Areca palms are big and beautiful, commanding attention with their many arching fronds and as many as 100 leaflets.
Whether you opt for a live or artificial version, they make a striking addition to any décor, and caring for them is relatively simple.
Live Areca palms grow at a medium speed, and they need to be repotted every two to three years.
These palms can grow to be 7 feet tall, but unlike many other palms, they can be trimmed without causing harm to the plant, which means you can make them a part of your indoor decorating without worrying about them outgrowing their space.
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Live Areca Palm Need Just the Right Amount of Water
The most common problem when watering an Areca palm is actually giving the plant too much water. These palms need to be watered regularly, but they can’t be watered too much, or their health will be adversely impacted.
The soil of your Areca palm should always be a little moist throughout the growing seasons of spring and summer. In the winter, the soil can be allowed to dry a bit more in between waterings.
Watering an Areca palm properly requires watering them about every week to two weeks during the growing seasons and about every two to three weeks in the fall and winter. Both overwatering and underwatering an Areca palm can cause visible damage.
If the leaves turn brown or yellowish, the plant is getting too much water. Wilting leaves are another sign of damage from overwatering. If the soil isn’t slightly moist during the growing seasons, it is being underwatered.
Live Areca Palm Trees Also Need Fertilizer
The Areca palm is an easy plant to care for, but these plants need to be fertilized periodically. If the plant has any signs of distress, but it is being watered the right amount, it may be that it needs to be fertilized.
Fertilize Areca palms only during the growing season and never during the winter. Use liquid fertilizer for your Areca palm and be sure to follow the directions on the label. An every other month application should be enough for most Areca palms.
Indirect Sunlight Is Best for a Live Areca Palm Tree
Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of an Areca palm, so be sure to choose a bright spot lit by indirect sunlight. Your best option is to put your palm near a window that faces either west or south.
Not enough sunlight can make your plant susceptible to a number of plant diseases, so choose your spot well. Even when you find the right place for your palm tree, keep an eye on it and be sure to rotate it if you notice it growing lopsided.
Fake Areca Palm Are Easy to Maintain
If you don’t want to water or fertilize an Areca palm, you can always choose an artificial plant. The best-quality ones look just like the real thing, and they need very little maintenance.
Simply dust your Areca palm every now and then to keep it looking great. Enjoy not having to prune your artificial Areca palm to keep it the right size and shape for your home décor.
Be Sure to Periodically Dust and Rinse Your Artificial Areca Palm
Over time, an artificial plant will accumulate dust. Letting dust sit on your palm can aggravate dust allergies and harm the indoor air quality while giving away that your plant is fake, so be sure you either dust or wipe down your plant regularly.
Often, a wipedown is just the thing to keep your Areca palm looking clean. Simply mix a mild dish soap with water and apply it to a cloth then use it to clean each individual leaf.
If you have an especially dirty area, add extra soap to the mixture. Any dirt and dust should come off easily with this method. Be aware that some artificial plants have dye that can run a little, so be careful about where you clean your plant.
For a larger artificial Areca palm, it may be helpful to wash it in the shower instead of wiping it down. Just place the plant standing up in the shower and turn the water to lukewarm.
Turn the plant around a few times to make sure that each palm leaf gets cleaned. It’s often a good idea to leave the plant in the shower overnight to dry so it doesn’t drip water on your floors.
If you’re going to store your plant, it is even more important to make sure the plant is completely dry first.
Store Your Fake Areca Palm Properly When Not Using It
When you want to get your Areca palm out of the way, store it properly so it doesn’t get damaged. The first step is to make sure that it’s as clean as possible.
Dusting it thoroughly or wiping it down as described above can work well, depending on how much dust and dirt is on the plant. Storing the plant when it’s covered in dust can cause scratches it’s in storage.
Another step is to make sure that the entire plant is completely dry. Don’t hesitate to wait a full day to store it after you’ve cleaned it to ensure no moisture remains anywhere on the plant. Storing damp plants is likely to create a mildew problem.
The next step is to cover the plant to keep it protected from more dust and dirt. Use either a garbage bag or a Christmas tree bag, depending on the size of your plant, to keep it well protected.
You also need to pick the right place to store it. Choose somewhere that is out of the way to keep your plant undisturbed until you want to use it again.
If you want a plant that is showy but easy to care for, an Areca palm is the perfect plant to get.
Both the live and artificial examples are easy and look great. A few simple steps are all you need to keep these plants looking their best.
Do you have any favorite tips for caring for either a live or artificial Areca palm? Let us know in the comments!