants with high durability
Since fall and winter produce shorter days and dryer air, direct sunlight and humidity will be scarce in your home. It's a good idea to pick the heartiest, most resilient plant varieties that can withstand, or even prefer, the low light conditions and lower moisture levels.
Some indoor plants have great health benefits for cooler months
Among the dry, recycled air blowing around your HVAC system, there are a lot of germs, toxins, and impurities that you and your family breathe in during colder months. Fortunately, many indoor plants can improve the air quality in your home. Through the process of photosynthesis, they filter out those harmful toxins and even give the air a little more humidity. Pick indoor plant varieties that are the best air purifiers out there.
Go for some decorative beauty
Our moods and energy levels definitely take a hit during the chilly months, especially when the trees are bare and the lawn is yellowing. Arguably the best quality of indoor plants is their natural beauty and greenery. Amidst the long nights and barren lawns, having some pretty plant life around may be just what you need to brighten up your day.

Read more
Does vinegar repel ants and other pests around the home?
Use vinegar to keep ants and other creepy crawlies at bay
Man cleaning home with a spray bottle

Finding ants in your home is equal parts disgusting and frustrating. You may wonder, "Why can't they just leave us alone and how are they finding their way inside?!" There is a way to keep those creeps out. And it's nontoxic. It's a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, which you can use to wipe away their trail so no other pests will get the same idea. Use vinegar to repel ants. It's a simple solution!

White vinegar works well in this mixture, as does apple cider vinegar. Both types of vinegar work equally well when mixed with water, so whichever you have on hand will work. 

Read more
These are the best plants to put in your shower for a nature-inspired sanctuary
Adding a plant to your shower benefits both you and the plant
Bathroom with orange walls

Bathroom plants are a rising trend, and for good reason. Who wouldn't want to add a touch of refined nature or create a cozy farmhouse feel in their bathroom? Placing a plant in the shower, however, might seem a bit odd. The truth is, there are many benefits to having a plant in your shower, both for you and for the plant itself. We're going to discuss some of these benefits, and we're going to give you some ideas for the best plants to put in your shower. Once you've added a touch of nature to your shower, you'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Why put plants in your shower?
Above and beyond adding a bit of color to your dim shower, there are some health and environmental benefits to keeping plants in your shower.
Less unwanted moisture
It's no secret that bathrooms tend to be hot spots for humidity. Excessive amounts of moisture, however, can have some adverse effects. Mold can grow around your bathroom, the paint on the walls can peel, and certain nasty bugs are attracted to moist places. A shower plant can help reduce unwanted moisture in your bathroom and minimize some of these issues. Since plants need water, they suck it right out of the air, providing the added benefit of not having to water the plant as often.
Cleaner air
You probably know that plants pull carbon dioxide out of the air and emit oxygen, right? But did you know that while this process is taking place, the plant is also filtering the air and pulling toxins out of it? With all of the cleaning products, hair products, and other nasty molecules that leave toxins in your bathroom's air, having a shower plant will allow you to breathe a bit easier and healthier.
Mental health benefits
Having indoor plants comes with numerous health benefits, but the most significant are the benefits to your mental health. We all know that plants are therapeutic, and studies have shown that plants help with stress relief, energy boosts, and even increased concentration and productivity. Why not reap all these mental health benefits right at the start of your day while you shower in the morning?
Elevated decor
Let's face it, indoor plants are beautiful, and they add so much charm and character to any room. Why not apply that same philosophy to your bathroom and shower? Having a plant in your shower is not only trendy and aesthetically pleasing, but it will leave you feeling like you're showering in the tropics.
The plants love it
Putting a plant in the shower not only benefits you, but it also benefits the plant itself. Many plants thrive in humid environments, so you'll see them flourish in your bathroom. If you tend to forget to water your plants for long periods of time, having them in an already moist area will allow you to feel less guilty about neglecting them.

Read more