Rhapis excelsa

Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm

(19 customer reviews)

From: £36.95

An attractive and easy to care for indoor palm, the Rhapis excelsa features thick fan shaped leaves which have characteristic saw-toothed blunt tips.

Unlike the solitary thick trunks characteristic of many palms, Rhapis excelsa has many upright stems, providing a very lush appearance and gives it the nickname ‘The Bamboo Palm’.


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Origin: China to N. Vietnam
Genus: Rhapis
Species / Cultivar: excelsa
Common Name: Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm
Synonym: Chamaerops excelsa

Plant Biography

Originating in cultivation in China, Rhapis excelsa is not known in the wild. During the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan they gained popularity and were used to decorate palaces.

The genus ‘Rhapis’ is Greek for ‘needle’, whilst the species name ‘excelsa’ comes from Latin meaning ‘tall’; odd since outdoors it would only grow to a max height of about 3 metres, making it one of the smaller palms.

The multiple stems are possible because of its subterranean plant stems called rhizome offshoots, from which the clusters of stems emerge. When the stems age they lose their fibrous coating and become reminiscent of bamboo, hence the nickname ‘The Bamboo Palm’.

Rhapis excelsa
Light: Low
This plant will tolerate shadier positions with only a little natural light.
Soil: Indoor Potting Mix
Enjoys moist well drained soil with composted organics and some drainage material.
Temperature: >8°C
Temperature range at which this plant is healthiest and grows best.
Growth Rate: Slow
Expect to see quite small amounts of growth over the years.
Final Size: Tall
Final size will work as a large stand-alone specimen plant.
Water Requirement: Light Watering
Water when several cm of soil depth is dry to the touch. Water must draining easily away.
Humidity: Medium
Easygoing in regular home conditions, keep away from cold draughts and heat sources.
Maintenance: Low
Requires no attention beyond correct position and watering. An ideal starter plant!

Expert Tip

As Rhapis excelsa is very slow growing, we suggest buying a specimen that is already the desired size for the space it will live in.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Rhapis excelsa is one of the more shade tolerant palms, and can handle dry air, making it an excellent choice for darker rooms.

Water when the top few centimetres of its soil is dry to the touch, making sure it drains well and doesn’t collect at the roots.

Rhapis excelsa is a very slow growing palm, but mature specimens can reach up to 3-4 metres after many years of growth.

19 customer reviews for Rhapis excelsa

Bought a lady palm from the palm centre on a visit to London in 1993 this palm is still growing and in very good condition, great palm highly recommended

A Edgar

Excellent, compact palm for the home. Ive had it a few months now and it is growing numerous new leaves.

Colin Talbot

super value and in first class condition many thanks

Reg Drown

I am overjoyed to find these quite uncommon palms at such a good price. The two I ordered arrived promptly, well packaged, in A1 condition and every bit as good looking as the Palm Centre website photos indicate.

Colin in Devon