It is hard to believe that the areca palm (Dypsis lutescens) is considered an endangered species in its native Madagascar. Drive down almost any street in a warm climate stateside, and you are likely to see dozens of these tall, attractive, clumping palms that look a lot like bamboo. The palms have smooth, sometimes golden trunks that are reminiscent of bamboo clumps. Their fronds are narrow and full, almost like bamboo leaves. When grown outdoors, they are often used as a privacy screen. These palms are also grown as indoor houseplants where they love a sunny, warm, and humid spot in your home. They are best planted in the spring, and they have a slow to moderate growth rate.
Outdoors, these plants like bright, filtered light, but they also can tolerate full sun. Indoors, areca palms do best with bright light exposure from a south- or west-facing window.
Like many palms, areca palms like moist soil, but they are sensitive to overwatering and cannot tolerate being waterlogged or sitting in a water-saturated potting mix. So let the soil or potting mix dry out slightly between waterings. Areca palms also are sensitive to fluoridated water, so use distilled water or collected rainwater.