Tetrapanax Rex: Common Problems & Fixes

Have you ever thought about growing this exotic-looking shrub called Tetrapanax rex? But you got overwhelmed with potential difficulties in growing it. Don’t worry because this guide will talk about all the Tetrapanax rex problems and their solutions.

Spoiler: They are all 100% fixable.

What is Tetrapanax Rex?

Tetrapanax Papyrifer Rex, aka the Rice Paper plant, Chinese Rice Paper plant, or Tong Cao, is a fast-growing small tree or shrub that grows 4 to 8 meters (13 to 26 feet) tall. It bears large, glorious green, deeply lobed leaves that arrive at the top of the stems as a rosette.

Fall brings out Tetrapanax’s white blossoms, which are followed by black fruits. As a plant, it is pretty hardy and requires little maintenance.

Tetrapanax rex is indigenous to Taiwan and grows year-round in mildly warm climates. However, its leaves start shedding in autumn and might require extra care in winter.

What Are The Common Tetrapanax Rex Problems? (And Fixes)

One of the most common Tetrapanax problems is planting it in soil saturated with water. Remember to plant it in soil that is moist but not saturated. You also need to protect your plant from frost in winter and against the suckers in the summer.

Growing a Tetrapanax rex is super fun. The process is pretty straightforward, and the reward comes quickly. However, there are a few things this shrub may not tolerate and have a problem with. Don’t worry because each issue has a solution of its own.

In this section, I’ll describe things rice paper plants may find problematic and how you can fix that.

  1. Tetrapanax Rex Can’t Stand Water-logged Soil

One of the most important things to remember is that Tetrapanax rex thrives in moist but well-drained soil. It means that sand can be damp but not saturated with water.

So, if you want your plant to live longer, ensure the soil is properly drained. It is always better to test the sand and its drainage capabilities before planting.

Later on, you can add organic materials like shredded leaves, manure, and compost to improve soil drainage and structure. It will encourage the soil to retain the ideal amount of water for better biological activity and plant growth.

  1. It Requires Protection in Winter

Tetrapanax rex is a low-maintenance plant. However, its frost-tender nature requires a little extra care. It is preferable to plant it in a protected area, like against a wall in the first place. Hessian or horticultural fleece are options for wrapping it.

Mulching is also required to protect its root system in winter. The mulch will add nutrients to the soil, improve drainage, and keep your plant warm in winter.

  1. Tetrapanax Rex Can Produce Suckers

It can produce suckers. So, prevent growth in sensitive areas. Instead, consider growing in large containers and pulling suckers in spring or summer.

  1. An Indumentum Covers The Stems and Underside of the Leaves

Plants with an indumentum can be irritating and difficult to handle for some people. You may experience discomfort in your eyes and nose as a result. It is not that big of a problem for some people, but avoid looking above while cutting leaves above you.

  1. Tetrapanax Rex Doesn’t Like Growing in a Small Area

Tetrapanax rex loves a huge space and prefers growing there. So, make sure to give Tetrapanax a roomy enough location, as it can potentially take up to 6 m2 (64 ft2).

How Do You Look After Tetrapanax Rex?

Well-drained soil, 6 hours of sun exposure, regular pruning, optimum watering, and infrequent use of fertilizers are the keys to making your Tetrapanax healthy and thriving.

Tetrapanax rex is an easy-to-manage shrub. It grows pretty fast and requires very minimal upkeep. It is also disease and pest-free. All you have to do is take care of sun exposure and soil type. You can successfully manage it by taking these steps.

Make Sure It Gets Proper Sun Exposure

Tetrapanax thrives in full sun to partial shade. So, make sure it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. The shrub will be evergreen if the temperature remains bearable in winter. Try your best to give it protection from the cold breeze.

The plant is deciduous in moderate frosts. And in harsher climates, it may die back to the ground before regrowing from the roots.

The Soil Should be Well-drained

This plant can grow in almost any kind of soil. However, well-drained soil is every plant’s requirement to develop in a healthy manner. Water percolates through well-drained soil fast and won’t pool there. So, just make sure the soil you grow this shrub in is well-drained and moist.

Trim When It’s Necessary

Typically, there is no need to prune this plant. However, it’s better to remove damaged or dead leaves whenever you spot them. Late winter is a good time to trim back to size. In addition, remove suckers if you wish to eliminate the growth of established clumps.

Water and Fertilize

Water this plant throughout the year, but don’t overdo it. You can fertilize it with organic compost or a mineral fertilizer in spring-summer to boost its growth and strengthen the roots.

A mineral fertilizer like Azomite can promote the development of the plant and its roots. It is a powder-based application; you can apply it directly or combine it with compost or manure. You can get this fertilizer by clicking this link.


  1. Is Tetrapanax poisonous?

No. There are no known harmful consequences or toxins found in Tetrapanax rex. It is perfectly all right for kids and animals to play near this plant.

  1. How do you stop Tetrapanax from spreading?

Pruning can help you get rid of all the damaged parts and dead foliage. This plant usually doesn’t require regular trimming. But you can rely on it to stop Tetrapanax rex from spreading and growing out of shape.

  1. How fast does Tetrapanax rex grow?

Tetrapanax rex is a fast grower and grows up to 3 ft (0.9 meters) in a year. Because this plant cannot tolerate standing water, make sure the oil is moist and completely drained. Moreover, you can add rich-quality compost or fertilizer to boost its growth.


Exoticearthplants.co.uk,gardenersworld.com, gardenofeaden.blogspot.com, gravelmaster.co.uk, davisla.wordpress.com, bigplantnursery.co.uk, rhs.org.uk