Areca Palm Vs Majesty Palm – Which is The Better Choice?

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Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by Griselda M.

I love palm trees – they give any garden or home a tropical feeling. I love Areca or bamboo palms with their whispy leaves and yellow stems that sprout up out of the central cluster. The majesty palm is a single-stemmed palm with a similar beautiful leaf structure.

When evaluating the “areca palm vs majesty palm?” question we need to take into consideration the advantages and disadvantages of each palm. Read more to find out what these are.

The two palms are similar in size and appearance but come with some different features.  There are many other palm trees in the world.  The Areca and Majesty palms are some of the more popular indoor (and outdoor where possible) palms in the world. Both the Areca and Majesty palms are easy to grow, and you can even plant a tree in your garden if you are in the right climatic zone.

Palm trees can be an amazing addition to your garden or home. They’re often used as decorative pieces, especially in tropical countries. Not only are palm trees a great source of shade, but they can also provide some unique benefits for homeowners.

Outdoor palm trees also help feed birds and bats and other fruit-eating animals in your area. If you’ve been searching for the right palm tree, you may have wondered what the differences are between an Areca or a Majesty palm. 

What is The Areca Palm?

This can get a bit confusing. From what I can tell, there are two completely different palm trees called Areca palms. The first, Areca catechu, also known as the betel nut palm is common in the tropical Pacific, Asia, and parts of Africa.

In India I accidentally got myself addicted to these nuts for a while when I was there – they have these little sachets of betel nuts and you chew them. After a while, you just want to chew them all the time – which is a problem as they are carcinogenic. This Areca palm is however not most likely the one you were thinking about when we talked about an Areca palm. The Areca catechu palm gets about 60 feet tall.

The Areca, or Bamboo palm, Dypsis lutescens, is probably what you were searching for! This is a much smaller palm tree that has beautiful whispy butterfly-like leaves and lovely yellow “canes”. It grows and forms clumps – you can dig these up and split the clumps up to multiply your palms.

This is a much smaller palm than the other Areca palm growing about 20 feet tall. In exceptional conditions, they can reach about twice that height in tropical outdoor environments. The Areca or bamboo palm is an excellent house potted plant.

What is The Majesty Palm?

difference between areca palm and majesty palm

The Majesty palm plant (Ravenea rivularis) is a palm tree native to Madagascar. The Majesty palm, if grown indoors, is a slow-growing beautiful house plant. Unlike the Areca/bamboo palm, it produces a single stem that grows up into quite a large palm tree with time.

The plant will tend to grow to 10 or more feet tall indoors. In its natural environment, or if you have a place where it can grow outdoors, these palms can get a much greater height – close to 100 feet tall – but that is not something you need to worry about in your lifetime!

The Areca Palm Vs Majesty Palm: Which is The Better Choice?

In my opinion, both are excellent choices! The Areca/Bamboo palm is a cute clumpy palm that produces lots of shoots from the base and has some stems that get quite long. It lends a lovely tropical feeling to a corner, and, if grown in a big planter can produce a stunning clump of palms with their characteristic yellow stems and beautiful leaves.

My business partner in Mauritius has them at his gate going into his house. They make everything look beautiful because the whispy cheerful leaves and not entirely straight stems soften the surroundings. This is a lovely plant to accent other smaller plants growing below.

The Majesty palm is a single stem palm that will just grow upwards slowly over time. For me, I have had limited success with these and actually killed the only one I had by overwatering it! It appears that planting these in very well-drained soil is a good idea.

Mine was in a clay loam – and with time as the tree grew the organic matter in the loam appears to have depleted, leaving the tree in clay. With a bit of excess rain, and my irrigation system not turning off, I appear to have caused it to die. This was rather sad as it was a 15-year-old palm.

When choosing between the Areca Palm Vs Majesty Palm, I think it is really just down to personal preference. I also suggest that if you are not a very attentive gardener, go with the Areca palm. The Majesty palm requires that you mist the leaves daily, or twice daily when humidity is low. It is quite a fiddly palm, compared to the Areca palm which requires more occasional misting of the leaves if your humidity drops.

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Should You Choose To Grow Areca Palm vs Majesty Palm?

The things to consider when making this choice:

  • Do you want a clump of palms? Choose the Areca palm.
  • Do you want a single palm that does not shoot from the base? Choose the Majesty’s palm.
  • Do you live in a humid environment, or have a lot of time to spray moisture on your palm? Choose the Majesty’s palm.

Conclusion On Areca Palm vs Majesty Palm

I think that both palms are an excellent choice. I personally prefer the Areca/bamboo palm as these are a better investment. You buy one palm, and within a few years, you have many! They also keep regenerating from the base, so you end up with a nice dense clump.

For people who like having a single stem with a palm on it, then the Majesty’s palm will make sense for you. Remember to plant both in decent well-drained soil. Both should not be overwatered, and your Majesty’s palm will benefit from a teaspoon of Epsom salts every few weeks. For some reason, they require a lot of magnesium, and Epsom salts are a good source of this.

We hope you now can choose a side in the battle of Areca Palm vs Majesty Palm. If you got your winner, go and get that palm for your garden.

For other topics about plants, check out our other articles, and happy planting!

majesty palm vs areca palm


Areca palm or majesty palm?

The Areca palm has a growth style that produces a clump, with constant new palms appearing at the base and the older shoots getting quite tall.

Majesty palms grow as a single stem.

Is Majesty palm the same as areca palm?

No. They are different palm types. One grows in a clump producing shoots (Areca) and the other grows as a single stem (Majesty palm).

Difference between areca palm and majesty palm?

The areca palm has a clump growth style producing multiple shoots that grow from the base. The Majesty palm produces a single stem and a single palm head.

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