My Areca palm has been babied over the years (22 years) and is huge and needs to be repotted againenter image description here. There are basically 3 of the plants in one pot. I get the seed/Nuts a couple of times a year. Two are huge tall and go in different directions. The 3rd one is smaller and still healthy, but needs room to grow.

If I cut the two larger ones back, and repot it all fresh, would the two that are cut back continue to grow or grow back?

Thanks for any help ... and uh, if this is Not an Areca Palm, don't feel bad letting me know :)

  • I'm back! I did a little more research and learned that single stalk palm-type plants can Not be cut back, similar to topping a tree. I did learn that multi-stemmed palms, called clustering palms, will continue to grow if the trunk is severed. New stems will grow from the roots to replace the removed ones. The cut stems will not grow back. So I cut off the two long stems and the 3 smaller ones stood a bit straighter in the pot. They look great already! Repotting them with new fresh soil should help even more. Thanks and hope this helps someone else on down the road :) Jun 17, 2018 at 0:49
  • This might be a cataractarum palm. In any case it looks like it needs a bigger pot. Dec 14, 2018 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


You need to transplant this guy into a pot 14" in diameter and the same height as this original pot. Purchase a clay pot, potting soil in a bag without fertilizer or water holding gimmicks added, a saucer, pot feet or pieces of 1/4" tile to lift the bottom of the pot off the surface of the saucer

No rocks or gravel at all at the bottom of the pot beneath the soil and above the drain hole. Add nothing to the potting soil. Plant it at the same level the plant enjoys right now ,leaving an inch between the surface of the soil and the rim of the pot. Soak your new clay pot, and scrub with a bit of bleach, rinse before transplanting all three of these plants together in the new pot.

Do you have a covered patio or porch? If you do, take your plant out of doors to have a summer vacation in the shade without any chance of direct sun. Indoor plants get more light on a covered porch than in the sun of the patio doors inside the home. I do this with all indoor plants. I hose them down wash all the accumulated dust off the leaves, give them their little hit of OSMOCOTE 14-14-14- fertilizer for the YEAR.

Get them back indoors before any chance of cold evening temperatures in the fall. This doesn't take acclimation time at all. But made my plants look better than those in any nursery or store or healthier than when I first purchased them. Indoor plants are called long term perishables for good reason. This summer vacation on a covered porch does phenomenal resurrection of slowly dying indoor plants.

I would cut back the lowest, older leaves. Those that are shaded by the upper leaves and have started turning yellow. I see only 3 or 4 that need to be taken off the bottom.

This plant might just surprise you in a big way! Water the newly transplanted palm(s) and pick the potup with plant and soil and water. Feel the heft. You'll quickly get used to this. When that pot is heavy don't water...when you are able to feel a definite lightness, that is the time to water. Never allow water to sit in the saucer, always use those pot feet (pieces of tile are cheaper). If you are on city water, I would purchase gallons of DISTILLED water to use instead. Well water from a friend with well water?

I hope this helps, please let me know if I did not explain clearly. Take a look closely while you have the time, at the stems and leaves. Check for scale, spider mite. Very common.

  • Thanks for all the info! Yes - we are moving in a month or so, so cutting it back and repotting it will help it survive the trip. I got this plant in a small (8" +/-) container over 22 years ago, it had a couple other plants in it also. Those died off, but the palm kept kicking. It has spent 90% of it's life in an office with no windows. I'd repot it every few years and in the past 2 years it's been finally getting some indirect sunlight at home. Couldn't believe how big it has gotten. Definitely a happy plant. We're in WI now, but moving to AL. Thanks again for the tips! Jun 19, 2018 at 0:18
  • Luckily you'll be moving during the summer. Use newspaper to block the sunlight coming through the windows as well as the wind. Newspaper is incredible for insulation when moving during the winter, too. Water well before the trip. Do allow ventilation just not direct wind. Don't allow your plants to sit in the sun for more than a minute. They'll get sun burn. Have fun!
    – stormy
    Jun 19, 2018 at 0:47

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