Rhapis Palms

Rhapis Palm (Raphis excelsa or Lady Palm) Trees are a valuable palm for both indoor and outdoor use.

The most common forms are Rhapis excelsa and Rhapis humilis or ‘Slender Lady Palm’ both of these are used widely as indoor plants.

Rhapis excelsa Variagated Form
Rhapis excelsa Variagated Form

Raphis excelsa, or Lady Palm, is the most widely grown species, firstly because it is attractive, and secondly because it is one of the easier species to propagate.

This is a plant that comes in Wide Leaf, Dwarf green and variegated forms such as Rhapis excelsa ‘koban’ and Rhapis excelsa ‘eizannashiki’.

Rhapis Palm care.

This is naturally an under story palm, it grows in tropical to subtropical climates of Asia and South East Asia.

As an under story plant that grows well in lower light levels, so itis a palm tree that also makes an excellent indoor plant.

To make things even better, these versatile palms also cope with reasonably dry conditions. With attractive foliage they do have palmate foliage, wide and divided. The flowers are rather insignificant, however they are after all grown for the foliage.

Growth habit

These are a fairly shallow rooted, suckering plant, in the natural environment they will form a clump, however the spreading nature is slow and they are generally not regarded as invasive.

Light and Growing Indoors

Although these are really a sub tropical plant they cope well with cooler conditions, they do like moisture, and although they like strong filtered light, they also cope well with low light situations.


Being a hardy and versatile palm for both indoor and outdoor use. A situation in good filtered light is best, an all purpose slow release fertilizer and water well in a free draining potting mix.


Division is the preferred method of propagation and flowering and seed germination is a little sporadic, however in Japan hybridization has produced some very desirable variegated forms.