Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa): An indoor air purifying plant

Lady palm indoor


Lady palm scientifically known as Rhapis excelsa belongs to the family Palmae. This is a beautiful indoor plant that not only looks good but also known for its excellent air-purifying properties.

Plants of Palm are very hardy in nature, adapts in diverse climatic conditions and can be used to decorate homes, public places like business and shopping malls.

The appearance of Lady palm is very unique the stalk of lady palm is bamboo-like with dense broad fan-like leaves on the top. The stalk of Lady palm is used in making walking sticks and umbrella handles.

Lady Palm: Botanical description

  • Common name: Lady palm
  • Botanical name: Rhapis excelsa
  • Other names: Fan palm, Bamboo palm

The plant reaches a height of about 6-12 feet with a slow growth rate. It grows well in shade in almost all types of soil. It can tolerate drought to a moderate level. The leaves of this plant are fan-like and are evergreen in nature. The plant usually remains healthy and not affected by pests the majority of the time.

Lady palm: An air-purifying plant

Lady palm plants help in removing formaldehyde and ammonia from the atmosphere. This plant also helps in improving indoor air quality and provides a healthy fresh environment. Harmful effects of formaldehyde and ammonia are as follows

Absorbs formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a major air pollutant of the indoor environment (1). The main source of formaldehyde emission is paints, furniture, automobile engines, burning biofuels, smoke from cigarettes, carpets, fiberglass, and cooking, etc.

Health hazards of Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is also considered a carcinogenic that is on exposure to this gas may cause cancer. Formaldehyde also includes irritation of the nose and eyes. Experiments on certain animals also prove the genotoxicity of formaldehyde. Planting indoor plants and proper ventilation the major steps in reducing the formaldehyde toxicity from the houses and offices. Lady palm helps in the absorption of formaldehyde from the indoor environment and thus cleans and improves indoor air quality.

Absorbs ammonia

Ammonia is one of the naturally occurring gas from decaying organic substances from the excreta of humans and animals, pharmaceutical products, rubbers, and other fungal growth, etc. Health hazards of high exposure to ammonia are irritation eyes, nose, and skin(2). Lady palm plants help in absorbing the ammonia released from various substances and thus keeps the indoor environment clean and clear.

How to take care of a Lady palm?

Lady palm plant is a hardy plant. It takes very little care. This plant is shade loving plant and needs partial deep shade for its growth and survival. Irrigate the plant only when the topsoil of the pot gets dry. Do not overwater the plant as it may cause the rotting of roots.

The plant can survive almost all types of soil but porous proper aerated soil is best for its healthy growth. The main method of propagation of this plant is by divisions of the canes. The plant is almost resistant to pests and insects.

lady palm care & benefits


Read more about air purifying plants 

  1. 14 Best indoor air purifying plants
  2. Snake Plant (Sansevieria) indoor air purifying indoor plant
  3. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) indoor air purifying plant
  4. Bamboo Palm ( Chamaedorea seifrizii ) indoor air purifying plant 
  5. Syngonium (Arrowhead) indoor air purifying plant


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