Fa la la! Christmas is...OVER (at least for a little while). And like the actual season, it was great fun while it lasted, but now I'm happy to put away the decorations and Christmas craft supplies and get back to what's left of summer.
But during my monthlong crafting marathon, held mostly at my dining room table, I couldn't help but notice how well my Japanese Rice Paper Plant has been growing, with only a minimum of care and a summer of torrential rains that have allowed it haphazard light at best. You know, a good plant for those of us with not-so-green thumbs. And it seems only fair that I share it with you, because I didn't even know these lovely plants existed until recently. So perhaps you don't either.
My cousin, Stephen, who not only has a green thumb but makes magic out of just about any material that passes through his hands, has great stands of these plants on his property and they're enormous. I like to stand under them and look up into their leaves, and indeed, their leaves are so large they'd likely shelter you in a storm. They are, in a word, dramatic. Which is exactly how I like my plants.
I won't bore you with growing zones or a lot of details about care (so far, my care has consisted of watering it once a week. Some days it gets a little sun, some days not, and it's been in an air-conditioned 74 degree house all summer long). You can research that on garden sites, with experts who know more than I. But if you love tropical plants, this is a good one to add to your collection. It makes me swoon a little each time I pass by. Low maintenance, high visual impact. That's a formula I can live with.
Online source for Japanese Rice Paper Plant (Tetrapanax papyrifera): Plant Delights Nursery
Have a happy weekend!