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How to Grow Rhapis

Rhapis excelsa
Lady palm, Rhapis excelsa

Rhapis–commonly called lady palm–is a reedlike palm whose stems appear in clusters. Rhapis has fronds that are fan-shaped and divided lengthwise into narrow green leaves that can be blunt-edged or pointed. The shiny bright green fronds are divided into five to eight leaves up to 9 inches long and 2 inches wide. Indoors.

Rhapis grows best in bright filtered light indoors. Outdoors in frost-free tropical regions, it should be grown in dappled shade. Rhapis is a small palm; it grows 5 to 15 feet (1.5-5m) tall and wide.

Rhapis is a genus of 12 species of small, cluster-stemmed palms. Rhapis is native to shady tropical and subtropical forests from South China to Southeast Asia.

Get to Know Rhapis

  • Plant type: Palm
  • Growing zones and range: Zones 14-1
  • Hardiness: Tender
  • Height and width: 5 to 15 feet (1.5-5m) tall and wide.
  • Foliage: Bamboo-like stems; long stalked, deeply lobed, lustrous, dark green leaves 8 to 12 inches
  • Flowers: Bowl-shaped, 3-petal flowers in short panicles between leaves
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Uses: Shady border plant in tropical regions, houseplant
  • Common name: Lady palm, miniature fan palm
  • Botanical name: Rhapis
  • Family name: Arecaceae
  • Origin: Tropical and subtropical forests from South China to Southeast Asia
Lady palm, Rhapis excelsa
Lady palm, Rhapis excelsa

Where to Plant Rhapis

  • Light outdoors: Grow Rahpis outdoors in dappled shade.
  • Light indoors: Grow Rhapis indoors in bright filtered light.
  • Soil outdoors: Plant Rhapis outdoors in moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Soil indoors: Pot Rhapis in an all-purpose potting mix or a peat-based soilless mix.

When to Plant Rhapis

  • Set container-grown Rhapis outdoors in tropical and subtropical regions any time of the year.

Planting and Spacing Rhapis

  • Space Rhapis 5 to 15 feet (1.5-5m) apart.

How to Water and Feed Rhapis

  • Water Rhapis thoroughly; allow trhe soil to dry moderately between waterings.
  • Fertilize Rhapis once a month during spring and summer with an all-purpose fertilizer.

Rhapis Care

  • Keep Rhapis out of drying winds.

Rhapis Pests and Diseases

  • Rhapis is susceptible to attack by mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.

Rhapis Propagation

  • Rhapis can be propagated by division or from offsets. Repot offsets in a peat-based soilless mix.

Rhapis Varieties to Grow

  • Rhapis excelsa, lady palm, miniature fan palm. Small, clump-forming palm with slender erect bamboo-like stems; long stalked, deeply lobed, lustrous, dark green leaves 8 to 12 inches long; grows 5 to 15 feet (1.5-5m) tall and wide.

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