Why do my areca have dry leaves?

Image – Wikimedia Commons/David J. Stang

The areca palm tree is one of the most cultivated, especially indoors when winter is cool. That is why it is less interesting to know how to identify the symptoms that may be indicating that you have a problem, such as the fact that the leaves begin to dry.

When that happens, we may think that it is very serious, but this is not always the case. So if you’re wondering why does your areca have dry leavesthen we are going to explain the possible causes and what to do to improve it.

Drafts or heating

Areca is subtropical

Image – Wikimedia/Forest & Kim Starr

It is common to put the areca -and any other indoor plant- near the heating or an area where there are many drafts (for example, the air conditioner, or an open window). This is a very serious problem, which causes damage to the leaves starting at the tips, which lose color.

Because? Because the air, regardless of whether it is cold or hot, can be very drying. The areca is a palm tree that needs high air humidity; in fact, there should be a minimum of 50%, so when it is lower, the leaves turn brown and spoil. So no, we do not recommend placing it near any device that generates drafts, nor windows that remain open on a windy day.

But, How can you know that the problem is this and not another? Well, it’s easy: if, for example, you just bought it, being completely healthy and green, and you see that in a few days the tips of the leaves have started to turn ugly, you may think that the problem is drafts or heating if is exposed to it.


our protagonist It is a tropical plant whose resistance to cold is quite low. I can tell you that I have two specimens planted in my garden in Mallorca, and when the thermometer drops below 10ºC they start to have a bad time. And yes, this can also happen to the palm tree that is inside the house, because we all know that there are houses where it is colder than others. If we also add the fact that the climate is different in each region, it should not seem strange to us that there are plants that find it more difficult than others to adapt.

This is why if, regardless of where you have your plant, whether outside or inside the house, if the thermometer drops below 10ºC the leaves will have a bad time. And to solve it, sometimes it will be enough to put it indoors if it was outside, but on other occasions when the problem is in the temperature of the house, it is best to also protect it with an anti-frost cloth.

bad watering

When under- or over-watered, one of the first symptoms is dry leaf tips. Over time, and as the problem worsens, this browning spreads over the entire surface of the leaf. Therefore, The best thing we can do in these cases is, first, find out if it needs water or if, on the contrary, the roots are drowning, and based on this, take the necessary measures to save the palm tree.. Let’s go in parts.

How do you know if you are watering too much? The symptoms of excess watering in the areca are:

  • The “older” leaves (the lower ones) first begin to yellow and then dry out.
  • The earth is going to feel very humid, so much so that if we have the palm tree in a pot, we will realize that it is quite heavy.
  • Mold (fungus) may appear.

The treatment in this case is as follows: stop watering, apply systemic fungicide to the areca, and if it is in a pot that also does not have holes at the base, it will be planted in one that does.

On the other hand, if little is being watered, what we will see will be the yellowing of the newest leaves, which will begin to turn brown quickly. Also, the soil will be very dry, and may have trouble absorbing water. To solve this, it will suffice to pour plenty of water on it, or submerge the pot in a container filled with this precious liquid for about twenty or thirty minutes.

The pot has become too small

The areca is a multi-stemmed palm.

Image – Wikimedia/Digigalos

Another of the possible causes, and also one that is not usually thought about much, is the possibility that the pot has become too small and can no longer continue to grow. And it is that the roots need to grow so that the rest of the plant can also increase in size.

That’s why it is very important that you check from time to time if these roots are sticking out of the drainage holes of the potWell, if so, then it will have to be planted in a larger one.

I hope that with this you have been able to find out why your areca has dry leaves, and how to solve the problem.

Why do my areca have dry leaves?

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