Lady Palm Care
The Rhapis excelsa or Lady Palm can be used in both indoor and outdoor plantings. Learn how to care for this bushy, bamboo-like palm from the experts at Palmco.
Palmco has been proudly growing the highest quality selection of field grown Florida Fancy (FF) palms for 30 years and is one of the largest palm tree and clumping bamboo plantations in North America with over 600 acres in production.
We offer breathtaking tropical and subtropical plants to landscape architects, landscapers and wholesale buyers across the Southeastern United States. Ask our knowledgeable staff about varieties that will grow best in your location.
About the Lady Palm
When you need a palm tree for a partially shaded spot such as an understory area, the Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) is a great choice. In fact, it actually requires shade to maintain its dark green fronds.
The Lady Palm is popular in smaller landscaping projects, atriums and corporate office settings, as well as in single specimen plantings, container plantings, beds and borders, primarily because its maximum height is only roughly 6 to 12 feet.
This palm is also called the Bamboo Palm due to its bushy appearance and growth pattern. It has multiple stems or stalks that will emerge from the base of the palm. The clumping palm spreads by underground rhizomes, just like clumping bamboo. The new growths are called pups or suckers.
Rhapis excelsa is particularly hardy in USDA Zones 9a-11. No damage will occur at 25°F, however fatal temperatures are those that drop to 15-18°F.
Caring for the Lady Palm
Soil: Soil requirements need to be moist and well drained. Plant with organic peat moss or top soil added to the hole. The palm does poorly in high-salt conditions and is not a good choice for coastal locations.
Water: It is crucial that you water this palm regularly. Although it doesn’t like "wet feet," it can suffer damage from being too dry for long periods.
Light: The Lady Palm does best when grown in full shade. It can also tolerate partial shade, but full sun can burn the leaf tips and cause them to fade to yellowish-green and is not recommended on a consistent basis.
Fertilizer: The Lady Palm should be fertilized with a quality palm fertilizer at least once per season during the warmer months of spring, summer and fall, and more frequently if planted in a sunnier location.
Pruning: You can clean up the base of the Lady Palm by removing dead trunks at ground level if you like the tall, umbrella look, or leave it full to the ground.
Pests: Lady palms are not susceptible to any significant diseases, but they can attract insect pests, such as scale, aphids and caterpillars.
Call Palmco today at (239) 283-1329 for information about our field grown inventories of the Lady Palm, our container material availability, and more care tips.