Exotic, architectural and UK hardy. Tetrapanax papyrifer is right up there with palms, bananas and gingers as one of the go to plants for the jungle garden look.
Native to Taiwan, Tetrapanax papyrifer can eventually grow upto 4m tall with a canopy spread of 2.5m. Care needs to be taken choosing a planting site as they can produce suckers (new plants) from the roots. These can pop up some distance from the main plant especially if the root system becomes disturbed. They can be lifted and grown on as new plants or simply disposed of.
Once established they are generally stem hardy to -10C. A very severe winter is capable of knocking the stem back to the ground however the plant will quickly regrow from the root the following spring (usually with many new stems). In mild areas they will retain some leaves over winter, however in our experience it’s a deciduous plant in most of the UK.
There are several recognised cultivars, most notably Tetrapanax ‘Rex’ or Tetrapanax papyrifer ‘Rex’ and the definition of what differentiates these cultivars from the type species is often blurred. We have always grown our plants as the straight forward species Tetrapanax papyrifer rather than a distinct cultivar.
Supplied well rooted in a 9cm pot, the plants are around 12 months old.
While young, it’s advisable to offer them some winter protection from the worst snow, ice and wind.
We recommend potting up into larger pots (we’d suggest a minimum 7 – 10 litre pot) and growing on for 12 months prior to planting in the ground. This will allow the roots to develop further and the plant to develop a stronger stem. Once they’ve filled the pots, they can either be planted out into prepared ground or re-potted into successively larger pots if you want to keep them as a pot plant longer term.
Grows well in full sun to partial shade. Not too fussy about the soil type provided it’s not waterlogged.
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