How Do I Take Care of an Areca Palm?


The areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is a tropical evergreen tree that can reach 30 feet tall. Native to Madagascar, outside of tropical regions in the U.S., it is generally grown potted, as a houseplant. When you first bring your areca palm home, it must gradually acclimate to the indoor environment. Set it outdoors in a shady area. In two weeks, move the plant to a bright area, indoors.

Step 1

Water the areca palm with distilled water, as it does not tolerate fluoride. Water often enough to keep the soil slightly moist. When a fingertip inserted into the top 1/2 inch of soil comes out dry, it is time to water. In winter, allow the soil to dry to two inches. Don't allow water to remain in the pot's saucer.

Step 2

Fertilize the areca palm, every three months, with 19-6-12 fertilizer, according to the rate suggested on the product's label. Discontinue fertilizing in mid-fall and begin again in late winter.

Step 3

Wipe the areca's fronds periodically with a soft, damp cloth.

Step 4

Inspect the areca palm periodically for signs of spider mites. Use an insecticidal soap to control an infestation. Apply the product according to the instructions on the label.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • Fertilizer
  • Rag
  • Insecticidal soap


  • University Of Minnesota Extension: Growing Palms Indoors
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension Service: Areca Palm Production Guide
  • University of Hawaii: Areca Palm
Keywords: care for areca, areca palm care, care for palm

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.