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areca palm water

Areca Palm Water: When And How Much

Did you know when it comes to indoor plants, the Areca palm is the best?
Also, do you know how much water an Areca palm needs to thrive?

Well. Don’t you worry! You are in the right place.

Let me tell you that I am obsessed with tropical plants, as I can’t have a vacation every day on tropical islands so I bought a tropical vacation in my home. After I brought Areca palm, it transformed my home into a tropical paradise giving me tropical vibes every day. It’s been 10 years since I had these plants in my home.

So, today in this article, with my personal experience, I will tell you everything you need to know about the water requirements of areca palm plants and I will guide you on how and when to water them! I will keep you waiting any longer and let’s begin!

Areca Palm water requirements

Areca palm plant’s health depends on the care you provide for it. Watering is one of the crucial aspects of caring for your plant. Water helps the plant to survive. Areca palms have a rhizome root system. Rhizomes of this plant absorb water to transfer them to all parts of the plant, through plant cells. These plants store water in them to use in drought conditions. 

Also, watering your Areca palm helps to transfer the nutrients that are present in the soil mix to all the parts of the plant. If you do not provide adequate water to your plant, it becomes dry and gets curled. Watering should be done appropriately. Otherwise, it will lead to many problems, if neglected, your plant may even die. Now, let us discuss when to water your plant.

When to water an Areca Palm plant?

Areca Palm

As these plants are tropical, they do not need much water to thrive. But it should be watered thoroughly until you see the extra water coming out of the drainage, whenever you water it. It is better not to fix a schedule for watering your Areca palm plant. But, observe the soil regularly, if the soil is a little dry at an inch depth, then you need to water it. Do not let the soil completely dry as these plants cannot tolerate underwatering for a long time.

Usually, the plant is watered once in 1-2 weeks depending on the climatic conditions, during the summer seasons. In winters you need to postpone watering the plant as the soil mix may not dry as fast as it has in summer. So your Areca palm needs water once in 2-3 weeks during the winters.

How much water do Areca Palms need?

The quantity of water an Areca palm needs depends on the size of the plant, climatic conditions, and some other factors that we are going to discuss later in this article. Generally, plant enthusiasts provide 1-2 gallons of water to the Areca palm tree. But, it is preferred to water your plant until the excess water comes out of the drainage holes.

The best ways to water areca palm plants:

Water over the soil:

  • Trey to put water over the soil. To do it properly you can use a watering can, other than that you can just put the pot over a sink and aim the tap over the soil.
  • Remember we said not to overwater your plant? But when it’s time for watering make sure it’s getting a good drink. Keep the water running till it runs out from the draining hole. 
  • If your pot stays in a tray, make sure to remove all the water from it, after watering, no matter what, you can’t let your plant sit in water.

Bottom watering:

  • Fill a shallow tray with water.
  • Now put the pot in water and make sure the soil contacts with the water on the tray.
  • Wait for ten minutes and then check if the water is getting into the soil. You can check that just by touching the soil. 
  • If it feels wet, take the pot out remove the excess water from the tray, and then put it in again. 
  • If it feels dry, add more water to the tray and this time wait for twenty minutes (it shouldn’t take more than one hour). 

Water bath:

  • Fill a container or any other bucket with warm water
  • Drop the entire pot down in the water, and stop where the branch of the plant forms. Be sure all of the soil is under the water. 
  • The water will directly start to bubble – wait until the bubbling stops.
  • Take the pot out and let the leftover water drain off
  • Place your palm back in the tray.
  • After about an hour, inspect the plant to make sure that it isn’t standing in water, if it is it might get overwatered and decay.

Problems related to water in Areca Palms

Did you know your areca palm can fall sick if you water them excessively or not water at all?
That is why we will now discuss the problems that occur if you water the areca palm plants in inappropriate ways!

1. Overwatering the areca palm plant

Overwatering Areca palm plants make the roots of the plant rot, which is a severe problem that needs your attention as the plant is at risk. Overwatering may cause fungal infections that may lead to yellowing or browning of leaves, brown spots on the leaves and stems, and even lead to the growth of white mold on the surface of the soil mix.

2. Root rot in areca palm plant

As we have discussed earlier, root rot is usually caused by overwatering. You may observe this condition also in the cases of poor drainage systems or if the soil mix is not well-drained. The rotten rot cannot function well. It fails to carry water, oxygen, and nutrients to the other parts of the plant. This makes the plant unhealthy and even leads to its death.

3. Fungal growth in areca palm plant

The soil mix remains wet for a long time, fungus or bacteria may grow in the soil which may bother your plant by sucking all the nutrients in the soil. Fungal growth is generally caused by overwatering. Also, the drainage system, pot material, and the type of soil mix may cause this problem.

4. Underwatering the areca palm plant

Under watering Areca plants, may cause dehydration in the plant that may finally lead to the plant’s death. Areca plants contain rhizomes in the soil mix that observe water and store it for supplying the parts of the plants whenever they need. These rhizomes never like to stay in a dry soil mix. So, you need to water your plant regularly to keep the rhizomes wet always. If you neglect to water your areca palm plant, the rhizome cannot perform well and thus the plant may get sick.

5. Discoloration of leaves of areca palm plant

The leaves of the Areca palm plant may turn brown or the tips of the leaves may become dry and brown due to being underwater. However, there are some other reasons for your Areca palm’s foliage discoloring. The browning of leaves that become dry and ready to fall is a sign of underwatering. Immediately water your plant to help it survive.

6. Droopy stems of areca palm plant

If you notice your Areca palm with droopy stems or dried leaves, it may be a sign of underwatering. Even overwatering the plant may cause droopy stems, dry soil mix, and dried leaves and stems might be telling you that it needs watering.

7. Wilting leaves of areca palm plant:

One of the first and foremost signs of areca palm plant face due to inadequate watering is the wilting of the leaves. Turgor pressure helps to keep the plant stay firm and upright. When the pressure is damaged, the cells are destroyed as well, which leads to wilting the leaves of the plant. So if you notice your area palm’s leaves are wilting that means it’s losing its pressure. If the situation stays like this for a long and is ignored, the plant will die eventually. But if the damage is in its first stage, it can be saved just by adding mulch and keeping the soil moist. 

Factors that affect Areca Palm watering schedule

While growing an Areca palm plant you should keep in mind that there are factors that may affect the water needs of your plant. Let us now explore those factors that affect your areca palm plant!

1. Sunlight affecting your areca palm plants

Areca palm plants love to stay in the bright sun but they may not tolerate the intense rays for a long time. Thus you should place them near the windowsill. During the summers, the intense sun rays that come through the window may dry the soil quickly. So, your plant should be checked frequently, if it needs water or not. During the winters, your Areca palm’s growth rate falls and so, it absorbs less water and then you need to water your plant less frequently.

2. Soil mix affecting your areca palm plants

Areca palm plants need a mixture of sand and peat-based soil to get planted in. The roots of the plants do not like to sit in waterlogged soil mix for a long time, which may lead to root rot and other such issues.

You can water the plant regularly if the soil is well-draining. If the soil you have used to plant your Areca palm is compact then it will not get drained soon. So, you need to check the moisture of the soil before watering as the soil does not dry too quickly, and water your plant only if the soil gets dry. Also to maintain the health of the plant, you need to water the plant in lesser quantities, if the soil is compact.

3. Pots used to plant Areca plants

Even the pots that are used to plant an Areca palm may affect its watering schedule. If you use plastic pots for planting, those pots do not allow the soil to dry quickly and do not allow the air to pass through the soil easily. So, the soil remains wet for a long time which leads to some diseases. Clay pots will allow aeration as they have porous walls. So, these pots are suitable for planting Areca palms and need frequent watering as the soil gets dry quickly.

4. Temperature and humidity affecting your areca palm plants

The temperature and the humidity of the place where the areca palm has been growing, are to be considered before watering it. Because in places with high temperatures, the water in the soil dries quickly and the places with high humidity levels do not need to be watered frequently.

5. Drainage system affecting your areca palm plants

Last but not the least, the drainage system of the pot will surely show its effect on the watering schedule of the plant. If the drainage system is good and drains the excess water out of the pot quickly and thus makes the soil dry faster, more thirsty when compared to the plant that is planted in a pot having a poor drainage system. Because the soil in the pot with poor drainage will remain waterlogged for a long time thus it needs less water with less frequency.

How to check the Areca Palm water requirements?

As I mentioned in the above paragraphs, the Areca palm water needs can be estimated only by checking the soil moisture. To know your plant’s water needs, follow the tips given below:

  • Dip your finger into the soil mixture to check whether the soil is wet enough. 
  • Using a moisture meter helps to check the moisture level of the soil every time.
  • Sometimes your plant may show some signs like the browning of leaves, drying stems, and falling stems which are usually caused by underwatering. If the foliage of your Areca palm plants turns yellow or the mold grows on the soil then the plant suffers due to overwatering. 
  • Adjust the watering concerning the plant needs.

Type of water that suits Areca plants

Areca palm plants are sensitive to fluoride content present in the tap water. So, avoid using direct tap water to give your plant a good drink. Using filtered water, distilled water, or bottled water for watering your Areca palm is preferred. You can also collect rainwater to water your plant.


Areca palm plants enhance the look of the home as they look so beautiful. These plants are often found in houses all over the world. They are available in nurseries, and can also be propagated at home easily. Maintaining the plant is very easy, but you need to provide proper care. Watering plays a crucial role in maintaining it. I hope this article helped you to know everything about watering the Areca palm.

If you have any further questions that are revolving in your mind, feel free to comment down below, and also don’t forget to share this article with your plant lover friends and family!

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