There are a lot of palm trees available out there that can make your indoor or outdoor spaces instantly look tropical and scenic, and people in America love to decorate their bedrooms and living spaces with palm trees, which can be shrubs, plants, climbers, or stemless.
The magnificent palms can make any day in your indoor space feel like summer. Still, considering the various options, it can become overwhelming for plant owners to choose the most appropriate palm tree for their houses or offices.
If you are looking for an attractive palm plant to grow indoors, then areca palm and majesty palm are two excellent choices. These two palms are similar in their acidic and well-drained soil requirement and the amount of sun they need to grow and thrive. However, some differences between them might make one palm a better option for you than the other.
Areca palms are native to Madagascar. These tall and attractive palms look like bamboo due to their smooth golden trunks. Areca palms are an excellent choice for indoor or outdoor spaces as they have narrow but full fronds that provide shade and privacy.
However, many plant owners love to decorate their indoor spaces with areca palms if they can provide the plants with adequate sunlight, which stimulates better growth in the plant.
Areca palms are easy to maintain as they do not require frequent pruning, even during growing seasons. However, well-drained soil and a proper watering schedule are essential to maintain its foliage’s healthy and lush color.
Majesty palm is also a tropical plant native to Madagascar. The palm is mainly grown outdoors, and its long arching, lush green leaves grow from a woody stem, giving it a royal and majestic appearance when it reaches its full size.
Majesty palms are more complex houseplants as they require adequate humidity levels in the surrounding environment, which is hard to control indoors. The palm requires lots of bright but indirect light and proper moisture levels for optimum growth.
Carefully balanced care factors are essential to maintain the beautiful appearance of the majesty palm, which is why it is often considered a challenging houseplant.
Majesty Palm vs. Areca Palm
The most striking difference between the majesty palm and areca palm is that areca palm leaves grow in clusters, while majesty palms grow from a single stem and resemble the kentia palm.
Areca and majesty palms are both popular houseplants that people love to add to their indoor spaces. Even though they look similar, once you start noticing their differences, you’ll realize that both types of palms have many characteristics that separate them from each other.
Are Areca Palm and Majesty Palm the Same?
No, both palms have significant dissimilarities between them. Let us discuss these differences one by one:
Areca palms have narrow and relaxed fronds. These feather-shaped fronds grow in clusters and thick clumps on top of multiple stems, and each cluster has approximately eight leaves
The yellowish-green leaves on the long petioles of the Areca palm curve upwards, which create a butterfly look, which is why the Areca palm is also sometimes referred to as the Butterfly palm.
Areca palm leaves have a feathery grass-like appearance, which is why they have multiple stems with a soft base. Their fronds are voluminous but wispy and droopy, giving the plant more relaxed and accommodating vibes.
The feathery and delicate look of Areca palms makes them excellent decorations for indoor spaces.
Majesty palms, on the other hand, have sharp fronds, which contribute to the traditional overall palm-like appearance of the plant.
These majesty palm fronds are long and dark green, and each pinnately compound frond is composed of several slender and long leaves attached to the stem, which runs through the length of the fronds.
The majesty palm fronds have a curling or drooping effect due to their large size, which only contributes to their graceful appearance.
Majesty palms have a sturdy and woody stem, making this type of palm more suitable to grow outdoors than indoors.
Areca palms are really small in size as compared to majesty palms, and sometimes they are often mistaken for palm grass. The leaves grown in clusters atop many stems remind plant owners of bamboo when they look at their Areca palms.
Even though Areca palms can grow up to 10 feet in height, they are slow-growing palms, which is why they maintain their short size for most of their life.
If someone desires a voluminous Areca palm to decorate a shelf or corner of an indoor space, they can even trim the palm to keep its height between four to six feet.
Majesty palms are known for their graceful and attractive fronds and hard woody trunk. They can tower to 80 feet, but indoor majesty palms grow between six to ten feet in height, depending on their container size and the surrounding space.
Even then, majesty palms can grow up to 40 feet indoors, which is why they are only suitable for indoor spaces if you have sufficient space to let them flaunt their large and beautiful fronds.
Areca palms, when grown outdoors, must be planted in an area where good draining soil is available. Even when grown indoors, Areca palms are susceptible to moisture levels in their soil; excessive moisture and poor soil drainage can lead to root rot.
However, whenever the soil starts to dry out, plant owners must water their Areca palms to protect them from dehydration, and those plants grown outdoors must receive adequate amounts of water in hot and dry weather.
Majesty palms are not only sensitive to moisture contents of soil but temperature, humidity, and fertilizers as well.
Majesty palms are often considered temperamental plants, as slight negligence in providing optimum light and fertilizer can affect their growth and appearance.
If a majesty palm doesn’t get enough sunlight, it can stretch towards light sources and appear bleached, which requires a reduction in the amounts of fertilizers. The palm may also require additional magnesium and iron to prevent yellowing and loss of its leaves.
Areca palms are often favored by plant owners looking for small and affordable plants that can easily fit on limited space or shelf in their house, which is why they prefer to buy Areca palms rather than the more expensive majesty palm, as they are less heavy which reduces shipping cost of these plants.
However, areca palms are not as popular and well-loved as majesty palm, which is highly favored for their elegant and attractive fronds.
Majesty palms are also commonly available plants and relatively inexpensive, but their large size affects shipping charges higher than areca palms.
They are even more challenging to take care of than areca palms, which is why many plant owners prefer to buy smaller majesty palms, which are cheaper than mature plants and easy to take care of.
Since majesty palms grow very slowly, the smaller plant can maintain their size for a long time and are easily kept as indoor plants.
Areca palms are comparatively hardy and more easily adaptable than majesty palms. Given sufficient drainage conditions to the soil, areca palms can adapt to various temperatures and light conditions.
Areca palms can survive for quite some time if you forget to water them. However, if they are kept outdoors, they will rapidly lose moisture which is why you must water them sufficiently.
Areca palms usually do not require regular trimming and pruning when kept indoors. Still, if they are planted in the ground outdoors, they will need occasional trimming so that the palm can grow to its full potential.
Majesty palms are more suitable to grow outdoors and require high maintenance when kept indoors. They need full sun to thrive and maintain their frond’s appearance, and given these conditions, they can adapt to various changes in humidity and moisture requirements.
Those who want to decorate their indoor spaces with majesty palms can bring in a small palm but plant it in a container that will allow proper growth.
These palms are slow growing, but given the size they can reach after maturing, it is always better to plant the majesty palm outdoors once it requires rich soil and plenty of space to grow properly.
Areca palms are easy to propagate by root division, in which a plant having multiple stems is removed from its pot. Then the loosed roots are shaken and cut away from the parent plant.
The divided and separated roots are then placed in another pot with a suitable potting mix, giving rise to a new lush plant.
Propagation of majesty palm is relatively complex as it propagates from seeds, and getting access to majesty palm seeds is not very easy.
Stem cuttings are also not an option, so an alternative to propagating majesty palm is to divide the offset pups and allow them to grow into a new plant.
Gently roll out the majesty palm from its container and look for offshoots that you can separate from the root ball.
After that, untangle the pups from the root ball and place them in another pot that will allow for proper draining soil. Then place the young plant in bright sunlight and allow it to grow.
Both areca and majesty palms have comparable prices; however, due to differences in size and adaptability, the areca is a superior option for indoors, while the majesty palm is best for outdoors.
In addition, areca palms and majesty palms need growth conditions similar to what you would find in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 – 11, although there are some major distinctions you must consider.
To begin, majesty palm may attain a height of up to 40-80 ft. when grown outdoors. The areca variety, on the other hand, is of a more diminutive size (reaching only 30 feet outdoors).
Despite this, the two plants kept as houseplants would eventually reach around the same size. However, if you have limited space for growth, we recommend you go with the areca palm variety.
Areca palms feature fluffy and voluminous fronds, giving them an overall look similar to grass. In addition, they fade, giving your space a more laid-back and aesthetically casual feel.
On the flip side, majesty palms have feathery yet pointy fronds, and unlike areca palm, which has a bamboo-like base, the stems of majesty are made of wood, giving a traditional palm appearance.
Areca develops in clusters, while majesty palms have a single trunk that is sturdy and robust that gives a somewhat bamboo-like appearance. After all, you can grow them as screens if you want to.
|Areca Palm||Majesty Palm|
|Smaller Growth||Larger Growth|
|25 to 30 ft. Outdoors||40 to 80 ft. Outdoors|
|4 to 10 ft. Indoors||5 to 15 ft. Indoors|
|Grow in Clusters||Grow a Single Stem|
|Grass-Like Appearance||Traditional Palm Appearance|
|Fluffy, Voluminous Fronds||Feathery Fronds|
|Prefer Partial Sun||Prefer Full Sun|
|Bamboo-Like Base||Sturdy, Woody Base|
If two items have comparable prices, it might be tough to select between them; nonetheless, areca palms are chic and can easily be grown inside.
On the other hand, majesty palms thrive best in open air or rooms with high ceilings since these conditions allow them to develop to their full potential.
The areca and majesty palm need comparable growing conditions to thrive. For example, both thrive well in areas with a USDA hardiness zone between 9-11, which includes most of the United States.
Since areca and majesty palms are quite hardy in terms of structure, you won’t need to worry about either of these palm trees, even if you have children, pet animals, or birds roaming around the house.
To ensure the health of your palm tree, pot them in a potting mix that has good drainage and provides it with enough light. Full sun is preferable, although areca palms will adapt to partial shade.
Since areca and majesty are native to tropical regions, they demand warm temperatures and well-drained and nutrient-dense soil. Both will flourish if exposed to anywhere from half to full sun.
Before deciding on a palm tree for your space, you must consider what you can provide. In addition, you must analyze exactly what is about the areca and majesty palms that interest you.
For example, if you have a large yard space and want to add a shade tree that gives the impression of being in a tropical setting, you will be better off with a majesty palm instead of an areca palm.
On the other hand, areca may have a somewhat lower price since they are often more compact and, as a result, simpler to transport. However, the prices won’t change much while both are young.
Both palms have a sluggish growth rate and need many years to attain full maturity. Remove the older fronds to encourage new growth and speed up development to make room for new ones.
Both plants suffer from poor growth when the temperature is too low. If you reside in a place that does not get very warm and you still want to grow them outside, you should seriously consider putting them in containers so that it will be easier to bring them inside when winter comes around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, this brings us to the end of this comparison article. As a bonus, we’ve taken time to answer some burning questions about areca palm vs. majesty palm.
The ever-popular areca palm has a growth pattern that results in the formation of a cluster. There are always young palms emerging at the base of the clump, while the older branches may grow to be fairly tall. On the other hand, the majesty palm only produces one main stem during its lifetime.
Areca palms and majesty palms are not the same plants in any way, shape, or form. Taking a good look at the fronds is a quick and simple technique to detect the difference. Majesty palms feature pointed fronds, in contrast to the relaxed and drooping appearance of the fronds of areca palms.
The leaves of majesty palms are very long and spiky, giving them a unique, traditional palm appearance. They also have a vertical trunk that is rather tall and coated with greenish-yellow bark that peels off in strips. The growth of the fronds takes the form of a spiral around the stem.
Similar to the majesty palm, the leaves of the arena palm are quite long and spiky, and the trunk is rather tall with flaking bark. Additionally, the palm may be identified by its fruit, which resembles a spherical ball about the size of a small orange and is coated with big, quite sticky seeds.
Areca palms feature fluffy and voluminous fronds, giving them an overall look similar to grass, while majesty palms have feathery yet pointy fronds.
Areca develops in clusters, while majesty palms have a single trunk that is sturdy and robust that gives a somewhat bamboo-like appearance.
This is what some people in the US look for, as the bamboo look gives off a more natural look – something that goes well with contemporary designs.
Areca palms and Majesty palms are both unique and stunning in their ways. However, different decoration spaces require different plant types, so plant owners must determine which palm is better suited for the indoor or outdoor space they will place it in to ensure that the palm grows and thrives in a favorable environment.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.