Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) is one of the most widely used palms for bright interiors. It features feathery, arching fronds, each with up to 100 leaflets. These big, bold plants command attention.
The care of areca palms indoors isn’t difficult, but the plant won’t tolerate neglect. Water them often enough to keep the soil lightly moist in spring and summer, and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings in fall and winter. A key factor in successfully growing areca palm trees indoors is providing just the right amount of light. They need bright, indirect light from a south- or west-facing window. The leaves turn yellowish-green in direct sunlight.
Areca palm houseplants need repotting every two to three years. The plant likes a tight container, and crowded roots help limit the size of the plant. The main reasons for repotting is to replace the aged potting soil and remove fertilizer salt deposits that build up in the soil and on the sides of the pot. Use a palm potting soil or a general purpose mix amended with a handful of clean builder’s sand. They add 6 to 10 inches (15-25 cm.) of growth per year until they reach a mature height of 6 or 7 feet (1.8-2.1 m.). Areca palm is one of the few palms that can tolerate trimming without serious harm, making it possible to keep mature plants indoors for their full lifespan.