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Plant Diseases/Problems with my Rhapis Palm

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lady palm
lady palm  
Greetings.
I had this lady palm for almost 6 years; still in it's original pot & soil. We moved a year ago and this will be it's second winter. I'm a bit concern now with it's appearance. It's leaves droops downward, longer stem lengths than what I think they should be, some new growth looks brownish & dry. I normally water once every other week during the winter season. Can you diagnose by the attached photo? Do you think I need to re-pot the soil?
Thanks for your help.
WCC

Answer
Hi Wendell this should help you get her back to health.  kathy



Lady Palm

Botanical Name: Rhapis excelsa

Lady Palm is a dramatic, tall house plant that is easy to grow. Give one a place with bright, indirect sunlight and you'll enjoy it for many years. You can fit this palm in just about anywhere -- its fronds don't branch out widely, so it only takes up vertical space in a room


You'll find that the number of leaflets on each stem will vary -- typically 5 to 10 -- but that just adds to this beautiful palm's appeal. In fact, I've never seen two Lady Palms exactly alike.

A member of the palm family, this elegant-looking plant grows in a clump of woody, upright stems. As the lower leaves fall off, they leave scars on the stems, creating an attractive bamboo-like appearance.

Repot in spring only every 3-4 years, or when this palm outgrows its container. This plant grows best when slightly root-bound, so keep it in a smallish container. Keeping Lady Palm confined to a small container will also dramatically limit its size. In fact, it can be grown in a bonsai pot. When the tree grows to more than 3 ft (90 cm) tall, top dress instead.

How to top-dress a plant: Remove the top 2-3 inches of soil and replace with fresh soil every couple years. Take care not to harm any roots that may be near the surface.

Green Thumb Tip
Brown leaf tips may indicate that humidity is low. Mist foliage and stand the pot on a tray of wet pebbles.

Keep it moist. Palms are not desert plants. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy, during the growing season. Mist the foliage daily or use a room humidifier if the air is dry. Brown leaf tips are caused by irregular watering and dry air. Snip off the brown tips with scissors, if you want.

This palm's problems are few, although dry air may attract spider mites to its leaves. Wiping off leaves with a damp cloth from time to time will do double-duty, removing dust and keeping those pests away.

This is a slow-growing palm so buy one the size you want.

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kathy crowley

Expertise

Tropical plants in Florida, Bamboo, Vines, Fruit trees, Antique Roses, rare plants from around the world.

Experience

Nursery business for 19 years

Organizations
Bamboo Society, Rare Tree Society, Rare Fruit Tree Society, Passiflora Society

Publications
Florida Gardening Sarasota Magazine Bradenton Herald Tribune Sarasota Herald Tribune

Education/Credentials
Self taught, family history of nursery business

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