Rhapis are one of the most beautiful and hardy palm trees, which have become widespread in the culture in the East, especially in China and Japan, and in our country they have so far bypassed due attention. Perhaps this is due to the relatively high cost of these plants, which is explained by their slow growth – it takes many years to grow a large plant.
These are low multi-stemmed plants with thin, bamboo-like stems and unusual strongly dissected fan leaves. All species of Rhapis deserve attention without exception, but many of them are rare in culture, although in care they differ little from each other. We have on sale Rhapis high, less often – Rhapis low, which comes to flower shops through Dutch auctions.
In terms of unpretentiousness, Rhapis are not inferior to such popular palm trees as hovei andchamedorea. The plasticity of these palms is due to natural adaptations to the subtropical climate with sharp fluctuations in conditions, large temperature differences (up to zero and below), possible short-term droughts. Compact and slow growth, resistance to diseases and pests make them very suitable plants for the design of residential and office interiors.
Rhapis is shade-tolerant, prefers to grow in bright diffused light, although it feels good in a shady place, for some time it can stand in deep shade without loss of decorativeness. Adult specimens are well suited for landscaping dimly lit rooms, but like any living plants, they can not completely do without light, so from time to time it is necessary to change their location to a more illuminated one to allow the plants to recover.
Rhapis is able to grow in the open sun, but at the same time the leaves in many species lose their rich green color, acquiring a yellowish tint.
An illumination of about 50% is considered optimal for growing Rhapis. They grow well at windows of western and eastern orientation, and can grow on the north side. In rooms of southern orientation, it is better to put the plant in the depth of the room. For uniform growth of the crown, it is advisable to regularly rotate the plant relative to the light source.
is uniform and moderate all year round. Rhapis in the adult state is able to survive a short overdrying, but from the systematic waterlogging of the soil it can be affected by root rot. To avoid diseases, you should water the plant only when the soil dries from above for a few centimeters. Water when watering should moisten the entire lump, but not stagnate in the pot, for which the soil should be well drained throughout the volume. Particular attention should be paid to watering if the plant is in direct sun: here the soil should not be allowed to dry out. In winter, with a lack of light, if there is a possibility of cool maintenance, watering should be reduced. It is desirable to use soft water, since the accumulation of calcium salts in the soil over time leads to the browning of the tips of the leaves.
Rhapis is quite cold-resistant, can tolerate a short-term drop in temperature to -5 ° C. At the same time, stems and leaves partially suffer, but the plant recovers. Rhapis does not tolerate heat well. At high temperatures, it is necessary to water the plant in time, provide it with protection from direct sun and, if possible, increase the humidity of the air and ensure good ventilation of the room.
Rhapis feels comfortable at normal room temperature. In winter, with a lack of light, it is desirable to provide it with a cool content at + 10 + 16°C (it is possible to decrease to + 5 + 10°C), accompanying it with a reduction in watering.
Rhapis is quite put up with dry indoor air, but with heating devices turned on, it is advisable to spray the leaves 2 times a day. With a cool content (below +18°C), spraying should be canceled. On hot days – on the contrary, increase the humidity of the air, often spray the leaves, arrange a sprinkler for the plant.
Soils and replanting
Rhapis is content with many types of soil, provided they are well drained, but prefers light, slightly acidic or neutral. Suitable for growing ready-made soil for palm trees with the addition of perlite. For planting, take wide pots or bowls that give space to the growth of root shoots. Young specimens are transplanted every year by careful transshipment. Adult plants do not need frequent transplants. When replacing the top layer of soil with fresh, care is taken not to damage the young shoots and surface roots of the plant.
Rhapis do not require enhanced nutrition, they are fed from spring to autumn with complex fertilizers for palm trees.
During transplantation, you can separate part of the lateral offspring with roots. This is the only way to reproduce varietal plants. Cuttings of rapeseed do not multiply. Seed reproduction is also possible, seeds germinate in 2-3 months.
The slow growth of seedlings and separated daughter plants explains the rather high cost of adult plants. Rhapis, multiplying by allotments, has an unlimited lifespan, with good care it can be grown for many years, passing from generation to generation.
Pests and diseases
Rhapis is considered a plant resistant to pests and diseases. Even a spider mite, it is extremely rare. However, pests such as mealybugs and scutes can be found on it. When choosing a plant, carefully inspect the leaf plates, leaf petioles, their sinuses, stem, offspring. If you find plaques on them that look like droplets of wax (this is a shield) or white lumps resembling cotton balls (mealybug), then refrain from buying. Having found these pests on an already acquired plant, try to remove all visible insects manually and treat with a systemic insecticide (Aktara).
With regular waterlogging, the Rhapis can be affected by root rot. Stagnation of water in the root zone deprives them of air access, which creates good conditions for the development of pathogenic fungi. In this case, the leaves are covered with large brown spots, the plant loses turgor, fades. With a strong lesion, you should wash the roots from the soil, remove the rotten parts, transplant the palm tree into fresh, well-drained soil and take measures to resuscitate the plant (greenhouse with high humidity, treatment with Zircon). In the initial stages of the disease, it is enough just to normalize watering, to allow the roots to breathe – in such conditions, the disease will stop developing and the roots will gradually recover.