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The Most Efficient Humidifier: Areca Palm

by Justin Thomas •

It’s important to keep indoor humidity at an optimum level (45 to 65 percent). Dry air in the winter  is one the main causes of sinus infections and sore throats. You can use a mechanical humidifier to add moisture to the air, but these devices require constant cleaning to prevent the growth of microorganisms.

An easier way to add humidity to a room, is to put a few areca palms in it. These palms release copious amounts of water into the air, and remove chemical toxins too. They are consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor toxins tested. According to B. C. Wolverton, author of How To Grow Fresh Air, a six foot (1.8 m) areca palm transpires approximately 1 quart (1 litre) of water every 24 hours. So if you put three in your bedroom, the palms will be release three quarts of water per day — not bad!

Comments 16

  1. I purchased an Areca Palm at my local grocery knowing any indoor house plant was good for the environment of my home. Now I have a problem with this plant.

    It seems to be diseased and the soil, which I’ve replaced twice now, seems to be molding. How do I save this Palm and how do I prone it, some of the leaves and a stalk is dying (turning brown)?

    Thank you in advance for any help at all.

  2. I know this is an old post but….

    @ Aiden: If you bothered to check the included pic, or do any bit of research before revealing your ignorance you see that these aren’t like a coconut palm. They’re rather thin so the circumference of a 6 foot areca(or more realistically cluster or arecas) is not really an issue. And what exactly does the total height of the palms have to do with anything, unless you live in a room so cluttered that you need to take into account the vertical space it takes up as well.

    Tomorrow I’m going to have dinner with 50 feet of people, I hope it’s not too crowded.

  3. “…a six foot areca palm transpires approximately 1 quart of water every 24 hours. So if you put three in your bedroom, the palms will be release three quarts of water per day…” lol Sure, why not? 18ft worth of palm trees (not counting circumference) sounds TOTALLY reasonable for most single rooms. While you’re at it, might as well replace the carpet with grass and the furniture with some nice fruit trees!

  4. @Liz – You could try to save rainwater. Not sure how the climate is in FL, but in South Dakota, a single heavy thunderstorm yielding a quarter inch of rain run-off my roof is enough to fill four 55 gallon drums.

  5. I have 2 of these palms in my front yard. I didn’t know they are a source of humidity. Interesting. We do trim out the undergrowth of the ones outside, otherwise they will hide the front of the house. I will try to buy one for inside the house. These palms are not doing well in Florida winters. It is very dry here and they are turning brown and loosing their frowns. Any ideas. Especially when we are under a water restriction.

  6. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, I HAVE A ARECA PALM PLANT AND I WAS WONDERING IF I COULD START A NEW PLANT FROM THE RUNNERS FROM THE BIG PLANT .WHEN I TAKE A RUNNER AND POT IT INTO A A NOTHER POT HOW DO I KEEP THE LEAVE FROM DIE ING ON ME ID LIKE TO START ANOTHER ACREA PALM PLANT HOW DO I GET MY PALM TO GET MORE LEAVES I HAVE MY PALM IN A SUNNY WINDOW ?

  7. I have a butterfly palm and a madagascar dragon tree. Both of these plants seem to be dying i have had them for two months now. The butterfly the stem looks mouldy and the leaves are dropping and i have had to cut so much off and the same for the dragon tree. What can i do to help them back to health?

  8. Kevin, I live near toronto, and I have one of these in my living room. Temperature isnt really a problem, but light is. You’ll want to have the plant near some source of artificial light, preferably CFL lights if you decide to get one.

    Dave

  9. Does anyone know if Areca palms are suited to northern climates (indoors)? I’m not sure if a palm tree would like the low amount of sun it would get during Boston’s winters, in addition to my 60-degree-F apartment.

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