Tetrapanax papyriferus is a rapid growing tropical looking soft/woody perennial from the jungles of Taiwan. It is mostly evergreen in zones 8+, but is root hardy into negative temperatures (zones 6+). Large deeply lobed green/grey leaves are held up by long stalks. The stalks of the Rice Paper Plant can grow to 15 feet with leaves 2 feet wide. Small plants will form thickets in very little time, often sprouting new plants 10-20 feet from the mother plant through it’s extensive root system. Because of this it is invasive in warm climates. In early fall, creamy beige flowers will form on stalks attracting bees and butterflies.
History And Uses: Steroid Giant originates from Taiwan where the soft inner stem is used to make high quality rice paper.
Propagation: Steroid Giant is propagated by seed, suckers, and cuttings.
Planting Location: Locations with well drained soil and medium sunlight will produce the healthiest plants. Applying an even spread of mulch on and around the plant and allowing sufficient drainage will increase survivability through winter months in colder zones. The large leaves and stalks are susceptible to wind damage, so planting near a fence or the side of a house will provide protection. Plant new plants early in the season to establish strong plants.
Fertilization: Surface application of rotted organic matter (such as manure or compost) will grow healthy plants. A balanced fertilizer can be mixed with water and applied around the stalks.
Care: Dead stalks and leaves should be pruned and added to the soil as mulch. Because of it’s invasive habit, unwanted pups should be pulled up.