Rhapis Palm

A Lady Palm or Rhapis Palm is an elegant durable plant that can adapt to almost all conditions. The best variety to use as a houseplant is the Rhapis Excelsa. This slow growing palm has large, shiny, dark green fronds with blunt tips. The fronds of a Lady Palm grow out of multiple sturdy stems that are covered in a hairy brown fiber. When potted in a 6” or 8” container, this compact upright palm makes a great table plant. In a 10” or larger pot, a Lady Palm can grow up to 14 ft. tall. A Rhapis Palm is quite pricey but well worth it when you consider that it is a slow grower, has a long life span, demands little in the way of care, is a beautiful addition to any decor, and it cleans the air of harmful chemicals.

Plant Care


A Rhapis Palm grows best in bright indirect light but can adapt to lower light.


Allow the top 50% of the soil of a Rhapis Palm to dry out before watering. A Rhapis, like many palms, is sensitive to chlorine, fluoride, and boron in the water. If these chemicals are present allow the water to sit for 24-48 hours before using it or use distilled water. Consistent over-watering causes root rot.


Lady Palms are slow-growing plants that need very little fertilizer. Feed every other month when the plant is actively growing with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength. If the fronds start to look a little yellow add an extra feeding to your schedule.


The Rhapis Palm can adapt to temperatures between 50°and 80° F. (10°-26.7°C) so it is well-suited to any home or office.


Lady Palms adjust to both dry and humid environments.


If your Lady Palm gets spider mites or scale, the insects tend to hide under stem coverings and are difficult to reach with sprays. A systemic insecticide works better.


Plant a Rhapis Palm in a well-drained dense soil and add additional humus if needed. African Violet soil works well. If the soil appears heavy and isn’t draining quickly, add sand.

Pot Size

A Lady Palm likes to be root-bound in a small pot. When you do repot be sure to cover all of the roots and bases of the canes. This encourages new shoots and suckers that make the palm look full.


Propagate by plant division. Divide the canes of the plant into several clumps. Be sure to include their underground rhizomes since this is where the new shoots come from.

Clean Air Plant

A Lady Palm removes formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, benzene, and ammonia from the air.

Poisonous Plant Info

Lady Palms are non-toxic plants.


I Wanted to Buy a Lady Palm (Rhapis) but the Size I Wanted Was Really Expensive. If I Buy a Small One How Fast Will It Grow?

A Lady Palm grows very slowly! You should buy one almost exactly the size you eventually want it to be.

The Tips of My Lady Palm Are Turning Brown. What Am I Doing Wrong?

The main reason a Lady palm gets brown tips is over-watering. Cut back on your water and use a serrated or pinking shear to trim the brown tips. Another cause of brown leaf tips may be too much fertilizer in the soil. These palms need very little plant food and when used, it should be diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength. A Lady Palm is a slow grower so never cut the entire frond off unless absolutely necessary or you won’t have very many leaves left. Using a serrated scissors keeps the original look of the blunt leaf tip.

All of the Fronds on One Side of My Lady Palm Are Turning Yellow. I Am Feeding It So It’s Not That.

It sounds like one side of your Lady Palm may be getting too much light and that’s what’s causing the yellow leaves. Try moving it further from the light and see if the color improves.

The Fronds on My Lady Palm Are Getting Gray and Brittle. Can You Tell Me What’s Going on ?

The fronds of a Lady Palm turn gray and brittle when it is seriously over-watered.

The Tips of My Lady Palm Are Turning Almost Black. Is That Over-water?

Black tips or tip burn on a Lady Palm, usually means you are over-fertilizing or your water has too many chemicals in it, such as fluoride. Stop fertilizing your palm for several months and drench the soil two or three times with distilled water to wash out any accumulated salts tor chemicals.