Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Slender Lady Palm
Rhapis humilis

Family: Arecaceae (ar-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Rhapis (RAY-pis) (Info)
Species: humilis (HEW-mil-is) (Info)

One member has or wants this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade
Partial to Full Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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2 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative scubamom On Sep 9, 2012, scubamom from Gregory, TX wrote:

Be aware that Rhapis humilis is not happy in Texas and hates the long, hot summers. They do well in winter here, but quickly lose stamina in the hot months.

Best to enjoy them in California where they love the mild year around temperatures.

Positive Darkman On Apr 3, 2010, Darkman from Pensacola, FL wrote:

This palm survived unscathed the 2010 winter in Pensacola, FL which included a low of 19.3 and nearly two weeks of below frezing every night. No damage of any kind. It was unprotected and living within ten feet of my Roebelini which is toast.

2011 winter update June 4, 2011

Not the plants fault but mine. In January in preparation for a hard freeze I watered the bed that this plant was in and forgot to turn off the sprinkler. My plant was totally covered in ice. It looked ok after the thaw but eventually all trunks experienced spear pull. As I write this in the first week of June there is some hope. One trunk has pushed a new spear. There is a new trunk coming up in the clump. Lastly about two foot away from the clump two new trunks are pushing up. I have not read about this being a habit of this plant so I will watch it close and make sure it is what I think it is.

Positive palmbob On Jul 29, 2003, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the Rhapis species grown in all the local botanical gardens as showpieces are against architecture as it is very sun tolerant and elegant. Unlike the more common Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) this one doesn't yellow in full sun. It also differs in that it grows much taller, has more finely split leaves and the leaflets end in points rather than premorse ('cut' as though with pinking shears). Also it is one of the few palms that only have males- no females are known. So this one can only be propagated by division. All other species of Rhapis can also be propogated from seed germination, though usually most are similarly divided. It is a suckering palm that spreads slowly, usually 6"-12" at the most from the original stem, until a tall, clumping palm is created. This species is often crossed with other Rhapis (still makes pollen) for a variety of unusual and attractive looks.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Tucson, Arizona
Los Angeles, California
San Marino, California
Tarzana, California
Topanga, California
Visalia, California
Brandon, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida

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