Lady Palm Tree: Broad Fan-Shaped Leaves
Lady palm trees (Rhapis excelsa) are native to China, and are known for
their fan shaped leaves with finger-like segments. These palm
trees prefer shady locations.
A lady palm tree adds tropical beauty
indoors as an exotic house plant, as well as outdoors in the garden or
Rhapis excelsa (commonly known as Lady Palm) belongs to the Palmae
family, and can be planted year round in USDA hardiness zones 8B
If you live in a cool climate, this palm tree can be displayed outdoors
in a container during the warm months, and then brought indoors during
Lady palms reach a height of six to twelve feet tall, with a spread of
three to twelve feet wide. These palm trees form thick clumps
of bamboo-like stalks. The stalks are brown in color with
hair-like fibers running up and down the stalk.
The bamboo looking stalks are topped with fan-shaped leaves that are
dark green in color. The thick, evergreen leaflets are 8 to
12 inches in length, with wide segments and blunt tips.
These shrub-like palms are versatile, and can be grown indoors as house
plants, as well as planted outdoors as a focal point or border in the
garden or landscape.
Palm Care - Indoors
Lady palm trees are the perfect indoor palm to accent an entryway, or
display in an elegant room of the house that receives little
sunlight. They are easy to grow indoors, and thrive with
- Choose a location that receives bright,
Too much sunlight
will cause the leaves to turn yellow-green in color.
The ideal daytime temperature ranges from 65°-75° F. Evening
temperature should not fall below 55° F. Keep palm away from
areas near hot or cold drafts.
Lady palm trees require moderate to high humidity. To provide
adequate humidity, spray palms with water several times a
week, or place plant container on a saucer filled with
pebbles and water (water should be just below the pebble
level). You might consider placing a room humidifier near the
Soil & Fertilizer
– You can use a regular potting soil with coarse sand or peat added
into the mix. This is a slow growing plant, requiring minimal
fertilizer. During growing period, fertilize every one to
three months with a liquid fertilizer diluted to ½ strength and mixed
into water. Do not fertilize during slow growing periods
(Fall & Winter months).
Lady palms require moderate watering. Keep soil evenly moist
during 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.
Clean leaves with a damp cloth every two to three weeks to keep them
Palm Care - Outdoors
Lady palms thrive in tropical climates, and can be planted year round
in hardiness zones 8B-11. They can be planted outdoors in a
container or above-ground planter, as well as in the garden or
Tips for Planting, Care,
- Be sure you choose a location with partial to full shade.
- If planted in a container, this palm can be brought indoors
for overwintering (necessary if you live in a cold climate).
- Plant in a location with fertile, well-draining soil.
- Fertilize once a year during the growing period with a
- Keep soil evenly moist during the growing period.
During winter, water when top two inches of soil is dry.
- This plant will tolerate dry conditions, however, lady
palms prefer moderate to high humidity.
- Propagated by seed or by dividing the clumps.