I just received my new Areca Palm. It was delivered to me in New York via UPS from Florida. Since Florida is more than a little warmer than here, my question is how to take care of this so it gets well established in my home with the least shock. Should I re-pot or wait for a couple of days for it to get over the climate change and the shipping? By the way I have no clue how healthy this plant is, as of now I’m still at work and my wife just told me it arrived. I'm so excited :)

As always I will update with Pic once I get home.

Update 1:

The plant came nicely packaged however, there is this black stuff all over the plant see pix(1,2,6) and this yellow looking (looks waxy) stuff in pic(3). Don’t know if it’s the way the plant grows normally, if it's a disease or if this is some kind of infestation?

Other than the snail in pic(7) I have also seen a Millipede worm in the dirt and gave it a lil spray of Bayer Advanced Natria Insect, Disease & Mite Control. It then disappeared in the dirt hope this doesn’t infest this plant or my other plants in my home. I just got neem oil should I rather use that next time? What should I do with the leafs as in pic(4,5)? Also my home is 30% humid should I get a cool air humidifier for my plants?

Update 2:

24hr from when I got this palm some fronds started to get dry didn't turn yellow or brown just dried out and crisp. My apartment is always been on the dry side and thought that this might be the cause of the problem. So I got a humidity tester. my apartment was 21% I got a 2 humidifiers and and now its a comfortable 45% however my palm is still in the same condition. I added the last couple pix i took last night. Please let me know whats wrong here?

click any image for full size

  • do not repot yet! Put it by a sunny warm window and wait and see....
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 2:31
  • @J.Musser I have seen that kind of stock when it is shipped. It should have stayed in the shadehouse in Florida for another three to six months. A group of six inch plugs in an eighteen inch pot is not the normal standard for Florida greenhouses.
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jan 15, 2015 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


I recommend these steps:

  • with a damp cloth or paper towel wipe down the stems and leaves. This will remove any pesticide residue and whatever is on the leaves and stems.
  • do not spray with any pesticide/fungicide until a problem is diagnosed
  • the dead portions on the leaves could be shipping damage, cold damage or previous virus/fungal/bacterial activity. Take a pair of scissors and cut the dead material while leaving a portion of the dead area adjacent to the live tissue. This way you are not causing a fresh wound and can now determine if new die back occurs

Edit: I see you have posted new pictures of your palm.

  • Dead leaves should be cut off at the base with a sharp knife or secateurs.Dipping the blades in alcohol after use is not a bad idea to prevent passing on any problems.
  • low humidity will not cause palm fronds to die back overnight. It will cause browning at the tips over a period of weeks.
  • I believe you are looking at shipping damage. Exposure to cold while wrapped is likely. Cut the dead fronds off at the base.

Thanks to the magic of Paint I can show what not to worry about These spots are perfectly normal and are not a scale infestation

enter image description here

These spots on your leaves indicate a virus/fungus/bacteria infection at one point in time. There is a dead spot in the centre with rings of growth around it. I don't think there are any fungicides that are licensed for home use and most plants can outgrow the problem if they have the right conditions. No action is required.

enter image description here

  • Please let me know your advice regarding my updated info way up above before the pix. btw thanks for your help and great advice :)
    – Joseph Wit
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 18:51
  • Why all the whitespace?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 23:38
  • I cannot remove the whitespace, an artifact of small picture size. feel free to try editing it
    – kevinskio
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 23:52
  • Was easy, fyi. I wonder what you ran into.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 0:53

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