Although the areca palm can grow as high as 30 feet outdoors, in interior locations, it tends to average only 6 to 7 feet. Long evergreen leaf stems shoot up from golden stalks and arch outward and down. The small white flowers and dark purple oblong fruits can appear year-round. These palms typically grow 6 to 7 inches per year.
Due to the height of the areca palm, choose a fairly large container for it to grow into. Since garden centers tend to cultivate these plants in bright light, gradually acclimate your areca to the lower light conditions in your home. Place your new plant in its container outdoors in a part-shade location, then move it to a bright indoor location after a few weeks. If the roots fill the pot within a few years, you can re-pot the palm tree or plant it outdoors. New growth springs from a central growing point at the top of a palm tree’s trunk, which means that palms can’t be pruned to reduce their height; pruning can damage or kill the plant. The only recourse if a tree grows too tall is to relocate it to an area with a higher ceiling or outdoors.
Like other palms, the areca needs filtered light, preferably near a southeast or west-facing window. Use a moist, well-drained soil, and water the plants as soon as the soil feels dry a little below the surface. Areca palms do not respond well to overwatering. Containers need functioning drain holes, and any excess water that collects in a saucer beneath the pot should be removed. Fertilize lightly from late winter through early fall. Areca palms prefer a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night and between 75 and 85 degrees during the day.
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