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A Beginner's Guide to Growing Areca Palms Indoors

by Reone Brown, GRI 05/02/2022

Areca palms are a common sight in outdoor spaces but also make great houseplants. They're easy to care for and can grow in your home in practically any climate as long as they get the proper care. Here are the basics of growing areca palms indoors:

Lighting Needs

One of the areca palm's most popular characteristics is its ability to thrive in a variety of lighting situations. Most palms actually prefer shade, and the areca will prefer a spot with bright indirect light indoors. Direct sun exposure can burn the leaves, so using a sheer curtain or another light filter works well if you want to place one near a window.

Soil & Water Preference

In their natural environment, most palms grow in sandy soil with good drainage. As a houseplant, an areca palm will grow in just about any type of commercial potting mix as long as its container has sufficient drainage holes.

Areca palms need regular but moderate watering to thrive. The soil should stay somewhat moist all the time, but it's better to underwater than to overwater. If you're worried about overwatering your areca palm, consider planting it in a terracotta or clay pot to help absorb extra moisture.

Temperature Requirements

Areca palms will tolerate average indoor temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Many plant owners like to move their palms outdoors to a shaded porch or patio for the summer months, but it's crucial to bring it back indoors before temperatures drop too low. It's also important to keep them away from air conditioning vents or anywhere else they'll get a cold draft. While easy to care for, areca palms do not tolerate the cold, and will decline rapidly if not protected from lower temperatures.

Areca palms are among several palms you can grow successfully as houseplants. Some other options to consider are the Chinese fan palm and parlor palm, which both have similar care needs and help bring a tropical vibe to any space.

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