Can You Over Water an Areca Palm Tree?


If the water needs of an area palm (Dypsis lutescens, USDA zones 10 to 11) are not met, the plant may not thrive as it should and may die prematurely as a result. This may be avoided by providing enough irrigation. Areca palms cannot survive without water, yet an abundance of it may cause illness and ultimately kill the tree.


Areca palms are subject to root rot and mortality when they get an excessive amount of water, which may be caused by overwatering.

Areca Palm Water Requirements

According to the research conducted by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, areca palms are not any different from the vast majority of other palms that are regularly farmed in the sense that they cannot tolerate being overwatered. Knowing when to water a plant properly requires that you pay attention to the moisture level of the soil. It’s as simple as inserting your finger into the soil to determine whether or not it needs more water: if the top inch feels dry, water it more. According to research conducted by the University of Florida, despite the fact that areca palms can survive in soils with low levels of moisture, they produce the greatest fruit when the soil around them is never allowed to go entirely dry.

It is recommended that newly planted palms in the landscaping get watering around three times per week for the first few months after planting. After that, watering your lawn once or twice a week, depending on the conditions of the weather, is all that is required. According to Clemson University, while caring for potted arecas, the soil should be kept equally wet but not saturated. It should also not be allowed to go fully dry. After the soil has been fully drained, the bottom saucer should be emptied, and interior arecas should be misted several times each week with water to improve the humidity.

Problems Associated With Overwatering

Areca palms that get an excessive amount of water exhibit a number of symptoms, including a loss of general vitality, slowed development, and a drop in the intensity of the colour of the fronds. The worst-case situation is that the palm will pass away after contracting root rot, which will cause the roots to turn black and become mushy. According to research conducted by Louisiana State University, the presence of persistently damp circumstances allows the root rot fungus Phytophthora and Pythium to infect the areca.

According to research conducted at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Phytophthora and Pythium fungal spores flourish in moist environments and have the ability to survive in soil for an extended period of time, regardless of whether the soil contains plant waste, potting mix, or garden soil. If the areca plant becomes contaminated with root rot, it is better to throw away the plant and begin growing a new palm in clean soil. This is true regardless of whether the areca is growing in the ground or in a container.

Ensuring Proper Irrigation

Planting under circumstances that are optimal and watering in the appropriate manner from the very beginning is the most effective method for preventing difficulties that might be caused by overwatering. Arecas are more tolerant of being neglected during an irrigation cycle than they are of receiving an excessive amount of water. In addition to this, it is essential to plant the areca in soil that meets the requirements, and if it is to be grown in a container, it must be of the suitable size.

According to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, planting areca palms in the landscape requires selecting a location that has soil that is well-drained, wet without being soaked, and rich. Arecas grown in containers must have a potting medium that is both bright and fertile, and it must have enough drainage. Additionally, the container must be no more than one size larger than the plant’s rootball. When heavy soils or containers that are too big are used, the soil becomes saturated with water.

When dealing with an areca that already has root rot, you should attempt removing the plant from its container, cleaning the roots, and examining them. Use utensils that have been sanitised to remove any dark or mushy pieces, and either use a new pot or sterilise the old one by filling it with soapy bleach water. Make sure to use new potting soil. When the top inch of soil has dried up, you should replant the seeds and just water them as required. If the areca palm you have ultimately dies, you should not transplant another one in the same location.