bamboo like palm for shady, semi shady area

elbeardoFebruary 25, 2014

hi, I'm new to palms and I'm looking for a tropical looking bamboo-like palm to grow in my backyard. I need it to be shade tolerant, as the site is shaded during winter and part shade during summer. please see photo attached. I want to replace the vines with the palms. thanks for any tips. Andy

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Lots of Rhapis species would look great there and they can handle the shade very well. Rhapis multifida has finer leaves than the more common Rhapis palms used so that could be an interesting one to try, but you can't go wrong with Rhapis humilis. It's taller growing that Rhapis excelsa and will fill the space nicely. Rhapis excelsa would look great there too, but they grow very slowly.

Chamaedoreas are a huge genus of palms and most would look great in that spot and do well in shade. C. seifrizii is often called the Bamboo palm for short because the trunks look so similar to bamboo. The palm itself is a little ratty looking at times, but can be absolutely beautiful also (and they are very easy to thin out because they pup so readily so you can easily get rid of trunks that are growing too tall).

C. tepejilote is one of my favorite species in this genus because the fronds get really nice and big! It is not a pupper so you will have to plant a row of them to take up the space. Underplanting that palm with C. elegans which looks similar but grows much shorter would give a very full look.

Some of the more cold tolerant licualas are also definitely something to consider and arenga engleri is a beauty also although it may get big for that space.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 12:21PM
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Thanks for the the thorough answer Tropicalzone! I have a question, i see this palm being sold quite often at the local Home Depot: C. cataractarum. What do you think of this species?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2014 at 11:51AM
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