How To Care For And Grow Your Areca Palm

Areca-Palm-Plntd-Seamless-2_20bf21f9-eb1a-4b42-82cb-7f0c89efe41d

Areca Palm

LOW MAINTENANCE | BEGINNER-FRIENDLY | JUNGLE VIBE

Native to: Madagascar

Watering needs: Frequent – keep soil moist

Lighting needs: Medium – can tolerate most light levels but provide as much light as possible

Difficulty: Low maintenance

Great for: Beginners, anyone who wants to add a “jungle” feel

Pet-Safe: Yes

Looking for a quick introduction?

We've summarized all the essentials in our short Areca Palm video, here:

JUMP TO:

1.0 Choosing Your Areca Palm

2.0 Picking The Right Spot (Lighting, Air Conditioning, Temperature)

3.0 Caring For Your Areca Palm (Watering, Dusting, Re-potting)

4.0 Beginner Questions

5.0 Some Common Problems

6.0 Buying Areca Palms Online

1.0 Choosing your Areca Palm

An Areca Palm's leaves hold its secrets.

It’s Alright If You See:

Green Leaves All The Way Through

That's a beautifully healthy Areca Palm right there.

But, Watch Out For:

Brown Leaf-tips

This means that the Areca Palm has received too much or too little water.

2.0 Picking The Right Spot (Lighting, Air Conditioning, Temperature)

Half of plant parenthood is choosing the perfect spot.

Lighting

The more indirect light your Areca Palm gets, the taller it will grow. But avoid direct sunlight (max: 4 hours) as that may burn its leaves. 

When you bring your Areca Palm home, place it as close to a window as you can, making sure it has the largest possible view of the sky. Then, keep an eye on it for a few days. We highly recommend placing it near a window for the first month, so it gets acclimated to its new home.

If you see scorch marks on your Areca Palm within a few hours, then that means it’s getting too much sunlight.

Pro-tip: You don’t need to worry about UAE windows, most of them are tinted, so the sunlight coming through is already filtered indirect light, not direct. If you were to keep your Areca Palm near a non-tinted window, you would see scorch marks on its leaves within a few hours. 

Air Conditioning

Place your Areca Palm as far away as possible from the direct air escaping from your AC vent. The dry air may cause its leaf tips to start browning.

Temperature

Areca Palms are happiest between 18 °C – 24 °C. However, they will tolerate temperatures as cold as 10 °C. As a general rule: if you're comfortable, then your Areca Palm probably is too.

3.0 Caring For Your Areca Palm (Watering, Dusting, Re-potting)

How to keep your plant alive (and also show your love).

Watering

Water if the soil is partly dry

Plants like the Areca Palm are picky and want to be watered when their soil has dried up 30-50% of the way. Not more, not less.

To do this, insert your finger about 2 inches into the soil to check for moisture level. If you don’t feel any moisture or the soil doesn’t stick to your finger, then it’s time to water. 

Pro-tip: When checking your soil for moisture, make sure to test different parts of the soil, in case you come across a wet pocket. To be extra sure, you can also stick your finger through the bottom of the drainage holes underneath its nursery pot, to feel for moisture.

Rule of thumb: Expect to water your Areca Palm every 1–2 weeks, and more often with more light. Having said that, soil moisture should be your primary indicator for when you should water your plant.

Dusting

Once a month, gently wipe away any dust on your plant.

Wiping your Areca Palm free of dust with a damp rag once a month will help it soak in light and breathe through the little pores on its leaves (stomata).

Re-potting

Leave it in its nursery pot

You don’t need to worry about re-potting for at least 1-2 years.

Time to re-pot

When re-potting, transfer your Areca Palm into a pot that's about 1–2 inches in diameter larger than its current one (or one or two sizes up).

Remember, always go for a pot with drainage holes.

When in doubt, reach out to our team at hello@plntd.ae, and we’ll help you re-pot your Areca Palm.

Pro-tip: To keep watering simple and easy, you can simply re-pot your Areca Palm into a larger nursery pot and place that nursery pot in a larger planter.

4.0 Beginner questions

Ask away, grasshopper.

How easy is an Areca Palm to care for?

Areca Palms are low maintenance plants:

  • They can tolerate low light levels (though they grow faster the more they get).
  • They can go 1-2 weeks between drinks (the more light they get, the more you can expect to water them).

Like most indoor plants, however, Areca Palms are sensitive when it comes to the chlorine and calcium found in UAE tap water. To combat this, make sure to:

  1. Leave tap water out for 24-48 hrs before using it. This allows the chlorine time to evaporate.
  2. When watering, make sure to water all the way through the soil until water is dripping out the bottom of the nursery pot. This will ensure any excess build of calcium (and other minerals) is flushed out from the soil.
Can I use UAE tap water to water my Areca Palm?

Yes. Areca Palms can be fed using UAE tap water.

However, like most indoor plants, they are sensitive to the chlorine and calcium found in the water.

To combat this, make sure to:

  1. Leave tap water out for 24-48 hrs before using it. This allows the chlorine time to evaporate.
  2. When watering your Areca Palm, make sure to water through the soil until it is dripping out the bottom of the nursery pot. This flushes out any excess build-up of calcium (and other minerals) from the soil.

Finally, look out for tell-tale signs of too much chlorine or calcium:

  • Scorched brown tips at the leaves = too much chlorine.
  • White crystals on the soil = too much calcium.
Will AC harm my Areca Palm? What temperature should I set it to?

Areca Palms Plants are tropical plants that thrive in warm, humid climates.

ACs achieve the opposite results: they make the temperature colder, and the air dryer.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when setting your AC temperature and deciding where to place your Areca Palm:

  • The ideal temperature for Areca Palms, as with most indoor plants, is between 18°C - 22°C at night, and 22°C - 27°C during the day. Though they CAN tolerate lower temperatures, you'll need to REDUCE your watering drastically, as the risk of overwatering increases as the temperature goes down.
  • Whenever possible, place your Areca Palm (this applies to all plants) as far away from the AC vent as possible.
  • To combat the drying effect of the AC, mist your Areca Palm with water and a mister to replicate its native climate. Once a week is minimum; once a day is ideal!
Do I have to re-pot my Areca Palm as soon as I receive it?

In short, no.

Once you receive your plant, place it in the spot you plan to keep it in (whilst still in its nursing pot) and allow it at least 6 months (ideally 12) to acclimate to your home's temperature and light levels.

Once acclimated, you can choose to either re-pot your plant or leave it in its nursing pot, as you don’t need to worry about re-potting for at least 1-2 years.

5.0 Some Common Problems

Like we said, Areca Palms are simple.

Brown (Dark) & Moist Tips

Cause: Overwatering

Suggestion: Reduce frequency of your watering. Allow the soil to dry out sufficiently (could take 2-3 weeks) before rewatering again

Brown (Light) & Crispy Tips

Cause 1: Too much sunlight

Suggestion: Try moving it about 0.5 meters away from the window.

Cause 2: Underwatering

Suggestion: Try increasing your watering frequency.

Whole Frond Is Turning Yellow

Usually caused by overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out halfway (this could take 2-4 weeks) before rewatering again.

Cause: Overwatering that area of the plant

Suggestion: Pull out the dead stem and discard it, and reduce your watering frequency.

6.0 Buying Areca Palms Online

When shopping for a plant online, look out for the following:

Height

If you're looking for a table-top plant, then go for one that's 40cm tall. A 60cm tall plant would work well on a low side-table. Plants about 1 meter or taller would work well as statement floor plants.

Note: Stated heights will always include the height of the plant AND planter.

Pot style

This is all about the vibe you're looking for, and you'll typically have a choice amongst different colors and shapes.

If you're looking for subtlety, we suggest a circular pot in white. To make more of a statement, look for contrasting shapes and colors!

Delivery

It goes without saying that your plant supplier should meticulously package all plants.

When you personally buy a plant from a store, you're able to rush it home, ensuring it stays outside for as little time as possible. But when you order online, your plant will ride-share with a lot of other plants all on their way to their new homes.

Depending on where you live, weather can play a big part in your plant's health along the way.

If possible, ask your plant shop what precautions they take to ensure your plants stay as safe as possible en route to you.

Reviews

Reading customer reviews is a good way to get an idea of the customer experience provided by the seller (here's ours, by the way), but you need to practice caution there.

Don't expect to be able to tell a fake review right away, some reviewers can be great con artists, and some negative reviews can be fake to harm the seller.

Your best bet is to zoom out and look at multiple comments from multiple categories to get a good overview of whether you can trust this company and/or their review section.

For example, look at how recent the reviews are, and how spread apart. Was there a sudden spike of comments in a short amount of time? Do they sound like they're all written by someone rehashing the same template? Do they all sound too positive to be real?

Yes, going all detective on reviews can be a chore, but Future You will thank you for it.

Returns and refund policies

Things can go wrong.

Sometimes it's no one's fault, and sometimes there's nothing anyone can do.

So the best practice is to offer (and honor) a no-questions asked return/refund policy. Check out the seller's policy before you make a purchase, so you know you're insured in case things don't work out.

You can check out our return/refund policy here.

Ready to adopt an Areca Palm?

Your Areca Palm can't wait to meet you — just choose a height and pot and let's introduce you two!