Common Name: Lady Palms
Scientific Name: Rhapis species
Lighting: Bright Light
Watering: Moderate to Low
Lady palms are very adaptive thus their popularity as a houseplant. Lady palms foliage is characterized by thick green leaves with blunt tips radiating from the center of a stem. Picture your hand with your fingers spread out. The stems are covered with a brown fiber. Lady palms as a houseplant are slow growers. Outdoor varieties grow at a much faster rate.
There are many varieties of Lady Palms. Here are some of the most popular:
Thailand Lady Palm - Rhapis subtilis
Large Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
Miniature Lady Palm - Rhapis excelsa
Laos Lady Palm - Rhapis laosensis
Slender Lady Palm - Rhapis humilis
Lady palms prefer bright, indirect light so keep within 3 to 5 feet of a window. Variegated varieties require lower light levels. This houseplant is not very picky about its temperature or humidity. So normal indoor temperatures should suit these plants.
Lady palms prefer to dry out in-between watering however the Thailand Lady Palm (Rhapis subtilis) prefers to be moist at all times. This houseplant like many others is extremely touchy when it comes to water. Use un-treated water containing no fluorides or chlorine. If the tips of the leaves brown, the water may not be pure enough or you may be over fertilizing the plant. You can trim the brown tips off, just keep the leaves same shape when doing so.
If the entire leaf is browning it could be due to one of many causes. One is that the plant is not receiving enough water. Another common mistake is that the plant has been placed to close to a draft or heat source.
Scale insects are main pest for this houseplant however can be hard to identify and get rid of. The best method is using an insecticide which is absorbed through the roots. Visit your local garden center to find the right product.