The areca palm, or Dypsis lutescens, brings a breath of fresh air into the home… literally. These popular and beneficial houseplants help filter toxins from indoor air, says NASA’s Clean Air Study. And according to Feng Shui principles, areca palms can also attract positive energy into the home. Of course, these benefits — and plant health — depend on where the palm is positioned. Read on to learn about the best places to position an areca palm in your home or office.
- Where to Position Areca Palms in the Home – The Essentials
- About Areca Palms
- Areca Palms and Feng Shui
- Where to Position Areca Palms in the Home
- Where Not to Place Areca Palms in the Home
- Where to Place Areca Palms Outdoors
- Essential Areca Palm Plant Care
- Where to Position Areca Palms FAQs:
- The Final Word
Where to Position Areca Palms in the Home – The Essentials
Place areca palms in positions that best match their optimal growing conditions: Bright indirect light, warm temperatures, and relatively high humidity. To attract positive energy, wealth, and peace using Feng Shui principles, consider positioning two areca palms on either side of a front entryway.
About Areca Palms
Also known as the bamboo palm or yellow butterfly palm, Areca palms belong to the Dypsis genus. There are about 140 species of evergreen palms in the genus. Dypsis is a member of the Arecaceae family, which contains more than 180 genera and about 2,600 species of palms.
D. lutescens is native to the island of Madagascar. The palms have naturalized in many tropical regions, from Florida to Brazil, and the Andaman Islands to El Salvador.
In its native habitat, the Areca palm thrives in year-round warm temperatures and consistently humid conditions. It receives the dappled light of the forest canopy and receives nutrients from the moist, rich soils on the tropical forest floor. When growing indoors, replicating these conditions as closely as possible helps the plants thrive.
Areca palms can grow to over 30 feet tall when grown outdoors in optimal conditions. However, they usually remain smaller when grown indoors.
Areca Palms and Feng Shui
According to the Chinese practice of Feng Shui, the position of plants and other items have great significance. Areca palms, in particular, function as a way to bring life energy into a home, while plants, in general, offer a way to connect people to nature.
In a nutshell, there are five elements of Feng Shui: wood, earth, fire, metal, and water. Using an appropriate balance of these elements is a key practice.
Plants are aligned with the wood element, which is connected to energy, growth, action, compatibility, and kindness. Color matters, too. The green of foliage is linked to rejuvenation.
Certain plants are used to attract or defend against particular types of energy. This means the choice of where and how a plant is positioned matters.
Like some other types of palms, the Areca palm is linked to life energy. You may use them to rejuvenate and revitalize a stagnant area within the home or room.
Where to Position Areca Palms in the Home
The Bagua map will help you choose the optimal position for areca palms in your home or in a room. The Bagua contains nine areas. Each area is linked to one of the five elements, color/s, energy type, part of life, and direction.
The nine areas can be arranged three by three in a grid layout. Each square has a specific meaning. Starting in the upper right corner and moving clockwise, the nine areas are:
- Kun: earth, pink, relationships, love, southwest
- Dui: metal, white, completeness, children, west
- Qian: metal, gray, helping, travel, northwest
- Kan: earth, black, life path, career, north
- Gen: earth, deep blue, personal growth, knowledge, northeast
- Zhen: wood, blue/teal/green, new beginnings, family, east
- Xun: wood, purple, prosperity, wealth, southeast
- Li: fire, red, reputation, fame, south
- Tai Qi: earth, brown/orange/yellow, centeredness, health, center
Use the Bagua Map to Find the Right Placement
Orient the Bagua map on top of your room or your home’s floor plan. Make sure that the main entryway to the home or room is aligned with the bottom center square or Kan.
Try to align the grid, so the nine areas are spaced relatively equally around the room or home. Of course, not all homes or rooms are perfect squares, so just do your best.
When the grid is positioned in a balanced way, find the areas that align with the energy for an Areca palm. The plants are associated with health, wealth, and prosperity energies, so the best areas may include southeast, south, east, or north.
The front door is also an auspicious place to position an areca palm. If you have the space, place two palms on either side of the door. They can also be placed where they can ward against and soften sharp-edged energy.
Feng Shui and Plant Needs
Feng Shui can help you find suitable placements to attract the energy you want and deflect negative energy. But if you want your Areca palm to thrive, you must also consider environmental conditions and the best care strategy for your plant.
Along with positioning using the Bagua, keep the Areca palm’s optimal growing conditions in mind:
- Bright indirect light such as that found in an east-facing window, near a south- or west-facing window, or in a south- or west-facing window that’s covered with a sheer curtain
- Temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F
- Away from cool drafts or heat sources
- Consistent and relatively high humidity
Where Not to Place Areca Palms in the Home
If you want to attract positive energy with Areca palms, keep them out of inauspicious places in the home. This may include bedrooms as well as bathrooms, where drains can “flush” away positive energy.
Dark corners aren’t good places for Areca palms, either. They need bright, indirect light to thrive. If you want to follow Feng Shui principles, but the optimal placement is too dark, you may have to utilize grow lights.
Avoid placing Areca palms in spots where they’ll be exposed to cold drafts. Their natural habitat is warm and tropical. Heat sources aren’t good for the plants, either. Heat registers or vents can cause the soil to dry too fast.
Where to Place Areca Palms Outdoors
If you want to grow or position an Areca palm outdoors, choose a spot in a part-sun exposure. Bright sunlight can be too intense for this palm, as its natural habitat is the dappled light of the tropical forest.
Avoid too-shaded or too-cool spots, as well. You may choose to plant the palm in a container that can be moved as the sun and temperatures change.
If your region has appropriate temperatures for outdoor planting, consider placing Areca palms on either side of the front entryway to your home for good Feng Shui benefits.
Essential Areca Palm Plant Care
Help your Areca palm thrive by mimicking its natural habitat in your home. This includes.
- Light: Bright but indirect exposure, such as an east-facing window, near a south- or west-facing window, or in a south- or west-facing window covered by a sheer curtain
- Temperatures: Between 60 and 80 degrees F year-round
- Humidity: Relatively high humidity; may need to mist, place the plant’s container on a tray of pebbles and water, or use a humidifier
- Soil: Well-draining soil mix with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0
- Fertilizer: Feed every other week from spring through fall using water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength
- Water: Only when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch; use distilled or rainwater to avoid fluoride buildup.
- Pests and Diseases: Caterpillars, root mealybugs, mites, scales, thrips, and fungal problems may affect your areca palm, causing yellowing, drooping, or leaf drop. In most cases, use insecticidal soap or oil to eliminate pests. Fungal diseases may often be relieved by repotting. Prevent issues by providing plants with optimal environmental conditions.
Where to Position Areca Palms FAQs:
What room is best for an Areca Palm?
Areca palms will thrive in a room with bright indirect light, relatively high humidity, and temperatures that remain between 60 and 80 degrees F. For Feng Shui, place the palm near the front entryway or in the southeast, south, east, or north areas of the home or room.
How far away from the window should an Areca Palm be?
An Areca palm can be in an east-facing window, or in a south- or west-facing window that’s covered by a sheer curtain. If the south- or west-facing window isn’t covered, the palm should be placed a few feet away to avoid intense direct light.
Can I put my Areca Palm in a corner?
You can put your Areca palm in a corner, as long as it receives bright indirect light. For Feng Shui, focus on corners in the southeast, south, east, or north parts of the room.
Can Areca Palms thrive in low-light environments?
Areca palms need bright indirect light. They will not thrive in a low-light environment.
Can Areca Palms tolerate drafts?
In their natural habitat, Areca palms enjoy consistent warmth and humidity. They do not tolerate cold drafts well.
The Final Word
The Areca palm is an auspicious plant in Feng Shui, especially when placed near or around an entryway. It can help attract positive energy and deflect not-so-positive vibes. For the best position, choose a spot that offers bright indirect light and protects the plant from cold drafts or too-bright sun. For more, see our in-depth guide to the meaning and symbolism of palm trees.