I didn't water at all my palm tree (bought at Homebase) for a couple weeks, and before that I neglected it. See it below. What should I do to make it look healthy again?

Should I put in outside or inside near a window? How frequently should I water it and how much?

enter image description here

  • 2
    What part of the world do you live in? From the phrasing and use of language, sounds like UK but need to know because of whether you should leave this palm outdoors or take it indoors... – Bamboo Sep 8 '15 at 15:27

Your Areca palm can be cared for with these suggestions:

  • Get a pair of scissors that have been washed in isopropyl alcohol or similar.
  • trim all dead material from the fronds leaving a small margin of dead material so you do not make a new cut in living tissue
  • remove debris from the top of the soil
  • remove dead stalks from the base, they usually twist off by hand
  • this plant is tropical and will not tolerate temperatures much below 5 deg C.
  • Growing indoors in bright filtered light is a good solution. If you grow it outdoors in the summer and bring it inside then you risk sun burn in the following spring unless you grow it in shade.
  • spider mites are the most common problem. Check regularly on the underside of the leaf for eggs that are white and look like grains of salt. Treat with soap and water (5ml soap/litre water) at five to seven day intervals
  • top dress annually with potting soil
  • repot every few years: your choice of cutting off the bottom third of the root ball, adding new soil and putting back in the same pot or doing the same and putting in a larger pot
  • fertilize with a balanced mix (eg: 20-20-20) at half or quarter strength once or twice a year
  • water thoroughly until water runs out of the bottom of the pot and then let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again. The number one cause of interior plant death is over watering.

The point of this is to remove areas where pests can hide and ensure the plant has a low but adequate level of nutrients. Indoor plants that are heavily fertilized can produce a lot of lush growth that is very attractive to incoming pests and can produce root burn if the light levels are too low.

  • If you purchased this at home depot...was it indoors at the time? If you put it out in the sun this might be why it got some burn. Plants grown inside need acclimating to go outside and VIS-VERSA! Nurseries are responsible for TELLING consumers this so they can keep their plants thriving and alive. Sigh. Kevinsky has a great answer for you...truly. The nursery should also tell you how and when this plant was fertilized. If you took it home and added fertilizer after it was already fertilized, this could also fry your plant! Guess one has to ASK the 'professionals' at Home Depot... – stormy Sep 8 '15 at 19:08
  • 1
    @Stormy Most staff know nothing about the plant stock that arrives. "Comes in on a truck" is a common answer. Staff will not know about the fertilizer schedule either. In North America the plant was grown or finished in Florida probably with a soil less mix that includes a slow release fertilizer and a final shot before shipment. – kevinskio Sep 8 '15 at 19:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.