The Japanese Aralia
An evergreen foliage plant, Fatsia japonica also known as Aralia japonica, can be grown as an indoor plant, or outdoors in temperate climates. Good glossy green foliage, and very easy to prune.
Commonly called the Japanese Aralia, it can be grown in the garden or as an indoor plant. The foliage varies in colour from a light green to a deeper green, it tends to darken as it ages and is darker when grown outdoors.
Grown as a foliage plant for the large glossy deeply lobbed or palmate leaves this is a shade loving plant. A beautifully speckled form Fatsia ‘Spiders Web’ is also available.
How to Grow Fatsia Japonica
This evergreen plant makes a good indoor or outdoor plant, depending on climate. Exposure to full sun can cause leaf burn so filtered light is the number one rule.
- If you are growing it indoors, choose a good quality potting mix and grow this plant in good filtered light.
- Outdoors, choose a sheltered position protected from direct sun. It makes a great evergreen textural plant for shaded positions, beneath taller trees or between buildings. Also provide protection from hot and cold winds.
Wait until the soil begins to dry before watering, so around 7 – 10 days indoors. Then water well and drain away any excess water.
- If the plant begins to drop leaves its usually through overwatering.
- Yellow leaves are often caused by too much sun.
- If you need to prune the plant, do this in mid spring. Simply remove old dead or damaged foliage.
If you need to prune Fatsia japonica you are best to hard prune it, or at least remove a whole branch to the ground. When left to grow as a tree it will die back at times and these stems can be cut right back.
If you want to grow this as a house plant, prune back individual stems to around 1 metre (3 ft) always try to prune just above foliage or a growth node.
Propagation is easy, usually from cuttings, also possible from seed.
- Botanical Name – Fatsia japonica (Syn. Aralia japonica)
- Common Name – Aralia or Japanese Aralia, Rice Plant
- Position – Filtered light
- Soil – Humus rich and moist with good drainage.
- Height – To 2 – 5 metres plus
- Spread – To 2 – 5 metres plus
- Foliage – Glossy green, lighter new foliage ageing to a deeper green.
- Flowers – Small white flowers followed by black berries.
- Toxicity – All parts of the plant are poisonous.
- Flowering time – spring.
- Container growing – Yes, Fatsia, japonica is suited to growing in pots.
- Drought tolerant – No
- Frost tolerant – Medium
Fatsia Japonica is available for sale from the following participating nurseries.
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