Correction: the Areca palm didn't have extensive enough of a root system to keep it anchored. It was ok for a few days and even seemed to be perking up until the weather changed and we had several windy days in a row. It kept getting blown over/out by the wind and had to be removed after several failed attempts to re-anchor it in multiple different ways.
The Ponytail Palm also seemed to perk up temporarily when just the roots were in the water and did fine for the last couple weeks it's been there. That lasted until yesterday when my son decided to "help" me by topping off the water garden and overfilled it. Once the ...rhizome? ...bulb? ...stem? ...became submerged because of this, it developed rot fairly quickly. I didn't find it until a number of hours afterwards and even tried allowing it to dry out but after more than 12 hours in the sun, if anything it was even more soft and mushy than the moment I pulled it from the water (that part of the plant should have been fairly firm to the touch similar to an apple or pear)
However, the pothos haven't gotten so much as a single droopy leaf so maybe I should just keep things easy and just stick with those for now.