Majesty Palm vs. Areca Palm (Differences and Similarities)

Adding palms in your garden elevates your outdoor space and adds a tropical feel. That much you may be sure about.

Nevertheless, when it comes to picking a palm, you may be unsure about which ones would be best in terms of both maintenance and physical appeal.

If you’re here, you probably have to choose between two different palms: majesty and areca palms.

In terms of similarities, both palms grow in almost the same conditions. On the other hand, majesty palms tend to grow taller than areca palms.

Stick around to learn more about the differences and similarities between majesty and areca palms.

About Majesty Palms

Before digging into the differences and similarities between majesty and areca palms, it’s worth getting an overview of each plant before differentiating them.

Native to Madagascar, majesty palms are naturally tropical plants near riverbeds. This means they enjoy lots of water, especially since the weather is highly humid.

Majesty palm (Ravenea rivularis)
Photo by Derek Ramsey, CC BY-SA 3.0

Also, majesty palms can grow to an impressively tall 100 feet. Regarding the palm’s benefits, it helps alleviate your home’s toxins.

For instance, it can purify the air from carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. Subsequently, you can plant this relatively large plant both indoors and outdoors.

About Areca Palms

Areca palms have various names, such as yellow, butterfly, bamboo, and golden cane palm. Like majesty palms, areca palms also have a similar tropical background in the islands of Madagascar.

Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
Photo by David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0

Appearance-wise, areca palms are supported by glossy green stems and trunks. Plus, their leaves are light and have a feather-like quality to them.

You can expect some yellow blooms to grow beneath the plant’s leaves in late spring or early summer.

Comparison Table

Areca PalmMajesty Palm
Hardiness Zone9 to 119 to 11
Mature Height10 to 35 feet10 to 100 feet
Light RequirementsFull and partial sunlightPartial sunlight
Watering FrequencyOnce every one or two weeksOnce every five to seven days
Mature Width8 to 15 feet6 to 20 feet
Growth HabitClump-formingUpright and drooping
Soil TypeWell-drainingWell-draining
GrowthNeeds 10 years to fully matureNeeds one year to grow about a foot
PestsCaterpillars, mites, root mealybugs, scales, and thripsmealybugs, spider mites, scales, thrips, whiteflies, vine weevils, and root mealybugs
DiseasesLeaf spot, pink rot, bud rot, and other fungal diseasesLeaf spot and other fungal diseases

What are the Differences Between Areca Palms and Majesty Palms?

If you’re trying to tell the difference between an areca and a majesty palm, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert.

A few differences in appearance and size are bound to give it away.

Appearance

Each plant has palm-like characteristics, such as thin fronds connected to a leaf base and a considerably thick trunk.

On the other hand, certain physical attributes differ. For instance, an areca palm’s leaves are thicker in volume but thinner compared to a majesty’s fronds.

They’re also more malleable and tend to droop more easily than a majesty palm’s leaves. Contrastingly, the latter’s leaves are much sharper and thicker.

This allows them to hold a more rigid and stocky appearance. Another highly noticeable physical difference between the two palms is their stem growth.

Areca palms aren’t limited to one big woody stem like the mighty majesty palm. Instead, the palm grows in clusters of stems, giving a fuller appearance.

This is why areca palms are sometimes referred to as bamboo palms.

Size

Areca palms are smaller in size when sitting beside a majesty palm. The latter type of palm can grow to around 100 feet tall, whereas areca palms grow about 10 feet when left indoors.

Meanwhile, outdoor areca plants can reach approximately 30 to 35 feet high. That being said, these numbers are barely close to the majesty palms’.

Sun Requirements

The caring requirements of both areca and majesty palms may be similar in some aspects. However, in terms of sun requirements, they differ.

Areca palms can withstand a full to partial sun exposure routine. On the other hand, a majesty palm will only thrive in partial light.

Watering Needs

Palm trees are typically thirsty plants. The truth holds the same more for majesty palms than for areca palms.

The prior enjoys drinking large amounts of water. Nonetheless, areca palms are more sensitive to becoming overwatered.

The palm is also selective about the water it drinks since it prefers distilled water rather than fluoridated water from the tap.

Feeding Habits

Generally speaking, palm trees require fertilizer to enjoy a healthy and nutrient-balanced life. Aside from that, areca palm plants tend to feed more heavily than majesty palms.

Accordingly, the houseplant needs to be fertilized during its growing season, which comes in spring and summer.

The palm plant needs to be fed every month in these two seasons since it tends to absorb more nutrients.

Additionally, you can use a liquid fertilizer to feed this hungry palm. Opposingly, majesty palms mainly require only a couple of fertilizing sessions per growing season.

To feed majesty palms, you mainly want to opt for a cacti fertilizer mix and add Epsom salt every month to enhance the houseplant’s magnesium intake.

What are the Similarities Between Areca Palms and Majesty Palms?

Now that you can differentiate an areca palm from a majesty palm, it’s time to take a closer look at the similarities of both houseplants.

Growth Conditions

Since both plants originate from a tropical background, their USDA hardiness zones are the same, ranging between 9 and 11.

In addition to this, areca and majesty palm plants can adapt to outdoor and indoor growth, whether in a pot container or a garden.

The plants also have similar growing seasons, which mostly fall in spring and summer. Meanwhile, the winter seasons are usually when the palms face some difficulties.

For example, majesty palms may be unable to handle temperatures below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Areca palms may fare better against the winter months, but they usually stop growing.

Air Purifying Benefits

If you end up getting either an areca or majesty palm houseplant, you’ll end up investing in a natural air purifier.

Areca palms can neutralize pollutants in the air and even add some humidity to your home. Similarly, majesty palms can suck out any harmful toxins from the air.

Growth Patterns

If you’re looking for a fast grower, you may want to pursue a different direction. After all, aeca and majesty palms like to take their time to mature.

For reference, a majesty palm needs about a year to grow about a foot. Areca palms, on the other hand, take almost a decade to fully mature.

Majesty Palm vs. Areca Palm: Final Verdict

Overall, there are lots of factors worth considering before making your choice. If you prioritize appearances, you may prefer the cluster growth of an areca palm rather than the single-stemmed growth of majesty palms.

In addition to this, the size of the palms is also critical depending on where you decide to keep them. If you’re planning to keep the houseplant indoors, we highly recommend opting for a moderately sized areca palm.

In contrast, if you’re looking for a sturdy houseplant that stands out in your garden, the majesty palm is the way to go.

Caring for the plant is also a crucial aspect you’ll want to consider before taking your pick. In a nutshell, areca palms are easier to sustain since they don’t require as much maintenance as a majesty palm.

The latter is notoriously temperamental, where finding the sweet spot in watering, feeding, and placement may sometimes be challenging.

To Conclude

Whether you choose an areca or a majesty palm, both will make exceptional additions to your garden or home.

With the proper care routine, your palm plant has the potential to healthily grow and decorate your area with a tropical aesthetic.

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