The Q&A Archives: Areca Palm Care

Question: I just bought a 6 foot Areca palm and placed it in my living room which gets bright indirect light - no direct sunlight, all day. I understand it requires moist soil and regular misting. How does that light sound and if it's not enough, what should I be looking for insofar as warning signs that the plant is not happy in this location?

Answer: Areca, or Butterfly Palm, is a popular indoor plant because it's so adaptable, even under low-light conditions. Yours sounds like it will have plenty of light. Keep the soil moist in the summer, when the plant is actively growing, but water less often in the winter. I let the top of the soil dry out before I water my Areca in the winter months. Mist the leaves if the room is heated, and keep your palm out of drafts. If the plant is unhappy, it will develop yellowed leaves and look wilted. Otherwise, it will produce new growth in the spring and summer months. Plan to cut the old fronds off when they turn brown, to keep the plant looking tidy.

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