top of page

Lady Palm Tree

Lady Palm Tree

The Lady Palm Tree, scientific name Rhapis excelsa, is a very popular indoor and outdoor palm because of its easy maintenance and cold hardiness which makes it a great choice for landscape in USDA zones 8b-11. Lady Palms adapt to a wide range of climates, soils, and environments. It will happily live under low light conditions or bright filtered light. This palm can be grown in states like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas.

Lady Palm Tree Info

Scientific name: Rhapis excelsa

Common names: The Lady Palm is also known R. flabelliformis and Aristocratic Lady Palm.

Family: Arecaceae

Origin: It is native to the Southeast area of China.

Appearance: Rhapis excelsa self-propagates via underground rhizome offshoots, forming multi-stemmed clumps that can reach enormous width, spreading as wide as its height or more. Stem is covered with dark woven palm fibers, which are actually the outer base of the leaf sheaths. Each stem, or cane, is about 1 inch wide and has a leaf scar pattern resembling bamboo canes.

The Lady Palm has palmate, or fan-shaped, leaves that grow on unarmed petioles up to 1-2ft long. Leaves are deeply divided into 4-10 segments, never overlap but are slightly offset. The Lady Palm fronds are dark green when grown in shade to a light green when grown with more sunlight. As the lower leaves grow old, they turn from glossy and green to dull and discolored. You should trim them off for an attractive appearance. The Lady Palm has less than 8 to 10 leaflets per leaf with saw-toothed ends.

Flowers/Fruits: During the spring months the Lady Palm produces light green to yellow flowers that are held by spectacular pinkish inflorescence at the top of the stem. The Lady Palm is dioecious, male and female flowers grow on different plants. Flowers are fragrant, spirally arranged, and fleshy. The female flowers have a 3 part pistil. The male flowers are born on 2ft branched inflorescence, growing from among the leaves and extending much longer than the leaves toward the top of the plant. Flowers are followed by round, fleshy, creamy fruits.

Growth Rate: Slow. Rhapis excelsa grows to a maximum height of about 5-10 ft and 1- 5 ft wide. If you want to grow Lady Palm indoors keep in mind that the growth rate decreases considerably. Generally speaking, growers would classify Lady Palm as being slow growers. A typical 6 – 8″ potted plant has been growing in the nursery for a minimum of 2 years.

Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.

Cold Tolerance: Lady Palm Tree is very cold-hardy and can tolerate cold down to 15F. It is great for growing in USDA Zones 8b (15 to 20 F) to 11 (above 40 F).

Light Req: Shade to Partial shade.

Water Req: Moderate.

Maintenance: Easy care is one reason for their widespread popularity for use indoors. To prevent nutritional deficiency, apply good quality palm fertilizer that has continuous release formula twice a year during the growing season.

Propagation: Propagation can be difficult from seeds requiring added heat and patience. Most often plant division is much easier. This is a very expensive palm as propagation is limited and costly because initial growth is slow.

Propagation: Propagation can be difficult from seeds requiring added heat and patience. Most often plant division is much easier. This is a very expensive palm as propagation is limited and costly because initial growth is slow.

20 Top Benefits Of The Lady Palm Tree


  1. Indoor Air Purification: Lady Palm trees are known for their superior ability to purify indoor air, making them a popular choice for offices and homes.

  2. Low Light Tolerance: They can thrive in low light conditions which makes them versatile indoor plants.

  3. Easy Maintenance: Lady Palms require minimal care and can survive in varied conditions, which makes them great for beginner gardeners.

  4. Pet Friendly: They are non-toxic to dogs and cats, making them a safe indoor plant choice for pet owners.

  5. Exotic Aesthetic: The plant adds an exotic touch to any interior design with its fan-like fronds.

  6. Insect Resistance: Lady Palms have a natural resistance to pests, reducing the need for chemical treatments.

  7. Noise Reduction: They are often used to reduce noise pollution in busy areas as they can absorb sound.

  8. Erosion Control: When planted outdoors, they can help prevent soil erosion.

  9. Drought Tolerance: Lady Palms have a good tolerance for drought, making them suitable for dry climates.

  10. High Humidity Tolerance: They can also thrive in high humidity, making them versatile for different environments.

  11. Space Efficient: These plants have a compact growth habit and are suitable for small spaces.

  12. Long Lifespan: Lady Palms are long-lived plants, which can provide a sense of continuity in a space.

  13. Wind Resistance: They are known to withstand strong winds and are often used in seaside landscapes.

  14. Temperature Resilient: Lady Palms can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, making them adaptable to various climate conditions.

  15. Improves Mental Health: The presence of plants, such as the Lady Palm, has been shown to reduce stress and improve mood.

  16. Educational: Taking care of lady palm trees can serve as a hands-on lesson about nature and responsibility for children.

  17. Promotes Sleep: The presence of plants like Lady Palm in bedrooms has been linked to improved sleep quality.

  18. Symbolic: In some cultures, Lady Palms are considered a symbol of peace and prosperity.

  19. Economic: Lady Palms are relatively inexpensive and readily available, making them a cost-effective choice for indoor greenery.

  20. Sustainable: As a natural and sustainable decoration option, they contribute to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

bottom of page