Lady Palm Tree – Rhapis excelsa

The Lady Palm Tree, scientific name Rhapis excelsa, is 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.

Buy Medium Lady Palm – 6 ft »
Buy Small Lady Palm – 3 ft »

Lady Palm Tree Profile

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 are covered with dark woven palm fibers, which is actually the outer base of the leaf sheaths. Each stem, or cane, is about 1 inch wide, and has 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 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 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).

There is a great book, written by David A. Francko that I really like, it’s called “Palms Won’t Grow Here and Other Myths: Warm-Climate Plants for Cooler Areas”. It goes into the details on how you can grow cold hardy palms in zones 7, 6 and even 5. This is the perfect foundation book for the gardener who would like to see a banana next to his cherry tree and a palm between his maples. It got great reviews and 5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon.

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 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.

Buy Lady Palm Today

We don’t sell palm trees on this site, but you can buy it from one of my favorite palm nurseries – Real Palm Trees. It has beautiful palm trees at discounted prices and offers a Free Shipping. This is one of the few sites that I trust, because each palm tree comes with Certificate of Authenticity that guarantees highest quality of the tree. All of their palm trees are properly grown and acclimatized to the correct hardiness zone.

Most importantly, you will receive a tree in perfect health and wouldn’t have to worry about it dying few weeks later. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or you money back.

Buy Medium Lady Palm – 6 ft »
Buy Small Lady Palm – 3 ft »

~Susan Brian

P.S. If you like this palm tree, please click “Like” button below.


  1. Yvonne von Arx says

    I have three fan type palms that need to be removed as they are too close to our septic. Do you need any mature palms at this time?

  2. Laura says

    Can you tell me how to properly transplant a small lady palm? I live in the Tampa Bay area about a mile from the Gulf. There are two small lady palms that are growing under our boat, and I would like to save them before they get run over by the trailer. They are offshoots of a nearby tree on my neighbor’s property, Thanks for any help you can pass along!

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