Your Cart

Use Coupon WELCOME for Additional 10% OFF

parlor palm vs areca palm

Parlor Palm vs Areca Palm: Differences You Should Know

Do you know palm trees are popular symbols of wealth and good fortune? Various types of palm trees exist, but gardeners are more into parlor palm vs areca palm.

These are, without a doubt, among the popular green plants for indoor spaces as they quickly bring a tropical vibe into the area.

Palms beautify the space, create a pleasant backdrop, and assist with air purification and oxygenation. But which to choose among parlor palm vs areca palm for home or offices? Or what is the difference between them?

In this blog, you, our favorite gardeners, will learn about the significant differences.

What are the differences between areca palm vs parlor palm?

The size and growth of the areca palm and the parlor palm differ the most. The areca palm requires a lot of space because its long and arching fronds can grow up to eight feet long.

While the parlor palm is an upright plant with a thicker cluster of stems that grows slowly. Let me walk through other differences in detail.

1) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Origin

Let us start with the native place of the palms. It will give you a better understanding of the best growing and environmental conditions for your plant.

Areca Palm

The Areca Palm is native to Madagascar, but you can find them in other countries, including Cuba, Jamaica, El Salvador, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Usually, gardeners plant them in their gardens or entrance, but you can also grow them indoors.

Parlor Palm

It belongs to lush green rainforests in Mexico and Guatemala.

Parlor palms are a small variety that grows close to the ground in the forest, shaded by larger trees.

2) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Size

As I already told you, they differ in their sizes the most, let me show how.

Areca Palm

They are probably known for being tall. Areca can reach heights of 6 to 12 meters (20 to 39 feet), making it suitable for those with plenty of space, such as a high ceiling.

You should consider the size of your room while purchasing one for your home or office. You can also grow areca outdoors in the garden if the weather is warm enough all year.

Parlor Palm

On the other hand, it is a small palm that grows to heights of 2 to 3 meters (6 to 9 feet). As it grows slowly, you can grow them in smaller pots and containers in its early years.

3) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Shape and texture

After the size, the next prominent difference between the parlor palm vs areca palm is their leaf shape and texture. 

Areca Palm

The areca stems grow in clusters from bamboo-like trunks. They have larger leaves as compared to the parlor palm. Each stem can have up to 40 to 60 pairs of leaves.

Its large arching leaves resemble butterfly wings, earning it the name “butterfly palm.” Everyone all over the world adores Areca palm foliage because it is V-shaped with a golden petiole. 

Parlor Palm

These are known for having smaller dainty or lacy leaves. Parlor palms’ leaves grow upright and can reach lengths of up to eight inches. 

These are more of a delicate plant, with lacy leaves less than a foot long, earning it the nicknames Bella palm and Victorian palm. Usually, they have up to 40 pairs of leaflets. 

The texture of parlor palm leaves is unique, and they make a great addition to your decor. You don’t have to worry about regular dusting and can do it occasionally.

4) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Leaf Color

Gardeners like you and me love parlor palms and areca palms because they bring an exotic forest feel into the home. As each plant has its characteristics, these have slightly different leaf color to represent their uniqueness.

Areca Palm

The areca palm will always give out a fresh, vibrant green color and slender arching yellow stems. Any signs of discoloration indicate that you need to care for your palm the right way.

Any brown spots on the areca palm’s leaf indicate that it has died. It is a normal part of the palm tree’s growth cycle.

If a younger leaf is turning brown, you have most likely overwatered your areca palm. A yellow leaf indicates that the leaf has not received enough water.

When the tip of the leaf turns brown, the plant may be at an unsuitable temperature for the parlor palm.

Parlor Palm

They have green-colored leaves and stems. However, they can also face discoloration issues due to manual negligence or natural circumstances. 

When the season is over, some brown leaves will naturally fall off. Any other brown or yellow leaf on the parlor palm indicates stress. It may be due to overwatering.

If the situation exists for a long time, the leaves will turn brown. You can always cut the leaves without harming the palm, though saving it at this point will be challenging.

5) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Appearance

As I already told you, the major difference between the parlor palm vs areca palm is in their appearance. After talking about size, texture, leaves, and color, let’s move forward to their overall look. 

Parlor Palm

These palms do not grow very tall, making them one of the most popular indoor choices for gardeners who want to bring tropical vibes indoors.

It has a thin green trunk and an underground rhizome that sprouts tubular stems. Parlor palm stems produce bright green fronds with a feather-like appearance.

The more leaves your plant will grow, the older it will get.

Areca Palm

Areca palm is uniquely structured as the multiple stems grow straight from the ground in a formation that resembles a bamboo plant.

In contrast to the smaller leaves of the Parlor palm, the Areca palm has large, arched fronds that range in color from green to yellow stems.

6) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Temperature

It’s important to remember that these palms are native to the rainforest and thrive in conditions similar to that.

Areca Palm

It requires sunlight. Areca palm grows well at a room temperature of 60-75°F (16-24°C) if kept indoors. Sudden temperature drops will kill the plant. You can evaluate the condition of the plant with its leaves. 

Parlor Palm

It requires a temperature range of 65-80°F (18-27°C). The parlor can grow below 50°F. Make sure this palm is not frost-hardy and can die. It doesn’t mind being in a humid environment.

7) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Sunlight

Both palms require sufficient natural light to thrive and grow successfully yet have a few different preferences. 

Areca Palm

It adores more natural light, even direct sunlight, as long as it does not scorch the plant.

Parlor Palm

However, these prefer filtered light to direct sunlight to keep their leaves green and healthy.

8) Areca Palm vs Parlor Palm: Flowering 

When grown indoors, neither of these palm plants usually blooms. However, if the conditions are favorable, they will lavish you with beautiful flowers.

Areca Palm

These have tiny yellow flowers, but they appear in the summer on two-foot-long panicles and quickly turn into yellow-orange fruit about half an inch long. The fruit darkens after some time and almost blackens out. It helps you to collect it, separate the seeds, and grow further.

Parlor Palm

The blossoms of the parlor palm are small yellow balls that appear on the stalks in late winter or early spring. When they’re ripe, they turn black, and you can harvest them for seeds to grow more plants.

Now that you know all the major differences between areca and parlor palm, let’s look at their similarities.

9) Trunk growth:

Areca palm:

The Areca Palm is a clustering palm, which means it grows in cluster formation and thrives in tropical to various temperate climate zones, it has a mature size of fifteen to forty feet outdoors and has a trunk size is two to four inches. All fully grown limbs are more or less identical in diameter with no dominant trunk when trunks are fully grown. While both kinds of palms rise from numerous trunks, the areca palm trunks cling together and extend upright. This kind of growth gives them a bamboo-like appearance, this is why they are also commonly known as bamboo palms. 

Parlor palm:

The parlor palm, on the other hand, produces numerous trunks throughout its compact potted area and grows arching out of its container. While it does raise upright, it will spill out of its place more than the areca palm.

10) Affordability:

Both plants are somewhat affordable, but parlor palm is quite pricey if you compare it with areca palm. Since the parlor palm is commonly grown indoors, it is more aimed as a miniature palm or a palm for a corner space in your home.

Areca palms are grown outdoors, which is probably why they are available at a cheaper price. 

The price difference between both plants is not too great of a difference, but as we are talking about differences I thought I should address it as well. No matter what, both plants are relatively affordable and will easily find a place in your home.

Similarities of Areca and Parlor Palm

You might be surprised, but these palm trees have similar growing and caring tips. The way they are grown and cared for is not very different. If you have an areca palm, you can easily grow a parlor too, and vice versa.

Let’s look at the major similarities.

1) Sunlight

The parlor and areca palm requires bright light, but you should not expose them to too harsh direct sun rays. They can even tolerate low-light conditions if the area is not entirely dark.

As you know, direct sunlight can severely burn these plants and damage their delicate leaves. It can also lead to leaves’ discoloration.

You should always keep them a few feet away from windows, where they can receive indirect sunlight.

Although the Areca plant is slightly more tolerant of full sun than the parlor plant, you should keep it out of direct sunlight.

2) Watering 

Both palm trees require less watering than any other plant. You don’t have to worry about the watering schedule often, and it will give you more time to do your chores. 

These trees only need watering once a week, and they will grow well. Make sure not to overwater your palm trees as it can be dangerous to their health.

3) Soil

These areca and parlor palms require fertile, loose, and well-draining growing mediums to grow healthily. You can also buy ideal soil from any local nursery or our store.

Ensure your soil mix has peat moss as it retains water and prevents overwatering. Whenever your palm trees are thirsty, they can drink from peat moss.

To improve drainage and aeration in the plant’s soil, you can also add sand and bark. It will make your soil heavy enough to support your plant. You can also add perlite to help with drainage and prevent water clogging.

4) Fertilizer

As you know, you need to feed your palm trees for their healthier development. The parlor palm requires a light liquid fertilizer when it comes to feeding. You can provide them fertilizer once or twice while it is growing. 

You can fertilize your areca palm with a liquid fertilizer from spring to fall. Both palm trees are dormant in the winter, so you don’t have to fertilize them during this time.

5) Repotting

The happy news is that you won’t have to repot parlor palm or areca palm frequently because they don’t grow quickly. 

However, if they become pot-bound and you notice roots coming out of their pot, you should change their soil and growing medium. Being root bound for a long time can restrict growth and eventually kill the plant.

Fortunately, this is a very rare incident. You can easily repot your palm trees once every 2-3 years. 

Steps to repot parlor palm or areca palm:

Step 1: Fill half of a larger pot (1-2times larger) with the potting mix.

Step 2: Remove the soil around the roots of your palm tree from its container. 

Step 3: Now transfer the plant to a new pot.

Step 4: Add more soil to keep parlor palm or areca palm in place, and gently pat it to firm the layer.

Step 5: Water the new soil and relocate your plant to a bright indirect location. 

Note: You should repot your palm trees in the spring to give them enough time to adjust to the new pot and growing medium before winter arrives.

6) Pests 

Even though these palm trees are not as frequently infested as other plants, pests can attack them.

Aphids, scales, mealybugs, and spider mites are some of the common insects that chew on these plants’ gorgeously green leaves.

You should evaluate the condition of your palm trees every now and then. If you detect the infestation early on, you can save time and prevent holes in your palm leaves! 

You should keep an eye on your palms and, as soon as you notice a single bug. If you catch one, you should immediately separate the infested plant from the others and start treating it. 

If the infestation is minor, you can remove the insects by hand or by dipping a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol.

However, for larger infestations, you can use insecticides.

7) Diseases

One of the most common diseases that harm the parlor palm or areca palm tree is root decay. Overwatering causes root rot, and you may tend to overwater plants whenever you hear the word tropical. 

Even though they like moisture, you don’t have to flood them over again. The best way to deal with a plant’s root rot is to avoid it first. Although the damage has already been done, there are a few options left for you.

The first step is to inspect the palm tree’s roots. If you notice anything unusual like stunted growth, yellowing leaves, a droopy and wilted appearance, and a funky odor treat them immediately.

After you’ve ruled out all other possibilities, such as low-light or full-sun conditions, underwatering, and low humidity, you should examine the roots. 

Before disturbing your parlor palm or areca palm tree, touch the soil. It is most likely infected if your palm tree is dripping with water.

Examine the tree’s roots to see if they are brown or black and mushy. If you detect any, your plant has root rot. Unfortunately, there is little work you can do now to save your palm tree. 

Remove the infected roots, repot your plant in a new container with fresh soil, and decrease the watering level.

8) Toxicity:

Palms can be iffy for pets, but the areca palm and parlor palm are considered non-toxic to cats, dogs, or humans. Lofty and sleek, this pet-safe plant thrives in indirect sunlight and endures shady spots too. They generally reach about four to ten feet, but with supervision and good-quality maintenance, they can reach even more in height.

9) Air purifying:

Two main contaminants that areca palm and parlor palm eliminate from the indoor and outdoor air are xylene and toluene. Xylene and toluene are produced from the products that people use and interact with on a daily basis. For instance, xylene is normally from petroleum and gasoline. Toluene on the other hand contains in nail polish, paint thinners, and glue. Because xylene and toluene can be found in common household products, many people are often exposed to them without their awareness.

Not only that, almost all plants add humidity to the air through evaporation, which is a method that takes water from the roots and discharges it through pores in the leaves and both areca and parlor palm release an enormous portion of water vapor into the air than many other plants do.

Which Is Better: Parlor Palm or Areca Palm?

Both palm trees have their charm and are unique in their way. They easily add a great tropical vibe to any space, becoming the talk of the room.

The Areca Palm, unlike the Parlour Palm, can survive in all tropical, semi-tropical, and subtropical climates. However, it has its problems.

The Areca Palm is slightly more challenging to grow than the parlor palm and is only found in a few parts of India. Because it is not a hardy palm, it may die if planted indoors under improper conditions. The Areca Palm is also extremely messy, and you may have to clean it regularly with a large amount of water and soap.

On the other hand, the Parlor Palm is a much easier palm to grow and has fewer pest or disease problems. You can grow them indoors and outdoors, making them easy to deal with. It grows much faster than the areca palm.

Now, it’s your take, and if you have enough time, you can go for areca palm. Else, you should go for parlor palm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1: Can the Areca Palm Grow in a dark area?

Ans: All palm varieties grow well with healthy leaves in a reasonable amount of sunlight. Areca palm, too, requires adequate light for photosynthesis.

It can survive in low-light situations. However, as with any other plant, your Areca palm plant will not grow normally under such adverse conditions.

As a result, it’s best to expose it to sunlight for at least a couple of hours in the morning.

Ques 2: Does Parlor Palm Purify the Air?

Ans: Yes, the Parlor Palm is known for its air-purifying properties. You can reap its benefits while admiring the green vibe in your house.

The same goes for the areca palm as well! It also does excellent work in removing pollutants from your environment.


There are many differences between parlor palms and areca palms, and gardeners often get confused between the two. However, you can always tell their tale with their shape and structure.

The primary distinction between parlor palms and areca palms is the shape of their leaves. The parlor palm leaves are delicate and can grow up to 8 inches long. The leaves of an areca palm are larger, reaching several feet. The parlor palm grows upright, whereas the areca palm grows slightly bent.

Despite the several differences, the good news is both parlor palm vs areca palm have the same needs.

You can also use these palm trees to decorate your indoor or outdoor areas and enjoy the jungle vibe in your own space.

So, tell me which palm tree caught your heart and attention, parlor palm vs areca palm?

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Chat