Variegated Rhapis excelsa 'Zuikonishiki' in a hand painted Japanese pot
separating and potting new offshoots
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3 Check again for good root growth on the offshoots.
1 Ayanishiki with two offshoots ready for separation. 2 After checking root growth tap side of pot to loosen root ball.
6 Carefully untangle the roots.
4 remove soil carefullyfrom around roots.
5 Wash out remaining soil in water.
8 Separate plants being careful not to damage the roots.
7 Cut offshoots from parent plant. 9 Remove any damaged or rotten roots before potting.
10 Select the correct size pot. Small pots are better because the soil dries out quicker. 11 Place the sana over the large drainage hole.
12 Add extra drainage. Use bean size gravel or broken clay pot.
15 Twist the roots into the pot. 16 Top up with compost to 1cm below the rim of the pot.
13 Add some compost
14 Coat the roots with compost.
19 Recheck compost level and top up.
18 Water by immersion.
17 Settle in compost with a stick.
After a few days you might find the palms have pushed themselves up, so just settle them back even tying down if necessary.

Compost used:

4 parts ericaceous peat based compost. 2 parts perlite. 1 part vermiculite 2 parts grit. Use plenty of bean size gravel for drainage.

Another good mixture is 75% grit and 25% ericaceous peat based compost. This is even more free draining and will require more watering

21 Two new offshoots with repotted parent.
20 Finish off with sphagnum moss.
Variegated Rhapis excelsa 'Ayanishiki'
This picture shows the same group of palms 18 months later! Note how they have all increased in size. The earlier picture shows the parent with two potted offshoots/suckers . Now the parent has two more offshoots. One of the offshoots has its own three suckers, the other has two. So three shoots have become nine in 18 months, although the shoots are not yet ready for separation. I will keep this experiment going and update this information in another 18 months !
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© Keith Andrew, Kannonchiku, 2002 - 2013 - Collector, Grower and Importer of Japanese Miniature Palms. Member of the Kansokai (Japan Rhapis Association )