Growing Areca Palm Indoors can be quite rewarding if you follow the right steps and the plant will continue to thrive for a long time!
Many people shy away from growing an areca palm indoors as a houseplant because they are not the easiest plant to grow. But once you know the basic needs, Growing Areca Palm Indoors is quite easy and it’ll grab attention and brighten up any indoor space. It is also an air purifying plant and cleans off acetone, xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene from the surrounding air. Add one to your houseplant collection and help it to thrive with these growing tips.
Botanical Name: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Common Names: Golden cane palm, Butterfly palm
Check out our article on areca palm benefits here
Choosing a Pot
Avoid taking too large pots if you are looking forward to limiting the size. A root-bound plant will have limited growth and a small container will also save it from root-rot. If you have bought the plant from a garden center, going for one size bigger pot would be a good starting point.
For new plants, you can go for an 8-12 inch container. Make sure it has sufficient bottom drainage holes to allow for good drainage.
Requirements for Growing Areca Palm Indoors
An areca palm must have just the right amount of light to thrive. The plant needs a full day, bright indirect light. It’ll also do well in northern or western exposure too. If the plant is placed too close to a window, make sure that its leaves are not touching the windowpane.
If the palm is placed in the harsh afternoon sunlight, its fronds will turn yellow.
As a tropical plant, the areca palm loves warm temperatures. Place the palm in a location away from drafts and sudden temperature changes. It does best between 60-80 F (15-27 C) indoor temperature.
Any soil that has some amount of perlite, sand/gravel, and drains well will work great for the plant. You can also go for a peat-based mix. Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing two parts regular potting soil and one part sand. You can also add a part of organic matter and compost to enrich the soil.
Water the palm often enough to keep the soil moist in spring and summer. Always allow the soil to dry between waterings in fall and winter. Dip your finger in the soil and reach for the water can, only if you find it dry. Over-watering is the most frequent cause of death for these attractive palms.
The plant will thrive in typical humidity found in most homes. If you notice the leaf tips turning brown, then that’s the indication of dry air in the surrounding. Increase the humidity by misting the palm with water. Alternatively, you can also place it on a tray of pebbles with water. Just make sure the level is not above the pebbles.
Taking Care of Areca Palm Indoors
Apply a granulated time-released plant food to the soil in the early spring to provide the palms with most of the nutrients it needs for the entire season. You can also use a diluted water-soluble fertilizer monthly during the spring and summer growing season, but don’t do both.
In addition to one of the above feeding methods, use a liquid houseplant fertilizer that contains micronutrients to mist tree fronds. Make sure the product is labeled as safe for foliar feedings, and dilute it according to the label instructions.
Do not feed areca palm in fall and winter in colder climates. This is the plant’s dormant cycle and it does not need to be fed. If you live in a tropical climate, you can continue feeding the plant with a reduced rate in winters.
The areca palm is a slow grower and prefers to be slightly root-bound. The plant will need to be re-potted every 2-3 years. While the plant grows best in a tight container, keeping it slightly root bound will also help limit the mature size of the plant.
Re-pot in spring into a new container that is 2-4 inches wider than the current one. Be gentle with the roots when re-potting, they are brittle and easily broken.
Trim off the loose or spent fronds using a sharp shear. You can trim the plant year-round as per your needs and requirements.
Pests & Diseases
Be careful of red spider mites, whitefly, scales, and mealybugs. Cleaning the plant, using a powerful jet of water, will get rid of them.
In diseases, you don’t need to worry about much except for root rot. Avoid overwatering to save your plant from it.