Broadleaf lady palm is one of the interesting decorative houseplants. Although mostly preferred for indoor spaces, it sometimes decorates outdoor spaces like gardens, patios, terraces, and balconies. The scientific name of Broadleaf lady palm is Rhapis excelsa. On the other hand, it possesses a few well-known names such as bamboo palm, miniature fan palm, fern rhapis, ground rattan cane, and Japanese peace palm. Originally, this stunning houseplant is widely found in China, along with Japan, and Indochina peninsula countries. What’s more, it doesn’t grow by itself in nature. That’s why it is a cultivated plant. Broadleaf lady palm bears characteristics of sub-tropic plants just like Areca palm due to the member of the same plant family. Importantly, it cleans airborne toxins such as scented commercial items, cleaning products with a severe smell, and strong chemical odors besides producing oxygen. Also, some have quite an affordable price in the online markets.
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1) General information for Broadleaf Lady Palm Plant
Broadleaf lady palm is a perennial plant that has multiple decumbent stems. Each of the stems develops a cluster of bent broad dark green foliage over time. Provided well-cared, such a houseplant becomes giant that you cannot even see the stems because of crowded green leaves. The leaves of lady palm plant never change their color year-round like Chinese evergreen. Also, it blooms yellow at the top of the plant in the spring months. Above all, it gives small white fruits if the fertilizers are used properly on its time. Given the height of the broadleaf lady palm, it reaches 6-15 ft (2-4,5 m). Broadleaf lady palm isn’t a poisonous plant just like the Boston Fern plant. Therefore, it doesn’t pose any risk for your kids and pets in case of ingestion.
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2) How to Care for Broadleaf Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa) Plant
Sunlight: Direct sunlight exposure all day long gives damage to broadleaf lady palm. In full shade spots, less than 2 hours of direct sunlight won’t be a problem. On the other hand, it could take 2-6 hours of direct sunlight in partial shady spots.
Watering: The general rule is to remain the soil humid rather than soggy or dry. For that reason, weekly regular watering meets its water need. But there is an exception to this rule because the plant becomes dormant in winter. So broadleaf lady palm requires less amount water than usual in its rest time. Also, abstain from overwatering.
Humidity: Due to being a subtropical houseplant, the broadleaf lady palm likes the low humidity. Places with 50% humidity can be a great spot for it.
Temperature: The optimal temperature for Rhapis excelsa shows the range between 50°F-59°F (10°C-15°C). Also, it can resist down to 23°F (-5°C) as can resist the drought. But yet, take measures for any cold injury and heat exposure. According to the USDA map, 9-11 regions are appropriate for the ideal growth.
Soil Type: The potting soils for Rhapis excelsa should be quite fertile. Specifically, The potting soils containing humus are more preferred. For instance, loamy soils have a significant effect on in particular this plant development. Specifically, the potting mixes with organic matter abundant selling in the markets are also effective on plant growth. Apart from that, the soil should be well-drained and well ventilated.
Fertilizer: The fertilizer should be used in its growing season (The midst spring-The end of the summer). For example, the liquid one rarefied to half-strength should be given monthly.
Propagation: For effective propagation, there are two main methods. One of them is division. By dividing into clumps, and also cutting foliages to give all energy to roots, they are put separately in each pot. Another method is seed starting. Its germination takes a lot of time. Starting from seed takes practically 10 years. But warm settings could fast its germination process.
Repotting: Once a year in the spring months, repotting requires. The bigger pot or containers works best. Before putting the plant, remove the root balls. As long as you don’t give damage to the plant, there won’t be any problem.
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3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
-Sunburns: This problem stems from direct sunlight exposure all day long. It decreases the chlorophyll level in plants. In the end, the leaves look chlorotic.
-Black leaf tips: There are several reasons for occurring this problem. It would be an indication of high stress. Lack of moisture in the potting soil could be another reason.
-Discolored lower leaves: Overwatering and nutrient deficiency are the main reason for this problem. It causes decreasing the chlorophyll level in plants.
-Salty soil: Over-fertilizing leads to this problem in general.
-Suggestions for problems: Treating sunburn needs regular watering. Apply seaweed solution to Rhapis excelsa once a week to get a precise and effective outcome. For the black leaf tips problem, cut the black tips and keep on its regular care. For discoloration of lower leaves, cut them go on its regular care.
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