I recently moved out and got gifted a fairly big houseplant by my aunt. I quite like the look of it and aim to keep it alive, in part because it is my first ever own plant.

She didn't remember what kind of plant it was, only that I should water it once a week.

However, it seems to be dying... The leaves are turning yellow or simply seem to die, the shade of green appears to be slightly darker than when I got it and the tips of the leaves have started hanging/curling up.

So I would very much like to know:

  1. What species is this?
  2. How do I keep it alive?

I'll post pictures below. The window in the latter picture is facing West-southwest. Across the street is a large tree blocking some, but far from all, sunlight.

These pictures were taken around 08:30 local time, during overcast.

close-up broader view

1 Answer 1


This is a palm plant. Most likely it is an areca palm or Dypsis lutescens. These plants grow quite well outside in full sun and can adapt to growing indoors.

I have never found them to be long lived indoor plants. Growers sell them with the stems clustered closely together to look better but this means competition for light and nutrients. They are subject to spider mites and sensitive to the chlorine/fluoride found in city tap water.

  • Your plant needs more light. Move it much closer to the window.
  • let the top inch dry out before watering
  • do not let the plant sit in water
  • do not repot this plant for at least a year and do not repot so the soil is higher than the previous soil level
  • fertilizer is not required until it stops putting out new growth. Fertilize twice a year at half strength
  • they are vulnerable to leaf spotting fungi but specimens under good conditions can outgrow the problem.
  • Remove the leaves with spots and cut back dead areas. This plant is going to thin out under the existing light levels.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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