How to Grow the Tropical Effect 'Must-Have' Garden Plant - Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex'

Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex' is arguably one of the best exotic, tropical effect, cold-hardy plants around. It has magnificent, architectural leaves and has proven to be hardy to the extreme. Native to southern China and the island of Taiwan it is commonly known as the 'Rice Paper Plant' as the stem pith is used to make a substance commonly called rice paper, but more properly called pith paper.

In the UK you can expect to see Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex' at its full height anywhere between 3–5 metres tall, however in its native habitat 7 meters have been observed!

So how do you grow the tropical effect 'must-have' garden plant that is Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex'? For best results position in full sun to dappled shade and prior to planting add a very rich compost such as composted farmyard manure to a rate of 50/50 with your existing soil. Dig a hole at least twice the size of the root ball, ideally followed by a layer of good quality multi-purpose compost at around 3-5cm thick, this helps the young Tetrapanax transition from the container compost to the soil.Tetrapanax like to be moist but not waterlogged. They will not tolerate standing in water (even during the heat of the summer) as this can promote the incidence of root rots!

The species is grown as an ornamental plant and has received the Royal Horticultural Society 's Award of Garden Merit .

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