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How to care for an Areca palmAreca plants are especially popular in household with children or pets because they are not toxic. We think Areca's are great and good looking, too! Their feathery arching fronds are a real crowd pleaser that will turn your house into a tropical jungle.
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- Once every three years
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- Once every two weeks in summer
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The history of the Areca palm begins in the lush rainforests on the island of Madagascar. Because of the ease of propagation this plant is now commonly found as an ornamental plant in tropical gardens and as a houseplant in colder climates
The Areca is one of the most air-purifying houseplants. It's really good at removing the harmful substances formaldehyde, benzene, trichlorethylene and toluene from the air. Now you may be thinking, I don't think I have any of those in my home but you would be wrong. You see, these airborne toxins are found in almost every home and office; which makes it a good plant to have nearby, wherever you are. Go Areca!
We'll keep this short. The Areca palm is non-toxic.
Like most other Palm species, the Areca is tropical. This means that it prefers a continuously moist soil and warm, humid air. Keep the soil moist but do not allow the plant to sit in water. Be sure to never let the soil dry out completely. In the summer the plant's water requirements are considerably higher than in winter. Try to water your Areca several times a week in summer, and in the winter only when the soil starts to get dry again. Check the soil by putting your finger deep into the pot. Preferably use lukewarm water when watering.
The houseplant variant of the Areca palm is more used to dark climates than its tropical cousins in Madagascar, but it still likes a lot of sunlight. This plant can be placed outside in the summer, as long as temperatures do not fall below 10° celsius. When moving your Areca, be sure to avoid putting it into direct sunlight all at once but allow it to get slowly used to it, leaving it in direct sunlight for longer and longer periods. The leaves will burn otherwise. Keep in mind that the plant will need a lot more water in a place with a lot of sunlight. Repeat after me: "Moist soil, moist soil, moist soil!".
The Areca palm is a fast grower, especially in summer. We advise you to give it some extra fertilizer in the summer period. Adding some liquid food to its water once every two weeks is enough. It's not necessary to feed it in the winter, and it's not recommended either, because the plant is in its resting period.
As your Areca grows, you will want to repot it - usually every 2-3 years. If you leave the plant in a small pot for too long, it will actually affect its health. When repotting, try to put it in about a 20% bigger pot. That should give your Areca some room to grow.
If the Areca is moved into direct sunlight too quickly the leaves will brown (see Placement). It is recommended to simply cut these leaves at the stem, as they will not recover. Brown dots on leaves, on the other hand, are a normal part of the aging process of the leaf. As new leaves are created at the top, the leaves at the bottom die and are shed. In any case, when pruning old leaves, never prune the stem of the plant itself, or the plant might not survive.
The Areca is a strong plant and therefore does not suffer much from diseases. However, just like any other plant, spider mites or mealybugs can be problematic if there is low humidity or too much draft. Try to spray the leaves with water twice a month, especially in winter. This gives the plant the required humidity to fend off common diseases.