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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
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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.

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