The Areca Palm: Why It’s Great for Indoors and Outdoors

The Areca Palm: Why It’s Great for Indoors and Outdoors

Spring is here and what better way is there to spruce up your home than with new plants?  One perfect option to add a bit of tropical flair to your décor is the Areca Palm or Dypsis lutescens. This plant will thrive both indoors and outdoors given the right placement and will brighten up any room with its long, feathery, yellow-green fronds.  Follow the guide below to keep your Areca Palm tree lush and vibrant.

What is an Areca Palm?

Also known as the Butterfly Palm or the Party Palm, Areca Palm trees are from the plant family Arecaceae and are native to Madagascar.  While they naturally thrive in tropical and subtropical regions, they also make excellent houseplants when provided with the right amount of light.  Areca Palms growing in the wild will often bear fruit which is consumed by the surrounding environment for sustenance. However, when grown away from its native environment, these palms do not bear fruit and will not cause strange birds to find a sudden interest in your home.  These plants are generally low maintenance and make a great addition to any home be it for privacy, accents, or even a focal point for a room.

Why the Areca Palm is good for indoors

Areca Palms are a fantastic indoor plant option.  They offer multiple benefits to a home.  First, they are incredibly easy to maintain.  New plant parents will love this palm.  An occasional overwatering, while certainly not ideal, won’t kill this plant.  Not so much with underwatering, however, as your plant would definitely cry if it had any water to spare.  She is unforgiving when dry and will let you know when it is unhappy.  Having an Areca Palm indoors will make its surrounding environment a healthier space.

These plants are renowned for their ability to act as an air cleaner by removing certain toxins like formaldehyde and acetone from the air.  These toxins are quite harmful to humans and may cause breathing problems or exacerbate issues for people who have problems with their lungs.  Also, because these palms have a wide wingspan with numerous leaves, their leaves are able to produce more oxygen as it photosynthesizes carbon dioxide from the air.  Areca Palms also increase the levels of humidity in the air.  Combined with increased oxygen and toxin-free air, additional humidity helps people with asthma and other respiratory issues breathe a little easier.  Another important benefit of having an area palm indoors is that they are not toxic to pets.  Not all indoor plants can make this claim, and it is important to ensure the safety of our multi-legged friends.

Imagine a lush Areca Palm tree in your living room fanning out and catching the sunlight to keep its leaves verdant and vibrant.  These tropical beauties stay green all year long and create a bold statement in any room.  Just being in the presence of a mature Areca Palm is enough to help you wind down from a rough day at the office.  If you follow the principles of Feng Shui, the Areca Palm is the right indoor plant for you as they promote wealth, peace and prosperity.

Why the Areca Palm is good for outdoors

Not only are Areca Palms outstanding indoor plants, they also lend that lush tropical vibe as an outdoor plant.  There are many benefits to incorporating Areca Palms outdoors and in your landscaping design.  First, as stated above, Areca Palms are non-toxic to animals like dogs, cats and horses.  This makes it safe for any stray animals that may venture onto your property.  They are even said to be deer resistant, keeping them from chomping on the Areca Palms leaves.

The foliage of the Areca Palm is rather dense.  This makes it a perfect option for a natural privacy screen.  Areca Palms that are grown outdoors can grow upwards of 30 feet.  Trees that tall are able to block eyesight onto upper-level balconies and windows, providing a natural barrier between the home and any neighbors or passersby.

Their dense foliage, low maintenance, environmental friendliness, and aesthetic appeal make them a perfect plant to be incorporated into any outdoor design scheme.  They can be grown in the ground or in a container and will thrive in either place.

How do you take care of it?

Areca Palm care is ideal for new plant parents.  They are low maintenance, but still have certain needs that must be met to stay healthy.  While no two plants are created equal, all plants need some amount of sunlight, water, and nutrients to survive.  The Areca Palm is no different.

  • Sunlight: These plants are easy to care for; however, their one sticky point is sunlight.  Areca Palms thrive in bright light.  Generally, they need nearly full-time bright sunlight each day to stay lush.  It can even handle bright, setting sun.  Sunlight for the Areca Palm also doesn’t need to be filtered.  If it is getting consistent bright light, make sure it is watered properly and fed the right amount of nutrients to account for the bright sun. To ensure your Areca Palm gets the right amount of light, place it near a window that gets bright light daily.  If the Areca Palm is not getting enough light, its leaves may begin to turn yellow, alerting you that it should be moved to a brighter location. Beware:  This plant when shown the right amount of love ca be a prolific grower!
  • Water: Because the Areca Palm requires so much bright light, it also needs a lot of water.  Make sure to wet the soil thoroughly each time it is watered.  Then let it dry out until the surface of the soil is dry before watering it again.  These plants prefer a well-draining soil.  Using a sub-irrigation method like the PlantAssure is a great idea and can be helpful in reducing watering frequency.  Please see the PLANTZ watering guide for more information. For indoor Areca Palms, it is highly suggested that you use the PLANTZ Soil Sleuth.  Let the plant dry down to the first (lowest) notch.  At this point, you know it is getting its last bit of remaining water and needs to be watered again.  This plant does not like to be thirsty.
  • Nutrition: Freshly planted Areca Palms, especially those obtained through com, won’t need any additional feeding for at least 6 months after planting due to the nutrients in the fresh soil.   After the initial 6-month period, feed your Areca Palm quarterly with a complete fertilizer.  The fertilizer should be specific as to the indoor Areca Palm or the outdoor Areca Palm.  Indoor and outdoor plants run through nutrients at different rates.  Make sure to use the right fertilizer for the location of your plant.
  • Cleaning: The cleaner the leaves, the more toxins the Areca Palm can remove from the air and the more oxygen it can emit through photosynthesis.  While there are numerous fronds and leaves involved with a thriving Areca Palm making cleaning a challenge, it is certainly a smart thing to do in order to maximize the benefits of this luxurious tropical plant.  The best way to clean the plant is with a damp cloth soaked in water and a light soap solution.  If this is too challenging for you, using a feather duster is also an option, just ensure it is clean before and after each use.
  • Pests: Yes, Areca Palms may attract pests.  One pest that might seek out your Areca Palm is the mealy bug.  Be on the lookout for these little, white, cottony bugs at the base of leaves, on the stems and under leaf sheathes.  Areca Palms also are attractive to mites, which may be mistaken for dust.  If you see either of these pests, don’t fret!  Just grab a spray bottle and fill it with a light soap solution and spray the plant daily until the pests are gone.

How to trim it an Areca Palm

Some pruning is required of the Areca Palm, and it’s an easy, straightforward process.  Inspect your plant for any dead or damaged leaves.  Use sharp pruning shears to remove them at the base of the stem.  As the leaves age, they will eventually turn brown, especially if you frequently underwater your plant.  When this happens, prune these leaves off at the base of the stem.  Even the sheaths around the stem will brown after a time.  This is not a problem.  The brown sheaths are easily peeled off the stem, thereby exposing the fresh stem underneath.

Be careful to only remove the sheaths after they have turned brown.  If you force them off too early, you will cause damage to your plant, scarring the stem and opening it up to pest infestations.  The plant will heal the small scratch of the brown sheath removal much easier than the early removal of a sheath.  A plant knows when it has been trimmed and will heal that small wound on its own, whereas a larger cut will cause a a larger gash that takes more energy from the plant to heal.  Perhaps it is best thought of as how humans use a bandaid to help heal a small cut, but then needs stitches to heal a larger gash.  The goal is to impose the least amount of stress on your plant.

Areca Palms can grow to be as lush as you want them to be.  If the fronds are too long, trim them back to a manageable size that fits the space.  These cuts should be at the base of the palm’s frond, removing the whole frond. Wait for the sheath to turn brown.  As noted above, it is best for the plant if you wait to remove the sheath until it fully browns.  The whole stalk can also be removed at the base just above the soil.  Areca Palm care is easy, and these slow growing plants only need to be pruned to manage the size of the plant or to remove dead or damaged leaves.


As spring approaches, adding a lush tropical vibe to your home is guaranteed to wash away any remaining evidence of the winter blues.  Take a deep breath full of purified Areca Palm air with extra humidity and oxygen and feel your worries dissolve away as you look on the brighter side of life.

There’s no need to leave your home to shop for your Areca Palm.  PLANTZ has been supplying high-quality plants to their customers since the 1970s.  Their experts are available to answer all of your Areca Palm questions.  Check out the PLANTZ website and find the perfect Areca Palm for your indoor space.


  1. Where can I find an Areca Palm for sale near me? The fastest and easiest way to purchase an Areca Palm is through the PLANTZ websitePLANTZ has experts on hand to answer any questions you may have about your new Areca Palm.  You don’t even need to leave your house.  Just pick up your smartphone, open the link, and choose the size plant you want.  PLANTZ deliveries are fast and pain-free.
  2. Are Areca Palms easy to care for? Yes! They are low maintenance plants.  As long as they are placed in a location with the proper amount of sunlight, these plants will thrive with little attention.  These plants are great for beginners.
  3. Will my Areca Palm grow indoors? These plants make fantastic indoor plants. With proper lighting, an Areca Palm will thrive indoors and provide some great health benefits to those in the surrounding environment.
  4. How tall do Areca Palms grow? Areca Palms grown indoors average about 10 feet tall.  Outdoor Areca Palms have the potential to grow up to 30 feet in height.
  5. Will an Areca Palm hurt my dog or cat if they eat it? These plants are non-toxic to dogs and cats, and horses too!