An easy-to-grow, tree-like species, Rhapis Excelsa -also known as Lady Palm- is an ideal indoor houseplant. Its fan-like patterned leaves will add charm to any spot and since it will tolerate lower light than many other palms, it’s a good choice for the home or office. Because of their dense foliage, Lady Palms are perfect in the landscape to create dense screens and hedges and for foundation plantings and in outdoor tubs and planters.
A native plant of Southeast China, the lady palm has thin, individual stalks originating from its base that end in fan-shaped leaves. Its stalks are similar to bamboo, with prominent dark rings at each node. The lower part of each stalk is covered in a coarse, loose, brown-colored fiber, while its leaves are extremely dark green and quite shiny. A relatively slow-growing plant, the lady palm can reach a height of six to twelve feet tall, with a spread of three to twelve feet wide.
You might think of palms as strictly tropical, warm-weather plants, but the lady palm is versatile and relatively cold-hardy. In regions with cold winters, it can be grown in a pot outdoors from late spring to early fall, then moved indoors for the winter. The best indoor spot is one that receives bright but indirect light, such as near a curtained south- or west-facing window.
A slow-growing plant, requiring minimal fertilizer, Lady palms do require moderate watering so keep soil evenly moist during the growing period (spring through fall). During winter the best time to water this plant is when soil becomes dry to a depth of two inches down from the surface.