The Broadleaf Lady Palm is one of the easiest Palm plants to grow indoors. Rhapis excelsa is considered one of NASA’s houseplants that remove toxins from indoor air. The palms are divided into two main varieties–those with green foliage and those with variegated leaves.
Broadleaf Lady Palm Appearance
The Lady Palm is a palm plant with multiple stems, each producing its own fronds. A mature plant grows to a height of around 14 feet. New stem shoots emerge encased in a tubular leaf that turns woody as it matures. The fronds continue to grow and produce more fronds over time. The Broadleaf Lady Palm will bloom with small, white flowers situated on the center of the fronds. These flowers are often pruned to redirect energy to the beautiful foliage.
Lady Palm Sunlight Requirements
Place Rhapis excelsa in bright, indirect sunlight for optimal foliage health and growth. Some morning, direct sunlight is acceptable but avoid direct sunlight from afternoon sun. All day sun exposure will damage the plant.
Watering Your Broadleaf Lady Palm
Keep the plant’s soil consistently moist but never waterlogged or root rot will occur. Water when the top 1 inch of soil feels dry, then water thoroughly until the moisture runs through the pot’s drainage holes. Dispose of any water collected in the pot’s saucer.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
If available, use an African Violet soil mix for optimal growth and root health. If this mix is not attainable, use a high-quality potting soil amended with perlite for added drainage. The palm is a light feeder, requiring only one or two feedings during the spring and summer growing period. Use a balanced 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer for best results. Withhold feedings in the fall and winter.
Temperature and Humidity Levels
The Lady Palm adjusts to a wide range of household temperatures. Avoid temperatures below 20 Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius) and prolonged temperatures above 100 Fahrenheit (37 Celsius) to keep the plant healthy. Average household humidity levels are fine. Mist the plant once a week during the summer to supplement humidity in drier conditions.
Pruning Your Rhapis Excelsa
Pruning is only required to remove dead fronds as needed. Removal of these damaged or dead fronds helps avoid disease issues and redirects energy to new growth.
Propagating The Broadleaf Lady Palm
Division of the palm’s rhizomes is the best method of propagation. Remove the Lady Palm from its pot by rocking the plant back and forth while gently pulling until it releases. Inspect the rhizomes and look for natural separations. Pull apart the roots, ensuring not to damage them. Repot each new plant in its own pot filled with the recommended soil. Water well to set the plant and settle the roots.
Common Pests and Diseases
Resistant to most houseplant pests, the Broadleaf Palm is occasionally targeted by scale and spider mites. Scale shows as round or oval bumps clinging to the underside of the plant’s foliage. Spider mites look like small spiders and produce fine webs that cling to the plant. Rid the plant of scale by using an insecticide treatment specifically for indoor use. Spider mites can be sprayed off with a showerhead or garden hose, or manually removed by using a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Root rot is caused by overwatering the plant and allowing the roots to sit in soggy soil for prolonged periods. Reduce waterings and allow the soil to dry out. For advanced cases, remove the plant from its pot and trim any dark and mushy roots. Repot the palm in fresh soil.
The Broadleaf Lady Palm is an easy-care houseplant perfect for beginners and advanced growers alike. The plant helps purify your indoor air for a healthier home or office space. Choose to add this evergreen, tropical-looking plant to your collection.
Broadleaf Lady Palm FAQ
These plants do best in USDA zones 9 to 11.
No, the Lady Palm is not toxic to your pets.
Regular misting of your fern will help increase the humidity around the plant but is not a substitution for a proper watering schedule.
The palm helps filter formaldehyde, ammonia, xylene, and carbon dioxide.
This plant is native to China.