Houseplant Care Tips

Various Houseplant Care Tips Including Watering and Lighting Requirements.


Houseplant Care Tips

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Areca Palm Care

Common Name: Areca Palm
Scientific Name: Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
Lighting: Moderate to Bright
Watering: Heavy


Feather-like green fronds radiating from several trunks characterize the Areca Palm. This houseplant is beautiful when new, however overtime the Areca Palms attractive appearance can diminish slightly. Fronds when bigger may droop and bend over. The Areca Palm is a slow grower. It will grow wider before taller.


Tips of the Areca Palm may also turn brown. The browning tips of the palm are normal. All of the Areca Palms that I have had, the tips did turn brown eventually. One main area to beware of with this palm is that you should only prune off dead branches. If you clip the browned tips you will stop the growth of that branch.


Requires bright indirect light so keep it within 5 to 8 feet from a sunny window. If put in too much direct light, the fronds may get burnt from the sunlight. When a frond becomes yellow or dead like in appearance be sure to remove the entire frond.


The Areca Palm requires heavy watering; however do not allow the plant to sit in water because this could lead then to root rot. The Areca Palm will wilt drastically if you allow the soil to dry out completely. On a good note, once you water it, the plant will stand back up. This houseplant is extremely sensitive to salts and minerals, so if your home uses a water softener, water from a source that does not go through the softener first, such as an outside faucet. As most tropical plants, an occasional misting will make your plant look and feel healthier.


A common pest to this plant is the spider mite. If the appearance of spider mites is present, try misting the plant twice daily with a soapy water mixture. If this does not work, go to your local plant or hardware store and try a professional grade pest remover.


Overall this plant requires a great deal of attention to maintain its beautiful appearance. However with its majestic like appearance and ability to fit into any decor all the work may be a great payoff.


Please feel free to share your comments and experiences with this plant.



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226 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought an Areca Palm last month and I'm new to caring for houseplants. So far my Areca is still alive! When you say that dead branches should be removed, do you mean pull the entire frond out from the root or do you mean just snip off the frond branch from where it meets the soil? I found one frond that is completely dead but am unsure how much I need to remove. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

7:21 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

You can snip the dead branch where it meets the soil. Pulling from the root may disrupt the plants other roots.

Glad to hear that so far so good. Palms can be tricky plants. They have a mind of their own sometimes.

Thanks,
drayas

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello friend..

thanks for the information and tips. i have recently purchased an areca palm. i, like your previous comment am fairly new to keeping a crazy big indoor plant. i was told that snipping the brown tips will stunt growth.. exactly what will stop. also i love it very much and would love to see it thrive. any more tips would be great.
thank you
nolan f.

12:26 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Nolan,

Usually if you snip the ends of the fronds that have browned, the new ends just brown, and continues until you have to cut the whole branch off.

Since the ends of Areca palms usually brown, you would end up with nothing left, fairly fast.

The snipping of the ends stunts growth, because the palm then begins to put all its energy and resources into repairing where you snipped, thus not using energy elsewhere on the plant to grow say in size or color.

Good luck,
Thanks,
drayas

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have my areca palm for a few weeks and recently I notice that on all the stems there are red or brown spots all over. I was able to scratch a little bit off. Do you know if there is something wrong with the palm? Thanks

6:59 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

It sounds like your Areca Palm has been infested with either scale or a type of mite. Try spraying the plant with a soapy dishwater mixture twice a day. If after 3 to 4 days, the spots are not lessening, go to your local garden center for a pesticide safe for houseplants.

Please let me know how things turn out.

Thanks,
drayas

10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We bought an Areca Palm for work it has lots of light and we transplanted it. Now a few of the leaves (or branches of leaves)are turning yellow. What am I doing wrong??? Would not enough watering cause this? Its a big plant about 3-4 ft. tall. How often should I water?

9:17 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

You are probably not doing anything wrong. Many times when you transplant a plant, it will go through a short shock period from the move. My guess is that's what is happening.

If the plant is being underwatered, it will wilt/shrivel so I don't think you're doing that. Do watch how much light your Areca Palm is receiving. Aim for bright indirect light.

Please let me know how things turn out.

Thanks,
drayas

8:32 AM  
Blogger NatalyNY said...

I bought an Areca Palm tree and after few months it started to go yeallow until it dried out completely. I was watering it once a month and it was standing in a bright room with heavy sunlight in the morning. Palm tree was standing about 5 feet from the window. What caused it? Not enough watering or heavy morning sunlight? I bought another Areca Palm and want to make sure it stays alive for a long time. Thank you.

6:17 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Natalyny,

You said you watered it once a month, I'm assuming that's a typo and you meant once a week. If your palm appears to droop or wilt, it is not receiving enough water. Areca palms prefer heavy watering, so you want to keep the soil moist all of the time.

I don't think the lighting killed your plant. It most likely was the watering. Be sure to also mist your plant every day or every other day. They prefer high humidity levels.

Hope you have better luck this time,
drayas

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate you page! How often and with what do you feed these palms?
Thanks,
Keith

11:40 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Keith,

I use Miracle Gro Houseplant Food (water soluable). I mix it with the water as instructed on the bottle once every month or two.

Thanks,
drayas

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Gr8day98@aol.com said...

Areca palms make great hedges...once our fence was lost in Hurricane Wilma...we decided to plant Areca Palms close together around our property and now have a great hedge and the birds love to nest in them. We now have a great tropical hedge and privacy!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous gr8day98@aol.com said...

Adding Milorganite fertilizer to the soil of the Areca Palm will help to keep the plant green and help with yellowing. It brings the bright green back.

6:37 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

gr8day98,

Thank you for sharing!!
drayas

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great things I have learned from this blog. But exactly how aften should you water the Areca Palm? Keeping it moist all of the time, is that watering everyday or maybe about 3 times per week or so..?

Thanx for all the info.

1:45 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

How often you water your palm depends on how much water you give at a time. The first week or so, you'll have to test until you nail it down. Water it one day, then keep checking daily or every other day. If the soil is dry to touch at about 1-2 inches in depth, water again.

Hope that helps.

Thank you,
drayas

10:45 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

Arecas and other house plants will begin to show "tip burn" on the leaves as the salts in the water build-up in the root zone. I always recommend that if you are using anything as indoor plants, you buy two and rotate them out doors about every month or so. Outside, you can flush the salts out of the root zone with heavy watering of the same water you use indoors. It's the quantity that pushes the salts out of the drain holes.

Areca palms have a naturally yellowish tint, but all plants will pull in their chlorophyll when they are stressed; causing further yellowing, I've found.

Plants growing outdoors also have less insect infections, probably because of the moving air and parasitic insects that feed on them.

Don't be discouraged; growing plants indoors is harder than outdoors, so you have to watch for signs of trouble more often. Last resort is to re-pot the plant in clean fresh soil; shake the old dry soil off the roots; don't try to pull the plant out or you'll damage the small feeder roots. Good luck.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is my second palm in two years and seems like i am about to loose it again.Even new growth turns yellow before getting mature. I pulled dead section out it seemed to have rot and mold on it, althogh i do not water it ofern at all. I do have it planted in Miracle-Gro® Moisture Control® Potting Mix. Could that be hurting my plant? I'd relly hate to loose another one. Please help!

5:39 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Areca palms can be challenging. To me you must have everything in place in order for them to look good. So go through the checklist.

1) Does it receive enough light? I can safely say it's probably not receiving too much light, otherwise your fronds would be browning instead of yellowing.

2) Is it getting enough water? These plants require heavy watering, so check if the soil is dry 2 - 4 inches deep. If it is, then it's time to water again. Or you may be overwatering it. With the mold and root rot, this may be the case. But if you follow the little depth check, that should solve that.

3) Another reader provided this tip: "Adding Milorganite fertilizer to the soil of the Areca Palm will help to keep the plant green and help with yellowing. It brings the bright green back." So you could try that as well.

4) Areca palms require high humidity so give the plant daily or every other day mistings to help.

The Miracle Gro soil shouldn't be a problem. I use that in all my plants without problems but it does hold the water better in my opinion so maybe you water less.

Does your pot allow excess water to drain out into a tray? If not, the roots might be sitting in water and that could be a problem as well.

Please keep me posted.

Thanks,
drayas

6:19 AM  
Blogger Denis said...

What you describe is a root problem, I'm sure. Could the plant have gotten too cold? That trauma would cause the plant to stop growing and fungi will destroy the new cells in the crowns, quickly in cool conditions. The "yellowing" is a sign the plant is pulling in its chlorophyll to save it, just as deciduous trees do in Fall.
It's almost over, and I would re-pot the plant in new soil and remove any stems where the crown pulls out. You will see and smell the fungus in the roots. Treat the whole plant with a fungicide, especially the crown, and keep it in a warm location. Pray.
Denis

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,
Thank you for all of the wonderful information!
We have an areca palm which seems to be growing quite fast. The pot we received it in has three plants in it. Should we transplant or separate them? Will they die or simply stop growing if we leave them in the same container?

11:37 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Many times when a plant has overgrown their pots, their new growth will slow or stop. If they are still growing fast, I would leave them be. Then when the time comes either split them up, or put them all together in a larger pot.

If you decide to split them, be careful not to rip their roots.

Thanks,
drayas

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!
I have had a small areca palm in a pot for several years. It is doing very well, shooting up tall sprouts that unfold. Then it shot up two "loops" that had small green nodes on them. Now those are blooming (I guess) as they have turned a beautiful bright yellow. They're still small, though. I understand that it is probably blooming, so my question is should I just leave them? Or is there something I should do with them (or could do with them)? Thanks!

12:05 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Enjoy the bloom!!!

You don't have to do anything special with the bloom. If you would like to try and collect the seeds from it, wait until the fruit is extremely overripe. Then clean and dry the seeds. However, you must quickly replant the seeds. Typically they do not store well.

Hope that helps. Any pictures to post here on the Areca palms page would be great!!

Thanks,
drayas

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Im Sure you get this all the time, the leaves on my Areca palm are all rotten or brown, i keep it in a room at least 10-15 degrees is this what is causing this or is it just me. Thanks

3:23 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Sean,

What do you mean you keep it at 10 - 15 degrees? Not Farenheit right??

How much do you water your palm? If the foliage is turning yellow and kind of a mushy brown you may be overwatering your plant.

Let me know.

Thanks,
drayas

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! Thank you SO SO SO much! I just bought an Areca, and I was so worried once it started to curl and brown at the ends! Turns out it's normal! Whew! The misting tip is great too, I will start doing that!

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Sorry about the miss hap, yeah, the room teperature is 10-15 degrees, ive found out that the tips going brown where normal from where i bought it.
One more question: will they ever recover over time? thanks.

3:59 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Sean,

The browning is there for good unfortunately until the whole frond dies.

Thanks,
drayas

12:22 PM  
Blogger Amit said...

I just brought an Areca Palm and I wanted to know when it would need re-potting . any signs? It is not tall at all about 12-14" only. Thank u.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Drayas:

I just bought a gorgeous Areca palm and pray I can do it justice. Thank you for all the wonderful tips. I've put your site in my "Favorites" so I can reread your instructions as needed.

Thank you.

3:14 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Amit,

I usually repot once every 1 to 2 years. If the plant is becoming root bound, then it's a good sign. So if you loosen up the soil and try to pull your plant out of the pot, does it seem like the root base it to the edges? If yes, then your plant is probably ready to be repotted.

Hope that helps.

Thanks,
drayas

3:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

is it common for the areca to have black specks on its trunks - all our branches seem to be speckled - is this a disease or is it normal. we have it as a houseplant

3:57 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Barbara,

I wouldn't say the black spots are normal. It sounds like your Areca Palm may be infested with some type of pest. Try spraying the plant with a soapy dishwater mixture twice a day. If after 3 to 4 days, the spots are not lessening, go to your local garden center for a pesticide safe for houseplants.

Any of my readers witness this problem? If yes, please share.

Thanks,
drayas

8:32 AM  
Blogger Denis said...

Depending on where the Areca palms are, the problem could be what is called "cold spotting". Considering the season in the Northern hemisphere, that condition is normal when palms are subjected low or freezing temps. for short periods of time. Fungi thrive in cool conditions, believe it or not, and you will see that spotting on leaves, particularly on less hardy species, but also on tougher, thicker leaflets of even the most cold-hardy. I have never found a way to remove the spots, but the new leaves will emerge without the problem, as temps. rise.

I maintain that the fungi are everywhere in the environment, but aren't a problem until plants, and other organisms, are stressed.

Denis

10:21 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

I have had an Areca Palm plant for around 2 months. THe plant was alive and heatlhy when i first bought it, but over the past month some of the leaves have withered and died. I believe I water the plant enough (around 3 times a week). The plant is in a pot with some peaty soil, but it is not a drained pot - could this be a reason why the leaves are dying? What sort of soil would you suggest for this plant?
Thanks for your help

7:55 AM  
Blogger Denis said...

No drainage is probably your problem. If you can pull the plant out of the pot, you can smell the roots and you'll know if they are healthy or not.

Take it outside and put it in a container where you can flush the root zone good, just in case there's a salt buildup, but also to open up the root mass, a bit. If they can't get some air in there, they will begin to rot.

The peaty soil should be OK, but last option to save house plants is always to re-pot in fresh soil that can drain.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a large Areca palm, I know that the tips naturally go brown. But they keep getting longer and longer sections. Its on every leaf. Is it normal for these brown areas to be about 5cm?
Did someone say this was caused by a build up of salt in the roots? I must admit I have already trimmed the ends once. Any tips would be great. Thanks Lister

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Denise said...

What is a safe leaf shine to use on Arecas ?
Denise

7:04 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Denise,

I use a Leaf Shine by Miracle Gro. You spray it on and wipe down right away.

Thanks,
drayas

8:46 AM  
Blogger Denis said...

To get good answers, you should say where you are located. That tells us a lot.

Tip burn is caused by salt build-up in potted plants that are not watered heavily enough to force the salts from the root zone. You can't do that indoors, so the only cure is to take them outdoors and flood the root zone regularly.

Most successful indoor plant growers in S. California, where the water is loaded with salts, picked up mostly from agriculture fertilizer run-off along the Colorado River, find that the problem can be avoided by rotating plants outdoors for about a month. It works well if you have two of each plant, one in and one out.

Another thing you will notice is that there will be fewer insect problems with plants outdoors.

Denis

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an areca palm that is planted outdoors. It was thriving and beautiful until a recent freeze. All of the fronds have fallen off and now only the stalks remain and appear to be rotting. Should I cut the stalks below the root?

1:18 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Can any of my readers help the person above. I have no knowledge on care for these palms outdoors.


Thanks,
drayas

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Areca Palm has developed some white coconut powdery bits on some of the branches from the root up. Any ideas what the cause of this might be and if it is serious?

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just received an areca palm from my mother in law and I just wnated to know if there was any way that I could pull it a part and put it in to some other pots?

1:31 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

The white powder is definately something. Try spraying the plant with a soapy dishwater mixture twice a day for 3 - 4 days.

Thanks,
drayas

12:00 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Yes you can split your palm up into different plants as long as you do not need to break any of the roots. Carefully seperate it. If the roots get broken it may not come back.

Thanks,
drayas

12:02 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

Get a magnifying glass and check to see if the white coconut bits move or have legs.

Denis

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

Hi, we just got an areca from an office, and now we don't know what to do with it. If we can replant it outdoors, how do we do it, and will it survive one of our canadian winters? thanks a lot. We have it on our backyard deck right now in a pot.

8:57 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

jenn,

Areca palms are palms, therefore I don't think it will survive a Canadian winter. They are native to tropical environments. They need temperatures above 55 degrees from what I've read.

Thanks,
drayas

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have read a few of the comments and I fear i may have let my palm sit too long in still water, a lot of the fronds turned yellow and have eventually died I have removed the dead ones and repotted in a larger pot, I have put it in a pot with at least six inches of gravel on the bottom to act as drainage however the pot itself does not drain, is this sufficient or do I need a pot with drainage, there is still plenty of healthy fronds, can i reverse this or is it too late, please help!!

11:06 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

I recently purchased two Areca Palms for indoors (I live in central FL). Over the past few weeks I've noticed that some of the outer "shoots", even though they look very healthy, are falling over at the soil level. If I tug on them gently, they don't give way and still seem to be rooted. Any ideas on what is causing this. I water once or twice a week. The largest one sits on a window wall of an east facing window. The other, small one, is about 8 feet from an east window.

Thanks for any insight you can provide.

Deb Z.

7:41 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

The gravel on the bottom will provide sufficient drainage. The gravel allows the excess water to site within the rocks therefore keeping your palms roots out of the water.

Give it some time. Keep me posted.
Drayas

9:09 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Deb,

It's hard to say. It sounds like you are providing the plant with sufficient water. So basically it is just like the new fronds are not strong enough to stand up?

Thanks,
drayas

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just bought a new, large Areca palm. Four of the fronds, growing from the largest stalk, are so tall that they droop way over making the plant off balance. Should I remove these huge fronds? If so, where do I cut? ~Linda

11:53 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Linda,

If the fronds are healthy I wouldn't remove them. Could you stake them?

Thanks,
drayas

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also just purchased an Areca Palm. It is big. Some of the fonds are also very large and make the plant lopsided. I am afraid it will fall over. I am pretty sure I will have to repot this in a larger pot. That might be the reason? Also the bottom stems are a little yellow with dark spots. The leaves do not have those spots. Is that a mite problem?

8:24 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Help. I have an areca palm and its big and beautiful, I recently re potted in into a larger pot and now I'm noticing a yellow fungus or sap in the soil. I remove it and a couple days later its back on the surface. It doesn't seem to be affecting the health but its not nice to look at. Does anyone have any ideas of what it could be?? I'd appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks

4:59 PM  
Blogger aria said...

Hi,

It's great to see that there is a blog on Areca Palm care. I purchased an 8'+ Areca Palm last week and since then, some of the leaves started having a brownish tip which I presume have been progressing ever since. I understand that the size of the palm is a bit larger than the space available in my apartment which leaves the upper portion of some of the branches no other choice to bend to the sides or rest on the ceiling/wall. The reason I purchased such over-sized palm was... well, the palms were on sale: $15. How could have I said no. :)

I had to transplant from the original plant container to the bigger one anyway. I had two bags of top soil (and don't know if it was appropriate) which I dumped into the contain after carefully transmitting the palm/root bundle into its current contain -- extremely difficult job. The top soil appears to be "wet" for a few days when I water it. However, I am starting to believe that I should water the plant more frequently (more often than once every 3 days) and the reason I say this is because the deeper I poke the soil, I notice that is dry. I do "spray" the leaves lightly once a day though (is this wrong?)

The reason I am sharing my uneducated plant caring is that I have been noticing the leaves started having brownish tips and so far, several of them have entirely died and I had to cut them off -- although the actual branches appear to be healthy, but then again, for someone who has never taken care of a plant, the definition of healthy might be a bit off center.

A few pointers: The palm is located by the window with the shutters shut all day long, room temp is between 70F - 80F and at night around 60F - 65F. I have a fan running during the day so I do not know whether a perpetual "drift" may cause harm to the palm. I know at some point I have to "hang" some of the branches by a thread or a string to the ceiling or a wall to remove stress off of the palm.

I have included a few photos to explain the situation as I may be unable to clearly explain the gist of my point. I have taken several pictures from the branches, trunk of the palm, and leaves. So my plea is, is my palm at good hands or is it doomed to wither out in near future? ;)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29204260@N08/

1:00 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

For Aria:
I doubt, from the photos, that it is an Areca Palm. They are clustering, many stems, and your's looks like one trunk.
If so, it may need more sun, but one week should not stress it that much. More likely, you damaged the roots, moving the plant, but it looks OK. If some roots were torn or broken, the plant won't have quite enough capacity to service the old total surface area, it did before the total root mass was reduced. It may need a little "haircut" to balance the leaf surface to roots ratio. Big root loss requires big haircut. Rule of thumb.

Take a fuller photo of the plant and try to get a positive identity. There should be no spines, even tiny ones on the stems. My bet it that it is a "Majesty palm", Ravenea rivularis, which is not a houseplant, likes it hot and dusty, and is going to grow into a giant palm. Google: Ravenea rivularis
Denis

3:50 PM  
Blogger grilka said...

Help! My areca palm of 2-3 feet tall has white sap oozing out of the stems and fronds. It leaks over everything nearby and is very sticky. I've tried spraying with soapy water, to no avail. Any ideas? The plant is about 4 years old, the leaves are green and growing, and this has been happening for several months now.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a very large 7 foot areca, repotted it in a slightly larger pot but I noticed that the whole plant is leaning to the side. It was straight when I repotted. Is it possible that it's too top heavy for its roots? It's in a room with great light from 2 directions.

9:04 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Yes, it's very possible the plant is too heavy. Find your palm a nice plant stake or as I use a nice looking stick and stake the plant up. This will keep it straight as well as give it support. The plant won't be straining to stay upright.

Thanks,
drayas

9:22 AM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

HI!!!
Thank you soooo much for all the tips!!! i have an Areca palm and when i first got it the leaves had brown ends and unfortnatly i wasent suposed to but i cut the brown off. and its not been growing very much. do you think that would have somthing to do with it?? and if so how do you sugjest that i deal with it??? thanks you have no idea how much its helped!!
Kristen

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a few areca palms and they appear healthy. The problem is the leaves are dripping sap/scales?? onto my couch and carpet. Does anyone know how to remove the sap without damaging the fabric.

7:51 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Kristen,

You cutting the ends didn't help your palm, but it doesn't hurt it tremendously either. My experience with palms is they grow slow. Keep providing your Areca with proper water and lighting and maybe once a month some houseplant food.

Thanks,
drayas

5:54 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

I do not know how to get the sap off. Any of my readers know how to get the sap from a palm off furniture??

-- drayas

5:56 AM  
Anonymous Xavier said...

Hello my name is Xavier. I have also like the many others have just purchased an areca palm. Is it also called a Hawaiian Palm? Anyway so its quite large already 13 in high. What do you mean by snipping off the branches when they turn brown? Do you mean the whole stem? or just the leaf part? And my room its quite dark so is it bad for the plant?

1:18 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Hi

I have had an Areca Palm for many years and has always grown beautifully. A year an a half ago the plant just stopped growing and now has just three leaves and one shoot which has never opened. no more leaves have died..but no more have grown.. I have re potted six months ago. Is there anything I can do to revive him?

Thanks

6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THis is a very good plant to have in the house - both a humidifier and air cleaner...
see the article at the link attached to my name.

6:45 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Xavier,

If the branches become mostly brown, you'll want to prune the whole branch off. Trimming brown edges will only give you more brown edges so try to stay away from that.

In terms of light, this palm usually prefers bright light so you may have some issues if the place you have the plant does not receive enough light.

Hope I answered your questions,
drayas

2:40 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Ruth,

Have you tried giving the plant some houseplant food?

Thanks,
drayas

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently bought an Areca Palm. We have a cat and I'm curious if the Palm is poisonous to animals. I have not seen it listed as such.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Laura R said...

Wow you sure get a lot of problematic Areca Palms! So Id appreciate any help you can give for my palm...

I purchased an Areca Palm about 8 months ago but since winter has come on and the central heating has been turned on the leaves have started to dry up. Even new shoots just go dark green and then full brown and dry up! Is it the dry heat and lack of watering? I was watering every week/two weeks which is probably under watering before.

Ive tried watering it more and daily misting it which I didnt do before but it still seems unhappy.

Ive tried moving it to the bathroom where it is much lighter (the living room was quite dark) and more moist but the leaves are still drying out and browning off. Will it just take time to heal or am I doing something wrong? Should I make it warmer in the room?

Also someone else here mention brown spots on the trunk stems, I seem to have a bit of this too. The good thing is I have no browning of leaf tips on the healthy leaves!

Please help because during the summer this plant was so happy and bright green.

I live in the UK. xx

5:35 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

From the various sources I've checked, this plant is NOT poisonous.

Thanks,
drayas

3:28 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

It sounds like a humidity / watering issue. Over what time period have you made all of these changes? Basically make once adjustment and wait two weeks to see a full effect or not. The browning usually means the plant is not recieving enough water or humidity. I would aim to water once a week or so and run a humidifier.

Please keep us posted.

Thanks,
drayas

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I am a college singer and heard that the Areca Palm is greater for increasing humidity, often dubbed "the living humidifier". Would it be too hard to maintain in an 12x18 room? Thank you! :-)

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Hello,

Thanks so much for this great read! This is my first time ever trying to care for a plant...lol I think I got some great advice from here. IS this blog still going on?

7:36 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

The Areca palm is a great humidifier, however that is a large room. How big is your palm? I'm not sure on specifics but I would say with that large of a room you may need two palms. Don't quote me though!

drayas

8:32 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Brian,

Glad you found some help here. Yes this blog is still active. I moderate comments to prevent spam so it may take a few days for your comment to appear. If questions are asked I try to answer them the best I can or I ask my readers to help out.

Thanks for reading,
drayas

8:32 AM  
Anonymous College Singer said...

Hi same singer who commented before. I was thinking about buying a palm and also perhaps putting a small bamboo on the desk near my bed and maybe placing a peace lily on my dresser. I figured why not mix it up :-D. Also someone was telling me it's bad to put plants in the place where you sleep. As a biology major I am pretty sure that's false, but I was wondering if you had anything to say about that topic? Thanks!

-College Singer

11:29 AM  
Anonymous holly said...

i bought an areca palm from Ikea in Nov. it was doing well, then suddenly about 1/2 of the fronds turned brown and dried out. i live in new york city and have the plant about 3 feet away from a south facing window. the heater is by the window and is turned on almost all day. i assume the air is too dry so will put my humidifer under the plant every other week. i also realized that i have not been watering it enough (only once-twice per week), so just started watering more frequently. can you diagnose what is happening? is there anything else i can do to save my plant? will these "brown frond" palms eventually brown all the way and then die? if so, i'm going to lose 3/4 of my plant. please help! thank you!!!!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

Having recently read about the great humidifying properties of this plant I am interested in putting some in a (darkish) recording studio to help keep the room at a reasonable level of humidity.

Will this palm survive in these conditions ?
If not could you recommend a more suitable plant to help clean the air (and humidify) ?

Thanks

Kim

1:54 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

I bought an Areca palm tree last June. I was so proud that it was surviving! We repotted it into a larger pot (it is a big palm, about 6 feet in height). Now, lots of palms are turning brown so I cut them at the base. It is not growing well now. Some new shoots do not open but seem to bend at the base. It takes a long time for one to open, even if it does. I think I may have root rot. Seems the base is turning brown and soggy. Should I repot it again? I water it about once a week. I save all my rain water so there is no salt water in there. I mist it about 3 times a week or more.

9:36 AM  
Blogger hunel said...

I have had an Arecal Palm for years(at least I think it's that and not a Parlor Palm). I am thinking about changing the media to hydroculture methods. Any suggestions?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Ndi said...

I have this older Areca palm that did well in my old home. Nice green and fluffy.

I moved, and I seem to have broken it. It went well for the first 6 months then it started being odd.

It's still green but it's a lot wider, and shorter. The big leaves on top died off or lowered and there are like 7 or so smaller leaves that struggle for light at the bottom - they don't look so good.

In hopes to revive it, I installed a permanent light on top of it, an ultra-efficient 24h/day LED full spectrum white (roughly some 40W light). It seemed OK for a while then started widening more.

I water it once a week, but water collects in the tray if I do it more often. I think the water is OK, since it was fine for 6 months.

Any idea why it started spreading out instead of growing up? I'm afraid to tie it together at the bottom for feat I'll kill the small leaves.

Oh, and, I've seen comments that the Areca tends to spread when older. I thought plants didn't retire.

What now? More light? Less water (and more often)? More light?

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had my Palm for almost 4 years.. It was doing great till it slowly started to 'diminish'! It used to be nice and full and now it looks really sad. I am not sure what is happening to it, I'm not doing anything differently than I used to. I asked a plant shop what type of plant food it requires and the lady said Cactus plant food? She also said to re-pot it in Cactus soil as well. Is that correct?
Thank you in advance for your response!
-MB

11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey hello everyone I have been caring for my areca palm 6 yrs and was just loving it, It really makes a decor statement, unfortunately for me you never expect the unexpected a wall devider that I had up fell today crashing down on my Palm my heart sank there it lay one branch snapped right off, it only had 3 but it gave such a look it was about 5ft high I took the top right away and put it in water...my question is will it root?I know the branch won't grow now it will probably will die and we will be down to 2 and 2's don't give the right appearance any Idea's on weather I can root the top and replant?...Greiving

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drayas,

I just bought a 6' Areca about 5 days ago. I got a new planter for it and watered it moisten the soil. I spray it about 4 times per day with a spray bottle to keep the fronds moist. I keep it right by a window which recieves direct light for about 1 hour and very dull light for the remainder of the day. I bought a 60Watt plant bulb and keep it on my ceiling fan to supplement the plants light needs which remains on for about 6 hours per day. The room temperature is about 65 degrees F. The planter that I keep it in DOES NOT DRAIN. I can not tell if there is any water in the bottom of the container.

The leaves have begun to shrivel, crisp, and become gray/brown in color. I have checked the soil and it is moist to about 5 inches down (as far as I could get). Am I drowning this plant, starving it of light, or both??? Thanks.

10:34 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

College Singer,

I don't see why putting plants next to your bed would be a bad thing. Plants help purify the air, I would think it's a good thing.

Thanks,
drayas

12:27 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Holly,

The brown fronds will probably die all the way off. You actually would be better off, cutting those damaged fronds off near the bottom of the plant. They will continue to suck nutrients and energy away from the healthy fronds.

The water and humidity levels were most likely the cause of the browning.

Thanks,
drayas

12:33 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Kim,

Areca palms prefer moderate to bright light conditions so it may not do the greatest in a dark room. You could try it. Otherwise visit my post on Air Purifying Houseplants for other options.

Thanks,
drayas

12:36 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Jan,

If the base is soggy it may have root rot. Repot it and see how bad the root rot is. Root rot is hard to reverse. Repot, use brand new soil and if you're using the same pot, wash it with hot, soapy water first.

Keep us posted.

Thanks,
drayas

12:39 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hunel,

I do not have any experience with hydroculture methods, but if you do give it a try, please come back and share your experiences.

Thanks,
drayas

12:41 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

I would have to say that the cause of your Areca palm spreading out is a lighting issue not water. However with what you've said, the light should be helping. I would try to stake some of the fronds up, so they don't snap off. Are the fronds weak at all, like they can't support themselves?

-- Drayas

12:44 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

MB,

I've always fed all my houseplants, regular houseplant food, but I don't see why cactus plant food would be any worse. In terms of the soil, I would use regular potting mix. I may be wrong, but palms and cactus's have totally different environments, therefore I'd think the same soil would not work for both. However, houseplants never cease to amaze me. Sometimes you can do everything wrong and they look great and do everything right and they die.

Keep us posted,
drayas

12:47 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

Unfortunately, Areca palms are difficult to replant. I've never been able to root them in water and from other articles I've read they are started from seed only.

Sorry,
drayas

12:59 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

The gray brown foliage could mean a few things. Is the stems of the palm squishy? I'm worried you may have stem or root rot starting.

-- drayas

1:03 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

Miscellaneous answers:
Areca are a family of palms which include many species. What most have are now classified as species: Dypsis lutescens. Google that name and find out all about them. It used to be classified in another family which was long-worded and hard to pronounce, so Dypsis is better for us. Easier,to say. Also called Butterfly Palm, Golden Cane Palm, Madagascar Palm, etc. depending on the local names; that's why they have botanical names; everyone knows what you are talking about anywhere in the world.

They are tough, 27F doesn't bother them, surprisingly,and like most plants, will decline if given too much "care". They grow in full sun, and are not dark green normally, but when in dark areas, all plants increase the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves to help get the most out of the minimum light.

Cold temps will "burn" them and the look resembles heat burn, as the cell tissues are burned by heat transfer, in or out. Once the tissue is burned, get rid of it because it becomes a target for disease or fungi. Palms only grow from the crow of each stem, so when the crown dies, that whole stem will never recover, so cut it off. Once the plant, any plant, is damaged, it goes into shock and stops growing. Never fertilize a sick plant, or over water it! Plants that are not wet have fewer problems. The leaves will tell you if the plant needs water; they droop, close-up or dry up. Fertilizers are salts and only healthy growing plants can handle salts.
Clustering palms can be propagated by dividing the root ball. Seeds are the normal way, but for indoor plants, dividing them is the easiest. Trim them back to a few healthy stems, because damaged roots will reflect back in the head leaves, so don't expect a weaker root system to support the many leave stems it had before.
Brown, then black, leaf tips are caused by salt build-up in the root zone. Cut off the black tips, but realize that the salt in the root zone is causing the problem, and you need to flush them out with lots of water, outside, where they can dry out and you can do it again, and again. Or transplant them into new soil mix. Tolerate the burn until the weather warms up, if you live where it's cold. The important thing is that you understand that salts in the water, esp. from Colorado river water= S.Calif and Arizona.

Sap: Normally it is part of the protection system, where broken or punctured tissue is injected with the sap to seal it off. If the plant is growing, a sign of health, the sap should stop, but it can probably clean-up with alcohol.
Yellow green is the color of a happy Areca's leaves, with plenty of light (Golden cane palm).
Stems that are too long will bend, normally. Tie them together with green nursery tape or cut the big ones down.
Enough.
Denis

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drayas,

No, the palms are not weak and in fact their are actually standing up more than normal (original droop of the fronds is receeding). The leaves are turning dark green, and beginning to crisp and shrivel like I said in the previous post. What do you think the problemo could be?
Thanks,
Brad

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I believe from what I have read and see here that I have an Areca Palm plant. I learned much reading what was already written but I am unsure how to proceed. I Desperately want to keep this plant alive as it was one my co-workers sent when my Mother passed away.

It was beautiful, alive, and green when we got it home to Minnesota in December so it is quite cold here, pretty much 9 months out of the year cold. It seemed to do fine and then it started to turn brown so I thought it was to close to a heat source and moved it.

I water it at least 2 - 3 times per week, even bought those water bulbs to help keep the soil moist. The palms on this plant are all brown but they are not wilting. I know it needs more sunlight from the reading, but is there anything else I can do to revive this plant? The stems do not show any signs of rot and they seem strong to the touch. We keep our house at about 70 degrees.

I am going to buy a larger pot and replant because I believe part of the issue may be too much salt in our water. I will make sure to rinse the root, kind of hard in February due to the cold but I will do the best I can.

Any additional advice is most welcome!

Thanks,
Jennifer

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you're not tired of answering questions about Arecas! We bought one that is almost too enormous for our room. I've read elsewhere that one shouldn't trim a healthy frond. There are about five fronds that stick out too far into the room. Tips on pruning? Thanks!

12:02 AM  
Blogger ste said...

i recently bought an areca palm and noticed a couple of the branches had snapped and were drooping down, sort of in the middle of the leafy section. i`ve just snipped it off were its snapped but wondering if the whole frond needs cutting off from the root. any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Hag said...

I am usually very good with houseplants except for this palm. After reading your article, I have the water softener to blame! Thank you very much.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought an Areca Palm from an outdoor nursery in FL. It is healthy and about 4' tall. I was digging around the roots to see if I could easily divide one of the trunks off the "mother" trunk to start a new plant and found groups of little white eggs between the roots. Or at least they looked like eggs to me. They are smaller than a popcorn seed and only seem to be around the root masses and there were tons. What is this and what should I do? This plant is kept in my bedroom here in WI and is creeping me out. I can't find any information on eggs in the roots of this type of palm.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an areca palm and when i bought it it had these funny green things coming out near the base of the stalks with green balls on them.. they proceeded to dry out and when i touch them they get kinds dusty.. is this some type of reproductive structure?

Laura

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Draya,

I have been reading your blog for the past month and find it incredible. Thank you very much.

I also very much enjoy reading Denis' comments on the plants, very very helpful.

This is my case:

One cold -with snow showers- evening in February we found an Areca palm that had been left on the street and we rescued it. The pot shows it was bought in Ikea. I looked up your blog and saw what seemed some mites and washed it with soapy water. The brown/yellow spots have almost dissapeared. Some still remain.

I have taken the plant outdoors twice when it has not been very cold and flushed it with water (we live in Geneva, Switzerland).

We keep it near a window where she gets about one hour direct light (all my windows get direct sunlight at one time or another). I mist it and follow all your care advices.

However, the few fronds left are turning yellow (the stem) and then the leaves seem to cocoon, then turn dark green, then brown and then they completely dry up.

There are only three frods left.. is this plant losing its battle?

I cannot upload pictures so I was wondering if you could help me.

Many thanks

Laila

9:26 AM  
Anonymous TIFFANY said...

I JUST BOUGHT AN ARECA PALM FOR MY DESK AT WORK, IT SITS BY A WINDOW OUT OF DIRECT LIGHT AND THE SOIL HAS BEEN MOIST SINCE I BOUGHT IT, THOUGH WHEN I PURCHASED IT THE SOIL WAS VERY DRY. I HAVE HAD IT FOR ABOUT TWO WEEKS AND EVERY BRANCH EXCEPT THE VERY CENTER ONE IS SO DRY THEY CRACKLE WHEN I TOUCH THEM AND THEY ARE TURNING BROWN. WHAT SHOULD I DO? DO THE DEAD PARTS FALL OFF ON THEIR OWN, AND WILL NEW ONES GROW BACK?

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone just gave me an areca palm in a 1.4 quart pot. How quickly do they grow? I don't have any problem monitoring & watering every day, but should I re-pot soon?
Thanks.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Hey, thanks for all the information you provide on the site! I never knew that about the browning tips of the leaves--I've just been snipping them out--whoops! My question though is that I noticed yellow fungi like stuff at the crown of my palm and do not know what to do now after I removed it. Any ideas? I live in Hawaii and it is in an outdoor pot. Thanks

10:56 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Jennifer,

Instead of repotting, try just using untreated water from now on. The repotting could hurt the plant if it's not doing good already. Once it seems to spring back some health give it a little houseplant fertilizer.

Thanks,
drayas

11:06 PM  
Blogger drayas said...

Hello,

We'll now pruning the Areca isn't something I'm really familiar with. So I did a little digging and found this article.

Can an Areca be Root Pruned.

Not sure if this will help you.

Denis - My loyal helper (THANK YOU!) - Any pruning tips!!

Thanks,
drayas

11:12 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

You can save a lot of worry and prayer by doing a simple test on almost any plant, to see if it is viable. Using a fingernail, or some small knife, remove a bit of the outer tissue of the stems (bark) and check for green tissue, underneath. If there is none, the stem is dead; remove that stem or cane.
In fact, a distressed plant is better off with less leaf mass to support. If sick, 90% of plants will show it, and "you can tell".
If a plant was exposed to freezing temperatures long enough for the water in the cells to freeze, the ice formation will expand and break the cell walls, generally killing that section. Leaves can come back, but not on dead canes or stems. Root cells can survive more easily because the earth around them has to freeze first
Generally, the best thing you can do for a sick plant, is give it a "haircut". Cut it back and you relieve the stress; keep cutting until you get to green tissue. Simpler, you can see if the stem bends; if it is dead, it will snap and break. This is true for roots too. Remove the dead tissue (that snaps) and keep the top area proportional to the remaining root mass. New stems should come up from a living root system.
You may not want to have the plant in your living room after it is cut back; put it someplace where it can rest and recover, --if the roots are alive. With few or no leaves, it needs little light or water. Too much water can induce rot, and cool, wet conditions cause fungi to thrive. Once new leaves start to emerge, gradually bring it back to some sunlight.
Healthy areca palms have a yellow tint, as they are not shade plants and do not need as many chlorophyll cells. The house plants we like, are usually natives of the under-canopy (jungle) world, where they produce wide leaves saturated with chlorophyll cells to compete for the available light.
Water: The leaves will close to reduce water loss area, first, so that signals their stress. Just look at it; it is screaming by that time. It's not rocket science; they signal their condition and it's up to you to use your brain to read the signals. If it looks dry, believe me, it is. Pick the plant up and you can tell if it is too dry.
Regards,
Denis

10:55 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Denis,

As always, THANK YOU!

- Drayas

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

How do I attach a photo to a request for advice? Thanks.

Mark

10:31 AM  
Blogger drayas said...

Mark,

I don't accept photos to much because of all the virus stuff. There are a bunch of different free photo hosting sites you could put a picture on such as Flickr or Photobucket.

Otherwise can you describe what the problem is?

Thanks,
drayas

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello again,

Yes, I can lay out the problem; I just thought a photo would be more eloquent! I've got a tall areca palm (the longest fronds are 7' to 8') in need of repotting since I can see about two inches of root above the soil line. The current pot is 11 or 12 inches across. Questions: Should I repot now or wait until the end of summer (which seems to be general advice for a lot of house plants)? How much bigger a pot should I be using?

Thanks.

Regards,

Mark

6:27 PM  
Blogger Alaine Johnson said...

I need some help with my palm. I have read through all the comments and mine is a combination of many of them. I bought mine at 4ft tall last year. in the garden center it was all green and lovely with no brown tips. almost half of the leaves died as i wasnt aware of how much you had to water it (ALOT!!) I never let the soil dry out now nor is it water logged. The new shoots that come up are dead before they even open. All the tips are now browning more and more further and further down the leaves and they have started to curl. I have had a good look at it today and found some dead roots in the soil. I tried to cut them down but as a pulled it to one side slightly the root came out of the soil with the slightest of ease. I have also noticed that the base of some of the bigger stems have brown/black speckles on. Is my plant sick? I really need some advice, there's not much of it left!!!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Lindsayanng said...

Hi there. I bought a Areca Palm (i think) from IKEA. At least that is what they called it on their website. You can see here:
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/46804005

This little guy is only about 9 inches tall, 6 when i got it a year ago.. I actually bought two, and kept them in the exact same conditions but one died and the other lives. The dead one actually has ONE little sprout left, which I am trying to nurture.

Anyways, my question is.. There are these medium sized round balls INSIDE of the roots. I broke one open to see what is inside of it, and just more dirt. Are these seed shells from a baby plant? Or did ikea put those in as food or something.. I never noticed them before today.

They are DARK black and perfectly round, about the size of a pencil eraser.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Too much water, especially during the cool months, is just as bad as too little. With a sick palm, remove canes where the crown pulls out, then remove the dead, rotting roots. Easy to tell, if you have any living roots that aren't rotten yet, from fungi. Sniff test will confirm. Remove all dead tissue, top to bottom, and re-pot in new clean mix, no fertilizer until new growth starts, then small amount. Hydrogen peroxide in crown of palms will bubble when it hits fungi protein, ditto in the roots. It won't hurt the plant, but will kill fungi. Bubbling stops whit no more fungi.
Without good drainage, plants will drown; quicker in cool weather. Fungi will spread quickly. Some vinegar in water will keep soil slightly acid and kill residual fungi. Check pH with pool or aquarium test paper. Denis

9:18 AM  
Blogger Ella said...

when u say soapy mist what kind do you mean?

11:23 AM  
Anonymous CQ said...

thank you drayas for the helpful tips.
I've read almost all the comments are replies on this post, and i just wanted to mention that you might have neglected another issue - spider mites. areca palms are very attractive to spider mites.
For the people who's got dry, browning (yellowing) fronds, if you are giving it the right amount of water and light, check for spider mites. they are tiny! they look like dust to the naked eye, and make web on the underside of the leaves. Mites suck the chloroplasts out of green cells and leave a mottled appearance.

if the leaves of your palm look something like this http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y95/rsemper/palm_prune2.jpg
Be sure to check for spider mites.

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, just got a arecn palm i was wondering how much water to give it and when to water and feed it.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Josh Chernila said...

Areca Palm is one of the 3 major plant types highlighted in the healthy indoor air movement.

6-8 of these plus a half dozen Mother-In-Law's tongues and some money plants provide enough clean air to keep a grown human adult breathing clean air indefinately.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/02/ted-2009-how-to-grow-your-own-fresh-air.php

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aloha i live in Hawaii and have a large Areca palm hedge around my house - about a year ago they started to look sick i have been trying every thing - i just had someone tell me to try Miracid? the soil here is very sandy - i try organic fertilize and mulch maybe not enough? anybody have any tips.
Mahalo!!!!!!

1:12 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I have two 3' potted arica palms. I want to rotate them--one inside for a few days the other outside reccuperating with 50% of the day in sun. How many days can I leave one inside?

With aloha,

Kerry

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have what I think is an areca Palm. I bought it at a Walmart about 2 yrs ago. It lives outdoors an I live in N. California. I haven't had any issues with it so far but do have a question... Near the base of the plant I see yellow/orageish pods with what looks like white seeds in them. What are they and could they be dangerous? I have a 3.5 yr old who plays outside around the plants.
Thanks,
Court

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought an areca palm about a month and a half ago and all of the leaves are browning. Could it be fertilizer burn or what? (P.S.The soil is very heavily fertilized)

4:43 PM  
Blogger Denis said...

I'll comment on all 3 posts this AM.
Areca (butterfly) palms are quite tough, can tolerate quite a bit of maltreatment, sun or shade, and a wide range of temperatures. You can keep it indoors for two months, I'd say. Indoor plants develop insect problems more readily than plants outdoors, with lots of air-flow. Most greenhouses have big fans to keep the air moving.
When you see the scale and aphid infestation develop, move them outside. Ants bring most of those sucking insects, and they'll usually be there when you see the "suckers". Control the ants and the bugs go away.
Think of fertilizers as what they are, SALT compounds. Plants don't need a lot of fertilizer, despite what manufacturers say. Browning leaves, usually start as tip-burn, and it's caused by a toxic root medium. Beside fertilizer burn, very "hard" water, like in the Southwest, cause salt build-up in the root zone, normally. Indoor plants don't get enough irrigation to force the salt out of the roots, and that is the main reason for moving them outdoors. Flood the roots with lots of water or change the potting mix to fix.
Those pods are very probably seed pods; they follow flowers, and usually are food for birds, and critters that spread the seed. When ripe, many are very tasty, and, as we learned in Survival School, if the birds eat them, you can too. Children will not like the unripe fruit, and I wouldn't worry there. Few plants are deadly toxic, and seeds are meant to taste good or the plants wouldn't reproduce.
Denis

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi guys! I just got an ARECA PALM and an Parlour Palm from supermarket.At the moment they are in the same pots I bought them and they are v small.

I was wondering if i can repot them together in one single pot.Would they survive together in the same soil or I have to keep them in their separate pots.
Thank you.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Chachi Bracamonte said...

Hi,

I've had an Areca Palm for almost a year. The branches are starting to get brown. Now I understand that this happens because I placed it close to the windows. I have a question you mentioned that it needs lots of water. Could you be more specific? How often and how much? I have 3 Arecas together around 5-6 feet tall.

Thanks

Chris

9:53 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I bought an Areca Palm a couple of months ago for my office. It has been doing good until the last couple of weeks. One of the branches fell and a couple of the other branches are starting to turn yellow then brown about halfway down the branch. I water it about two to three times a week. It is right beside a window, but not in front of it. But I do put it outside for a couple of hours once a week. Please help. I don't want it to die! Its beautiful when it is healthy.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have grown palms commercially for 20+ years. Dypsis lutescens (Areca)are tropical, but extremely tough. Left alone, they are close to bullet-proof. Most people over-water and fertilize to kill houseplants.
To save it, I would recommend that you let it dry, if wet, and re-pot it in fresh soil mix and wash some of the old soil away, gently. It sounds like the root zone is being burned with salts, the most common danger. If the roots are damaged, they will break or snap when touched, just like the "canes" above. Remove all wood that is not green. You can tell by bending it. The dead canes will not grow back; all new growth will come up from the roots.
Arecas can take full sun, but leave it to rest and recover in a little shade, not dark. Don't be afraid to give it a hard haircut. You want new growth, but it may be too late, so don't expect a miracle. We all learn best, the hard way.
Remember, soggy soil kills, unless in hot weather and wind, and fertilizers are salts. Potted plants need very little and only when they are growing! When they're dormant, even with leaves, fertilizer is poison.
Denis

1:20 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Re: "sap"

I'd try a lanolin-free mechanic's hand cleaner or Goo Gone. First scrape some sap onto your hand and see if either of those products dissolve it or change its viscosity. If that works then try the product on a hidden part of the fabric.

Kerry

4:37 AM  
Blogger Mountain Creek Photography said...

I purchased an areca palm 2-3 months ago and it was doing fabulously until about 1 month ago when the ends began to go brown. Before discovering trimming the brown ends off was a no-no I did so with gusto - I'll admit. Once full and glorious It has sadly reduced to about 8 to 10 frongs and I am very worried Im going to lose the entire plant. It also has black spots on the branches down at the base which I hadn't really noticed before. Should I be worried about that? How can I bring this poor plant back to life - lighting / watering / feeding / care - wise??? Please Help!!!

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, Please, Please help I have ahad my Areca Palm for 3yrs and over the last few months had problems will brown leaves etc... I think I now have that under control but I now appear to have tiny little flying insects running and flying around the soil and it is becoming increasingly irritating!

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the question of brown tips: I know this is cheating a little, but using artists acrylic paint, I mix an exact shade of green and touch up the brown tips - No harm to the plant and the paint will not wash off with misting.

Whatever works Eh!

Pádraig
Galway

5:22 AM  
Blogger warmislandsun said...

I believe my palm is blooming. Two short bright green woody growths have appeared. They have little bumps on them. From the other comments, it sounds like it is blooming. Thank you so much for this blog - after an intensive google search, this is the first site I have found that helped to explain this phenomenon.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i recently bought my first houseplant..it seems to be healthy and growing just fine...but i was curious because i notice some of the leaves were starting to curl at the ends... it gets moderate sunlight during the day and i water it once or twice a week if the soil feels dry when i stick my finger through it...once a week i give her a spray to "dust" the leaves...i keep her in a pot with holes in the bottom for water drainage and i don't think i am watering too much but she is my first plant and i never was one with a green thumb...am i doing anything wrong or just not enough of something..please help i want to keep my plant alive and healthy for a long time!!! thanks-Starr

8:06 AM  
Blogger Nitin said...

This is my 2nd areca palm I bought after first dried out within a month, symptoms were brown tips & some brown blakish dots on the stem at the base of the tree, the sller said that it is because of fungus in the soil. So now for 2nd tree I am using mithil parathion powder spraying in the pot soil. But again the same brown tips & brown dots on the leaves now, pls tell me how can i save my tree. I am using some mixture of fertiliser purchased from shop.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Here in Hawaii we mix volcano cinders with our potting soil. It helps keep the roots from rotting and allows a bit of over watering. You can also use sand.

Kerry

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I want to buy Areca palm but I can not find a place online
Could you please recommend a place to buy Areca Palm of good quality? I live in New York
Thank you

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out from reading the comments that my Areca Palm has scale or mites, I just noticed them about a week ago and I wasn't sure what they were, this is the first place I found an answer to my problem so thanks for that. I've had my plant for two years and it's beautiful, I didn't want to loose it.

10:09 AM  
Blogger diana said...

Hi,
Last year i divided one areca palm for 2 large outdoor pots
and have been very happy to see them doing so well.I moved them inside nov.09 and water them every 7-10 days incl.miracle gro /soluble/ because of the begonias that are in the same pot.And now i see that my palms are starting to bloom !!!Never seen areca palm blooms and can not wait to see how they will look like in 2-3 weeks.
Hope anyone knows what to do with the blooms when they are over.
Thanks!!!

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Hawaii and have 30' tall palms on my lanai. They are spreading with big bulblike roots at the base. Can I use a chainsaw to cut some of the bulbous root away and thin each palm out? If not, any suggestions because each palm at the base is now 3' wide or more!

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - Thank you for all the great information and I hope you can help me save my Areca Palms, as well! I am desperate as I have had my two, beloved palms for 6 years, and they have always thrived beautifully until a few months ago when I noticed several of the leaves started to form small yellow spots on the tips. At first I assumed this was due to my having neglected to trim the brown tips off, as I usually do, and which I had been planning to get around to. I also thought the cooler temperatures and more overcast skies this winter and past summer might have had something to do with it. I live in Southern California, and the plants are in front of south-facing windows, where in most years they have gotten nearly daily direct sunshine.

But then as of a few weeks ago, the soil began to form a strange fungus-like substance on the surface, which really caused me alarm - it looked like a hardened, off-white crust with bits of black crust over it. Around the same time I noticed the yellow spots on the tips of the leaves were spreading inward toward the base of the leaves. After researching remedies on this site and online, I removed the fungus from the surface, waited for the rest of the soil to dry out thoroughly, then watered them with diluted food grade hydrogen peroxide. This seems to have worked as 2 weeks later the soil looks a nice, healthy dark-brown again. My only worry is that the fungus is still there hidden causing the yellowing leaves. I also didn’t know if using the hydrogen peroxide mix a second time could damage the plant further. I have already stopped letting the water sit in the bottom tray after waterings, as I always used to do with great results before this year's change in weather, which I hadn't accounted for in my watering routine.

In addition there seems to be more black speckling on the lower stems and branches than I had ever noticed before. Unless I just never really noticed these before when everything else looked normal. It looks like the speckling on the palm in this picture I found online, but in addition the speckles on my palms spread all the way up into where the leaves begin on some branches. https://appserver1.kwantlen.ca/apps/plantid/plantid.nsf/(webShowPlant)?OpenAgent&A0F4F0072D57862F88256EB5005EA42B,chluo.jpg After reading this and other forums I don't think it is scale or spider mites, because after thorough examination, there is no webbing I can see, nor any movement or hard waxy surface, as in scale. If anything they break apart like a dry chalky substance on my fingers when I try to scrape them off the stems. I sprayed them with a 1:1 mixture of 70% rubbing alcohol and water two days in a row, just in case it is some other kind of mite (?), but they were (and are) still all over the stems days later. Then I sprayed a water & castile soap mixture about 2 days after that - still there. Now I've tried to rub them off with paper towels and the castile soap mixture, and this does seem to get the specks off (though not all the way). Also, the wet residue on the paper towels takes on a dark-brownish, pink color. I was going to try rubbing these off on every trunk and branch, but didn't know if there is something more effective I should be doing?

Any suggestions or insights you might be able to offer are beyond appreciated!

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi
I've taken a look at your site and read just about all of the comments and haven't seen the issue I am having. I hope you can help... I've had my palms for about 3 months now. One is doing well in my living room and the other is doing ok in my bedroom. I started to remove some the browned dead fronds from the one in my bed room and notices bugs in the soil. They have the same coloring of a centerpede but have very short legs and curl up. I realized that both post are infested. Any idea what they are and how to get rid of them? The only pest i've seen in all my searched are spider mites but these are not spider mites. Please help as I don't want to loose these or any other plant i have!!
Thanks so much
Jackie

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Toni said...

So glad i read this as i had been snipping off the brown tips and standing in a basin of water every week to water it,more or less i was doing everything that i shouldn't have.It hasn't died yet so hopefully i can give it the proper attention it needs and see it thrive,have even managed to keep the cat from eating it,are they harmful to cats???

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!

Recently visited my mothers and noticed that her Areca has grown out of the pot and into the ground. She says it has been getting out of hand. I have noticed many mini Areca's growing from the original.
Any tips on how to kill it? I'd rather have back in the pot under control. Thanks!

6:03 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Hi Toni,

Re: "are they harmful to cats???" I don't know. My guess is no. However, I'm curious as to whether your cat is solely a house cat. Mine has a cat door and gets to eat grasses, mice, and geckos, plus the dry and canned stuff in the kitchen, and, has never nibbled on my two palms (which I rotate—in for a week out for a week). I'm wondering if your cat is trying to tell you about a mineral or vitamin deficiency.

Could it be that he/she has access to the tips, say from a table/chair, and a breeze/AC or fan blows the tips around making them an editable toy?

Kerry

4:33 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

I bought two Areca Palms and one Cat Palm a few months ago. The Cat Palm is large tall like 3-4 feet high and the two Areca's are small maybe 1 foot. I followed the directions for watering on them which the Cat is once a week and the Areca's are three times a week. They were doing great but I noticed a month ago webs on them. I read several sites and decided to try the alcohol/water solution and it worked great. After I started spraying everyday with that about 90% disappeared right away. All three plants were in the same room and all ended up being infected but once I started spraying this,the webs disappeared and the trees all started to sprout new stems. Yes the ends get brown, but with the new stems come in they are bright green then turn to dark green and then tips get brown, typical of these and still beautiful. The stems that become all dead which are usually at the bottom, will pull right out easily. They are blooming great and add a great addition to a house to liven it up. I used to stay away from live plants only because when I was younger I used to kill them because I was did not really pay attention to making sure they were watered every week etc. But these are great and because of these I also bought some ferns which are doing great as well. The Palms and Ferns are great for indoor plants!

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comments very useful, I originally potted four palms in pots without holes they were very unhappy. I since repotted after cutting holes in the bottom of the pots and putting broken pottery in the bottom to aid drainage they are now coming back we also are using feed I will now get my staff to mist them as well. They are situated in a restaurant Richard Shepherd restaurant el mar la mar.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

I just bought an Areca palm tree and I'm noticing some of the biggest stems have little dark brown/black spots (in greater number near the soil), and they are becoming yellow. Well,in fact I'm not sure if they were yellow from the beginning... Nevertheless the leaves from those stems seem healthy (green and firm), for now, anyway, and it's been at least a week since I've noticed this. They even seem to have new leaves growing really close to those spots! Is this normal, do you think its some kind of pest, or am I overwatering the plant? I try to keep the soil moist, like it says on it's instrucions from the nursery and I mist the leaves everyday. I realize now I'm watering it at night (when I get home from work), and I read it's wrong, such as putting water in the plate under the pot...

Thank you
Sophia

4:15 PM  
Anonymous paula said...

is mixing up your soil ok for my palm? because i was wondering if my palnt was getting the water so i took a small spoon to the bottom of the pot an the soil smelled a little. i figured because it was wet and the soil was just sitting there wet. so i mixed up an there is no more smell. i was also wandering if a little sugar will perk my palm up? its also a little droppy is this ok? thank you for your help. :)

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Re. Paula's question:
If the bottom roots stay wet because there is insufficient drainage, your plant will die. The smell is probably from fungi and the decomposing roots. The roots need air, which is normally there in the soil if it's not constantly submerged.
If it is "wilting", it is stressed, because of the constantly wet soil; the little feeder roots are rotting and the plant can't take-up water, even though soaking in it. The same applies if you transplant, roughly, and damage the roots. No amount of water will hydrate a plant with no feeder roots, and it is better to lightly water until they re-grow. Also never fertilize a sick plant. Fertilizers are salt compounds, and can kill, if allowed to accumulate in the weak root zone. ("salting the wounds").
Denis

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I have had 2 of these palms for several months now and they are still alive, yet shadows of their originals selves as when I first bought them. They only room that has the adequate light is the sun room which is HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter. What temps do these plants require?

1:20 AM  
Anonymous coperario said...

Hello

I have the opposite problem of most people posting here - my Areca is happily growing in a pot indoors but is getting so big, there's not much living room left for me! I keep wondering about cutting off the 'branches' that have the greatest spread to reduce the space it takes up, but don't know if that would be successful? Having read some of the posts, would splitting it at the root ball be better? I'd hate to lose it, but I need space too!

Thanks

5:00 AM  
Blogger Judie said...

I purchased 2 Areca Palms this past summer to decorate our Pool and Patio deck area. They looked so beautiful all summer long. Now that the cold weather is upon us we want to bring our Areca Palms into our home so we can use them again next summer. We hate to give them away. We heat our home with a Pellet stove and we do make sure we have moisture in each of our rooms. The only problem being, that we don't get much sun light during the winter months. My Question is. Would I be able to use plant or growing lights in place of sunlight to keep my plants healthy.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Areca Palm has new growth with tiny green buds on the ends. I am not sure if these are fruit buds that require pruning or if these are new fronds that should be left to grow?

1:28 PM  
Blogger ishant said...

I have areca palm but it has overgrown too much and is not looking good indoor. can u please tell me how to reduce its height.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Pejora, in England said...

Hi,

My Areca Palm was thrown away by a staff member, having not grown for several years.

I rescued the twelve inch tall plant, and knowing nothing about how to care for it, I gave it a load of fertiliser, and have always let it stand in water.

It has responded very well, and is now sixty inches tall, and seventy wide. No branches have ever been cut, and there has been no browning of the leaves. It has been re-potted four times in six years.

I guess I'm just lucky! It's called Robert, by the way....after Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin!

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought Areca palm which is 5 feet tall in a small bag. I noticed it has yellow tint on stem and leaf, even the new sprout is half yellow color and i noticed it has white spotted color on stem of leaf.
This is my second plant and looks beautiful so i do not want to loose it. Is this yellow tint due to stress in transportation?
I am planning to pot it in a bog pot adding organic fertilizer.

1:58 AM  
Blogger lindsey said...

I just purchased an Areca Palm 3 days ago. When I bought it from the store it was the healthiest looking one there. It is about 5ft tall. I noticed the next day most of the fronds have dried up and are cracking. I don't know what could have happened to it so quickly, and have no idea what to do for it. I live in North Idaho and the day I purchased it, it was about 30 deg outside. It was only outside for a few minutes. Could that have something to do with it drying up? Did it go into shock? I did water it the day after I purchased it, but don't think I over/under watered it, and also misted it today. It hasn't been transplanted yet, but surely needs to be. Please help me. I don't want to lose this plant!

Lindsey

7:45 PM  
Anonymous nickole said...

Hi,
I bought a tall Areca Palm about 3 weeks ago and after a few days, the palm had a very strong musty smell which made our entire living room stink. We actually thought the house had a leaky roof and that we were getting mold b/c it has been raining a lot recently, but it turns out it was the plant that was causing the strong smell. As soon as we took it outside the smell disappeared.
Since we brought the plant home, the tips turned brown and some of the leaves are yellowing. Is it possible that the plant has a fungus? What sort of fungicide should I treat it with?
Thanks for your help - this blog has been so helpful!

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: "strong musty smell." I'm thinking it's the potting soil. Never in all my years with palms have I smelled anything objectionable from mine. Possibly there's no drainage medium at the bottom so the water doesn't drain well.

I keep six 4-5' potted Areca palms. I rotate two each week to the fairly dark living-room-office, one week indoors, next week outdoors. I spray the ones indoors each night.

I use 2-3 gallon plastic pots w/Walmart potting soil on a 3" bed of lava cinder (for drainage). I feed them every month with palm fertilizer.

Kerry (Big Isle) Hawaii

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Any comments or feedback on putting this plant outdoors in summer? I put mine on my deck and the tops got really brown but the base is really green and healthy looking with lots of new growth. Does it do well outdoors?

12:07 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Yes, I have 6 (4-5' high). They do well out doors but for me about 50% direct sun the rest of the day shaded by the house. Then after 1-2 weeks I rotate each to my living room.

Kerry

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had mine for a year and a half .When I first got it,it was so beautiful and fully green.Now most of the leaves are brown on the tips.I was just wondering,If there a way to get it back the way it use to look?

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Hello,

I have had my areca palms for almost 2 years. Some of the stems are getting this brown sticky stuff on them. Most just discolor but I just found 1 that has the brown stuff eating away at the stem. The odd thing is that the leaves above it do not show any damage. I have uploaded pics of the damage to flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28922691@N02/sets/72157626640767123/

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Vince;
That sure looks like fungal damage; soft black rotted tissue. Fungi are everywhere, and it flares in cold, damp conditions, but dies in acid or dry conditions.
Cut out all that infection, first. A little vinegar in the water will change the pH, which you can test with litmus paper from a cheap pool or fish tank test kit. Dusting with fungicide powder or plain agricultural sulfur (cheaper) should acidify, but it shouldn't be made too acid.
Areca's are very tough and can tolerate hot, dry conditions better than fungi. They can take full sun, if not taken straight from the house's relative darkness. In pots, they will look better if in half day shade. The leaves outside will pull-in some chlorophyll, so they will naturally be more yellow-toned.
Black leaf tips are salt-burn from the water. Move them outside and flush that salt out of the root zone with heavy watering, or change the plant mix. Trim the black tips; that is dead tissue too.

10:56 PM  
Blogger lamayoush said...

Hello DRAYA,thank you for the patience to all the questions...i purchased a apartment where they left behind them a huge areca,a 180 cm tall one!!!!
It was swimming in water so I let it without water for 3 weeks and it was still moist.I removed all the totally dead shoots,and unfortunately , i cut off all the browning tips...I didn't know its bad.
Now the plant seems alright since it has some new shoots coming up but the leafs have yellow spots and yellowing totally in places,browning tips as well.
It is in indirect sunlight.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/emailAlbum?uname=lamayoush&aid=5622407582358696593&continue=https%3A%2F%2Fpicasaweb.google.com%2Flamayoush%2FARECA%3Fauthkey%3DGv1sRgCIirjvfH4ufloAE
I considered transplanting it but it is so large i am worried to harm it since i have never done that before.
It is in soil with pebbles on top.
So my questions would be : should i go ahead and transplant it it to the fresh soil I purchased?or just buy some fertilizer?
Should I remove the tiny new weird looking small shoots?
Should i remove the pebbles?
Also if you have the time to look at the pics,I have baby areca,for the past 6 months,stright after I purchased it it started looking weak...I will not cut the drying tips,I just transplanted it to a larger pot,and will only water it with bottled water...she simply looks so weakkkk
Last ,sorry it is not related to areca,but just in case you could help me out,I bought a gardenia 3 days ago,and the buds are dropping off.
I know it is most likely due to relocation,but I am worried,it is as well in indirect sunlight all day long at 23 celcius...the soil is moist at al times...what else does she need????
Thank you very much for all this
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/emailAlbum?uname=lamayoush&aid=5622407582358696593&continue=https%3A%2F%2Fpicasaweb.google.com%2Flamayoush%2FARECA%3Fauthkey%3DGv1sRgCIirjvfH4ufloAE

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

lamayoush;
You were right to cut off the DEAD black tips on the leaves. They weren't ever going to recover. Dead is forever. Cut off all dead tissue; it is soft, black and mushy and is being consumed by bacteria. Cut them off at the base; don't try to pull them out, as they're connected to the others. Even if it is green near the base, it will not revive. Palms grow from the top of the stem; when that dies, the stem is finished. New stems will emerge from the roots to replace the foliage. DON'T TOUCH THEM.
Black tips are evidence of salts in the root zone that can come from too much fertilizer or from salty water in S. California.
When new shoots start growing, you will know the plant is healthy, and you can transplant it, and divide it into several plants, if you like. You may even cut off the very tall canes and bring it down to a more moderate size. If you do re-pot it, don't pull it out of the soil, but gently shake the soil off when it is dry. Wet soil is heavy and will tear the roots, damaging the small feeder root ends. See my comments above about the pH (acidity) needed.
Camelias and Gardenias need very acid conditions, and the soil may have become basic due to the water in some locations. It is easy to check. If it is really dying, cut it back to green buds and check the roots. Rotting roots will smell unhealthy, and will be soft and mushy. Cut away to firm tissue.
You can buy an acid potting mix or add a little soil sulfur or a bit of vinegar to the water, occasionally. Regards, Denis

10:52 PM  
Blogger lamayoush said...

Hello Drayas
Thank you very much for the detailed answer
I will follow your guidelines and hopefully my big and baby Areca will revive
Thank you very very much again
Good continuation to you

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, this is a great resource. I see a lot of folks asking same old question. Hopefully, people read up whats written before and ask prudently.
Anywyas, I did not mean to ask any question, but just to post some comments and share some ideas. I have had an areca palm for about 3 years now. I bought it from Walmart (Yeah, it was cheap there!). I used to water it once every week and mist it every other day. It has been doing okay until a few months ago, when I decided to repot it for the summer.
The new soil I used was very poor draining and I realized that after a week. Now looks like I have a root rot. But not knowing what that old soil contained, I flushed it with water a couple of times (the soil takes almost 2-3 days to drain out the water). So the plant was over watered for a good 2 weeks.
The leaves started turning yellow and then brown and died. I have lost almost a good 6-7 fonds :(
Anywyas, now I have stopped watering it and am waiting to see if it would recover. To improve air circulation in the roots and to hasten soil drying, I have made about half a dozen holes in the soil with a 1/4 inch diameter stick all the way to the bottom. Hopefully I can get to grow it back.
Also after repoting, I threw in some pothos plants in the same bigger pot. I was not sure if someone has tried this before. But It sure looks good with the pothos near the base and the tall areca.
I am going to be a little patient and give it a couple of more weeks and then post an update. Keep up this post going.
Also, if the owner/moderator of this post can provide a summary of the discussions in this post that would be quite useful :)
Cheers and have a wonderful long weekend!

9:43 AM  
Anonymous VR said...

Me & my husband is in Love with the Areca Palm, but our bad luck none of the purchased plant has survived more than 3 months.

The last plant bought dried just 3 days ago.

We have tried different location, different planter, bought different aged plant but all in vain. No one survives.

Either we take too much of care or doing something wrong. Please can you help us.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is normal for the tips to burn. Dont over water the plant and keep it in a room full of sunlight but not on a window where it will directly hit it with sunlight cause it will burn out

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Becky said...

To everyone who wrote about black spots: it's fungus, common on juvenile palms, especially from nurseries. See this article by a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida for more details and management strategies: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pp142

10:21 AM  
Blogger The Thomasons said...

I have an Areca Palm, which I purchased in February. It has done exceptional until this last week. I noticed some of the leaves were turning brown and over the next few days the whole branch on that particular side was very brown. Today I was able to pull the entire stem off, down to the soil; you can still see part of it buried in the soil, but I am not sure if it is dead or not. I have not over or under watered it so I am at a loss! I don't want to lose the other one too! Any suggestions??

11:12 AM  
Blogger shantanu said...

hi
i have recently purchased 8 areca palms for my hotel. 6 of them are kept in direct sun light and 2 are in lobby. i intend to rotate them periodically. and also use others in the indoor bqt for 6-7 hours. i water them every \day.

please tell me if i am doing anything wrong ? and also how should i ensure for long life of them?

thanks
shantanu

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Thomasons:
Each stem grows from the tip; when the tip dies, the stem will not survive long. Cut it off. Your problem sounds systemic and could move to the other stems, because they are all part of the same plant. I would think it is a soil problem, perhaps too much fertilizer, which is a salt compound, in that stem's root area. I would investigate the soil, even change it. Sniff test is appropriate, and anyone can tell if there is a fungal problem, which is the most common. Salt build-up from fertilizers and water (in the West)are the most common killers.
Generally, fungi thrive in cool, wet conditions, but they can't survive an acidic pH soil. Slight acid condition is best for 90% of house plants. Cheap test kits for home aquariums are easy to use.
You know if you over-fertilized the plant; the excess salt can be flushed-out. Otherwise, inspect the roots. Soft and mushy is bad; firm and clean is good and healthy.
Remove the soft, decomposing roots. If the whole root mass is bad, remove all but the firm, healthy ones. You may have to trim many of the stems, above, because too few roots can't support a bunch of hungry stems. That works for all plants. The root mass can't be decreased without balancing the head. Haircut becomes necessary for the plant's survival. A little vinegar in the water can acidify the soil, killing the fungi.
Denis

11:15 AM  
Blogger Yorkshirevole said...

What are the little round things at the base of the leaf fronds? They look like little hairy 'nuts', and some of them have come adrift from the main plant. Can they be removed and planted to start a new plant? (In East Yorkshire, NE UK)

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Fielding said...

Very nice to find this areca palm care forum. I bought a beautiful areca palm tree 10 days ago. The light, water and moister all seem to be good according to the information on this forum. I bought 19-6-12 fertilizer for it. Still more and more leaves are rapidly turning dark brown. I am so concerned about it. Don't want to lose my lovely tree. Since the plant is sensitive to salt, it is better to water it with distilled water than tap water? I can get distilled water easily. Thanks a lot!

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the plant is sensitive to salt, is it better to water the plant with diatilled water? Thanks!

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown tissue is dead tissue. Potted plants need very little fertilizer, and only you know if the leaves turned brown after being fertilized. I suspect salt poisoning bt fertilizer salts. Purge the salts with heavy watering or transplant to new soil mix. Remove all soft, rotting root tissue. Drowning the roots does the same damage, so drainage is essential.
Denis

10:12 PM  
Blogger gaurav said...

under the leaves of my areca plant there is like a fungal infection what measure should i take ???

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gaurav thinks there is fungus on the bottom side of his plant's leaves.
I can't recall ever seeing that, and think it is something else, like waste from aphids. Try cleaning it off with a soapy water spray. Also peroxide-soaked cotton should clean it. If it is fungi, it will bubble as it dissolves the fungal protein.
Peroxide won't hurt the leaves, and turns to plain water, quickly.
If it is bubbling, I would spray the full-strength peroxide on the under side of the leaves and wipe off the mess.
Denis

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do i stop my cat from chewing on tips of the plant/

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an Areca Palm & need to know if the plant or the trunk is poison for cats. I have a 5 month kitten that has chewed on the trunk & seems to be having some health problem. Please HELP & Thank you in advance.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Laurel said...

I have 2 huge indoor Areca Palms. I water once a week and use Miracle Gro for indoor plants diluted to use every time I water. They have been growing very robust and green for over 3 years. Until today I saw that the new growth on one of the stalks has suddenly died just as it is about to open out it's "fingers". What happened? Do I need to water more? I know that the outer fronds will die and I cut them off at the base and the new growth shoots forth. But to have the new growth die while the rest of the plant is very healthy is baffling to me. Laurel

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The outer branches of our Areca Palm are falling everywhere. Is it okay to tie a loose tie around them all to hold them together instead of letting them fall as they are doing? Is there anything else we can do?

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Denis O'Malley said...

Falling "branches"
Palms don't have branches, they have growth stems that send out leaflets; the individual spikes only grow from the top. You can remove branches and they'll push out a new one. Not palms, but "clumpers" may send up new stems.
Those stems don't fall without normally signaling danger by showing dying tissue, browning leaves, progressing from the tip downward, when it's a root problem.
Those "falling" stems are dead or dying and won't recover, unfortunately. My guess is a root problem in the absence of obvious insect infestation. Usually, insects don't kill plants, although they weaken them and bacteria or fungi can finish them off.
I just dug out of my patio, a big Chamadorea clump that was 8' tall and 10 years old. Stems were dying and I knew recovery was not likely. Workers removed it, and didn't notice anything in the root area, so that is still a mystery. I have learned to accept such disappointments. Every plant around it looks fine. Could have been a gopher, but no signs of one.
Areca's are not the easiest house plants, but the name on the can isn't always correct. I recommend Chamadorea's; they're beautiful, tropical looking, and tough as nails. Photos: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/931/
I rescued a couple of dying plants from my bank to try to save them. I suspect over-fertilization, so I re-potted them, removing rotting roots and dying leaves. Not pretty, but in the shade, with warmth, it should recover. The key is to get them out of the fertilizer salt environment.
Regards, Denis (San Diego)

10:17 AM  
Blogger plantkiller said...

Hi,
I've set my Areca Palm outside on my front porch. Most of the front is shaded. The way my house is positioned, the sun comes up from the right side of my house and sets to the left but mostly shines the back part of my house. Do think my palms will die if I do not move them from the shade? I live in a windy part of Idaho as well.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sir,
I have areca palm, our servant spray deltamethrin 2.15 % SC chemical on it. but after five days we found some leaves from bottom site stars to shrink and get dray. does it is due to chemical or some other reason. kindly advice necessary action for to save the plant.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Deltamethrin is a biological insecticide directed against the eggs and young offspring insects, so it is very unlikely that it's the problem.
Sounds like you need to flood drench the root zone of the plant to flush out the salts that accumulate and are first recognized by "burned" leaf tips.
All plants lose their leaves over time; as new ones emerge from the top of palms, older ones slowly give their Chlorophyll back to the plant and turn yellow and die.
Denis

1:36 PM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

Does it need any fertilizer?

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Ryanne said...

I've been following this blog since I bought my Areca 2 months ago. It's been a great help, so thank you! I haven't seen this question yet, so hopefully you can help.

I just this moment noticed what looks to be super tiny ants crawling in the soil. I know Denis said rotating them outside helps with bugs. I just had it outside about 2 weeks ago. I'm an indoor plant novice and I have no idea what to do about these ants. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you!

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Fertilizer? All plants need a little fertilizer, particularly in the light inorganic type plant mixes, but they only really need it when they are growing, -warm weather, long days. They are salts, so burnt tips are a sign of too much salt in the root zone. Over-fertilization is the main cause of potted plants decline and death, so small amounts are best. The coated (time-release) fertilizers are safest. Coffee grounds are good sources of Nitrogen (for growth). Most people learn fertilizing the hard way. Read about them online by Googling fertilizers.
Regards,

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Soil insects generally aren't too harmful, and ants don't hang out in the soil. They're usually busy on the leaves, where they bring sucking insects and farm them (aphids and scale), harvesting their secreted sugars. The bugs you see are more likely to be Nats. When adult, they'll fly around and annoy.
Air circulation (fan) usually keep insects away, except ants. Get rid of the ants, and you'll have no insect problems.
Regards,

10:47 PM  
Blogger Mary Jo said...

Thanks, Denis! I appreciate your help!

11:42 PM  

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