Houseplant of the Week: Bamboo or Lady Palm

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For tall, cool elegance you can’t go wrong with Rhapis excelsa, better known as the Bamboo Palm or Lady Palm.

Dark green with fan-like groups of leaves set on tall stalks, the plant is from Asia, most likely China or Taiwan. It’s low lighting and humidity needs makes it a popular choice for offices.

You should place this palm near an east-facing window out of direct sunlight in a room. Water the palm when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 inch during the spring and summer and 2 inches during the fall and winter.

You can repot your palm every couple of years, increasing the size of the pot each time if you want it to grow. After you’ve reached the desired size, continue to repot every couple of years to refresh the soil (they like a soil mix similar to what you’d use for African Violets).

You’ll only want to feed your plant during the summer and take care not to over-fertilize.

Photo courtesy of Eric in SF through Creative Commons 4.0