How to Care for Areca Palm Trees


Areca palms are large trees native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa. They can grow up to 65 feet in the wild, though more typically reach about 3 feet in containers. Areca palm trees are commonly grown for their ornamental, evergreen foliage. The trees are best kept indoors in temperate climates, due to their inability to tolerate even mildly cold temperatures. Areca palm trees require daily care and maintenance to stay healthy and happy, but will reward the indoor gardener with beautiful foliage all year.

Step 1

Keep areca palm trees in a location that receives partial, indirect sunlight throughout the day. Maintain a constant temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or the plant will begin to wilt and die.

Step 2

Water areca palm trees once per week, keeping the soil consistently moist at all times. Reduce the frequency of watering to once every two weeks during winter, when the plant is not actively growing.

Step 3

Use a spray bottle to mist areca palm trees once per day to increase the relative humidity around the plant and emulate its natural environment. Use lukewarm water to prevent shocking the tree.

Step 4

Feed areca palm trees once every four months using a balanced 10-10-10 NPK houseplant fertilizer. Water both before and after applying to release the nutrients and prevent root burn. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper dosage.

Step 5

Prune areca palm trees once per year during late winter, just before new growth begins in spring. Remove damaged, discolored or unshapely leaves to improve appearance and conserve nutrients. Cut off the foliage as close to its point of origin as possible to minimize damage.

Step 6

Transplant areca palm trees into a new container once every two years to provide room for growth. Increase the size of the container by 3 inches. Use a basic potting soil mixed with coarse sand to provide adequate drainage.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Coarse sand


  • University of Hawaii Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences: Areca Palm
  • University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension Yard & Garden Brief: Growing Palm Indoors
  • "Encyclopedia of Houseplants;" Nico Vermeulen; 1999
Keywords: Areca palm trees, Areca palms, Areca tree care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including