Learn how to Plant, Develop, and Take care of ‘Solar King’ Aralia

Aralia ‘Solar King’ brings a burst of gold and chartreuse to the shade backyard. Its contemporary lime hues and sleek, shrubby type make this perennial a focus and an ideal complement to different shade-loving vegetation.

The dynamic foliage boasts three seasons of curiosity, together with white flowers in the summertime and darkish berries to observe. Pollinators and birds recognize the meals sources, and people do, too, within the edible leaves, shoots, and roots of Aralia cordata. Principally, although, this selection guidelines in coloration and type as a spectacular decorative and easy-care backyard specimen.


A close-up of 'Sun King' Aralia, showcasing tiny white flowers nestled amid the rich, golden foliage.
This perennial is immune to pests and ailments.

Plant Sort

Herbaceous perennial


cordata ‘Solar King’

Native Space

Japan, Korea, China

Watering Necessities


Pests and Ailments

Pest and disease-resistant; doable aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, slugs, leaf spot

What’s ‘Solar King’ Aralia?

A close-up of 'vibrant, glossy leaves with distinct golden-yellow hues.
This noninvasive plant is ideal for numerous gardens.

With a supreme golden glow, ‘Solar King’ aralia is extremely decorative in foliage coloration and type. A cultivar of Aralia cordata, this herbaceous perennial thrives in partial shade with the presence of a small shrub. Crops attain a mean of three toes excessive and huge however with the potential to succeed in as much as six toes. Aralia cordata spreads by way of rhizomes and is a clump-forming perennial with a slight, free spreading behavior.

The genus Aralia comprises almost 70 species, together with evergreen and deciduous timber, shrubs, and perennials like ‘Solar King’. Aralia racemosa and Aralia californica are native to North America, whereas many species happen naturally in Asia. Some are invasive in america, like A. elata, generally often known as the Japanese angelica tree, a multistemmed deciduous tree with impressively depraved thorns on canes.

This aralia is a well-behaved, noninvasive plant with lush foliage. The brilliant inexperienced and gold tones and lengthy, compound leaves give vegetation a tropical look, although they’re powerful and chilly hardy. ‘Solar King’ makes a wonderful focus or mass planting in woodland plantings, rear borders, pollinator gardens, Asian-inspired gardens, naturalistic preparations, fashionable gardens, and moist areas. Pair it with different shade-loving perennials like hosta, heuchera, tiarella, Japanese painted ferns, astilbe, epimedium, and Solomon’s seal for beautiful layered mixtures.

Aralia cordata is an award-winning perennial plant for its stellar backyard efficiency in decoration and reliability. In 2012, it acquired the Worldwide Hardy Plant Union Excellent Plant Award. The Perennial Plant Affiliation named it the Perennial Plant of the Yr in 2020 to acknowledge its big selection of rising climates, low upkeep necessities, multi-season enchantment, and pest and illness resistance.


A close-up showcasing its radiant, glossy leaves, adorned with striking golden-yellow tones and finely serrated edges.
Birds love the darkish purple-black berries of this plant.

‘Solar King’ aralia options finely-toothed compound leaves that attain as much as three toes lengthy (every leaflet at 6 inches lengthy) for a sleek, frondlike look. The foliage is yellow-gold with publicity to partial daylight and turns deeper chartreuse-lime in additional shade. Reddish-brown stems distinction the intense gold leaves.

Along with distinctive leaves, umbles of tiny, starry white flowers emerge on two-foot stems in late summer season by way of early fall. The blossoms are a pollinator favourite and appeal to honeybees, butterflies, and different useful bugs.

After flowering, vegetation produce darkish purple-black berries. Birds love them, although they’re inedible for folks.

Aralia enters dormancy in the course of the winter, the place it dies again to the bottom to reemerge in spring. It grows rapidly in a single season and with little gardener intervention. These carefree vegetation resist deer, rabbits, pests, and ailments and tolerate shade.

Aralia cordata is often known as Japanese spikenard, udo, and mountain asparagus. Younger shoots are a delicacy with a style of lemony asparagus. Roots and leaves are additionally edible. 

Native Space

Vivid yellow flowers adorn the plant, with lush green leaves in the blurred background.
Yinger propagated ‘Solar King’ by way of tissue cultures for U.S. cultivation.

Aralia cordata is native to Korea, Japan, and southeastern China. Plantsmen and collector Barry Yinger launched ‘Solar King’ to the U.S. after discovering the plant on a visit to Japan, not within the wild however on the market within the rooftop nursery of a division retailer. Yinger propagated the plant by way of tissue cultures for U.S. cultivation.

Native habitats for Aralia cordata embody woodlands and grassy slopes. They develop in well-draining, humusy, moist circumstances throughout a variety of climates (USDA zones 4-8).


Aralia and its spreading rhizomes progressively type a clump, although the plant doesn’t sucker or unfold aggressively like different choices. When planting, house vegetation not less than three toes aside to permit room for mature progress. Hold vegetation out of overly windy areas to guard foliage and stems.

It additionally grows superbly in a big container. It requires a well-draining potting combine wealthy in natural matter, dappled gentle or shade, and common moisture.


Bright, variegated leaves burst with vibrant color, creating a striking display of foliage.
Keep away from excessive circumstances to restrict stress on new vegetation.

Like most perennials, ‘Solar King’ aralia may be planted year-round, with one of the best circumstances usually in spring and fall. Cool temperatures and seasonal moisture give vegetation time to determine earlier than winter and summer season temperature fluctuations. For the least stress on the brand new plant, keep away from frozen or waterlogged circumstances and excessive warmth or drought intervals.

Learn how to Develop

It is a carefree, unfussy plant with low upkeep wants. Even so, particular cultural necessities, like common moisture and dappled gentle, are finest for optimum well being and flowering.


A close-up of the leaves, showcasing vibrant, golden foliage with serrated edges, emanating a warm, sunlit glow.
Morning solar maintains the plant’s yellow-gold leaf coloration.

Develop it in partial shade, dappled gentle, and light-weight, open shade. Morning solar publicity is good for sustaining the yellow-gold leaf coloration. Crops tolerate full shade, taking over deeper chartreuse inexperienced tones (nonetheless vibrant and richly brilliant).

‘Solar King’ tolerates extra solar in northerly climates, given ample moisture. Crops want safety from direct afternoon rays that scorch and burn leaves. An excessive amount of solar could trigger leaves to pale and whiten.


A close-up of a water-dappled leaf, glistening droplets enhance the intense golden hue.
Regulate soil pH through the use of acidifying fertilizer.

Present constant moisture from common water. Crops don’t stand up to lengthy intervals of drought, and although they’re considerably extra immune to brief drought circumstances as soon as established, moist soils are finest for vigorous vegetation. Throughout dry spells, plant stress causes leaves to drop and invitations pests like spider mites.

For vegetation rising in containers, be sure that the pots are well-draining. Test on container moisture usually in the course of the heat season since they dry out quicker than floor soils and wish water extra steadily. Scale back watering classes within the fall when the energetic rising season slows. Water within the winter solely when the soil feels dry to the contact to a depth of an inch (each three weeks or so if wanted).


A close-up of a hand tending to the compost soil, rich and dark, teeming with decomposing organic matter.
Improve soil high quality with totally decomposed plant materials compost.

‘Solar King’ aralia grows in quite a lot of soil varieties however does finest in organically wealthy and humusy soils. They aren’t choosy about pH ranges and develop in impartial to acidic soils. They thrive in fertile, well-draining soils with even moisture, mirroring its native woodland flooring.

Add compost from utterly broken-down plant materials at planting, particularly in poor soils like clay and sand. Compost helps with aeration, moisture retention, drainage, and diet. Including a compost layer to the backyard mattress or container every spring refreshes these advantages for the rising season.

Temperature and Humidity

A close-up of the branches and leaves displaying vibrant golden-yellow foliage, intricately veined, with glossy textures catching the sunlight.
Aralia thrives with ample airflow and moist soil, not overly moist.

This cold-hardy perennial grows properly in USDA zones 4-8. Crops rising in containers profit from safety from chilly winter winds. For finest success, overwinter pots in a sheltered house like a storage or basement.

Aralia grows in areas with warmth and humidity (zone 8), offered there’s loads of air circulation and moist however not overly moist soil.


A hand holding rich black soil in a container, fingers gently gripping the dark, fertile earth, ready for planting or nurturing new growth.
Apply balanced natural fertilizer in early spring earlier than new progress.

With nutrient-rich, fertile soils, aralia doesn’t require further fertilizers to thrive. They’ll profit from contemporary compost within the floor and containers every spring. If opting to fertilize within the floor or containers, apply a balanced liquid natural fertilizer like 5-5-5 in early spring earlier than new progress emerges.


A close-up of vibrant golden leaves cascading from sturdy branches, basking in the warmth of sunlight.
Division is pointless for wholesome progress.

What upkeep? That’s how simple ‘Solar King’ aralia is to have a tendency. If you wish to tidy up vegetation once they’re dormant, take away brown components in late fall, winter, or early spring earlier than new progress seems. It grows healthily with out division until you wish to propagate extra vegetation for the colony.


For this clump-forming perennial, dividing vegetation is the really helpful technique of propagation. Stem cuttings and rising from seed are different choices, although vegetation from seed is probably not true to sort.


Golden leaves with intricate veins sprawl amidst gracefully arched branches, set against a pristine white wall background.
Shield new vegetation in a chilly body for winter.

Divide vegetation in spring or fall by digging up the plant and washing away soil from the roots. Separate rooted segments from the mom plant by loosening them and pulling them aside or utilizing a spade or serrated blade to chop them into segments with roots and leaves. Plant the brand new divisions in your required backyard spots, holding them well-watered till established

Small divisions taken within the fall profit from winter safety. Think about rising tender new vegetation in a protected chilly body or container for overwintering earlier than transplanting to the backyard in spring.


Luminous golden foliage with delicate veining cascades elegantly, showcasing the distinctive beauty
Put together wholesome stem cuttings correctly for profitable propagation.

With a number of steps, propagating aralia from cuttings is a streamlined course of. Listed below are steps for finest practices in taking cuttings:

  • Minimize a four-to-six-inch piece of wholesome stem, together with woodier items of the aralia stem.
  • Take away the foliage from the underside ⅔ of the reducing (holding not less than two leaves intact). Hold cuttings moist till able to pot.
  • Optionally available: moisten the reducing and generously coat the decrease stem with rooting hormone. Faucet off any extra rooting powder.
  • Plant the reducing in not less than two inches of moist, well-draining potting combine.
  • Place the pot in a brilliant, heat location, avoiding direct daylight.
  • Water as wanted, holding the soil evenly moist.
  • When the reducing resists a delicate tug, roots are in place and able to be repotted.
  • Plant the cuttings in four-inch pots and transfer them exterior in delicate circumstances. New vegetation might be tender.

Rising From Seed

A close-up of 'Sun King' Aralia flowers showcasing vibrant yellow blooms contrasted against deep green foliage, the intricate petals of the 'Sun King' Aralia flowers radiate sunny brilliance.
Simply acquire and sow ‘Solar King’ berries for a thriving backyard.

‘Solar King’s’ berries in late summer season and fall are simple to gather and direct sow in a prepped backyard space, protecting them flippantly with soil. This selection doesn’t reseed as readily as different species within the genus or essentially mirror the golden qualities of the guardian selection, however it’s simple to strive in order for you extra aralias.

Widespread Issues

This plant is freed from most pests and ailments. Nevertheless, it might often be affected by slugs and snails, aphids, mealybugs, and leaf spot. The very best management is prevention by way of sustaining optimum cultural necessities.


A close-up of green aphids clustered on a leaf's surface, the tiny green aphids delicately resting on the leaf, their translucent bodies almost blending with the verdant backdrop.
Shield vegetation by spraying with water and utilizing horticultural cleaning soap.

One of the simplest ways to manage bugs is to identify them early. You’ll doubtless see the bugs themselves or discover their sticky waste on vegetation, nibble harm, yellowing leaves, or stunted progress.

Aphids are frequent backyard bugs often handled with non-chemical means. Usually, they trigger no plant harm, however extreme infestations trigger plant stress. Indicators of stress embody curled leaves and stunted progress. A powerful stream of water ought to knock them off your plant.

Mealybugs are soft-bodied, sap-sucking bugs that seem like tiny tufts of white cotton inhabiting our vegetation. Infestations are seen by the plenty of bugs and by yellowing, wilting, or stunted leaves. Use a cotton swab dipped in 70% or much less rubbing alcohol to manually take away them. Insecticidal cleaning soap is an effective follow-up remedy if guide elimination is ineffective.

Spider mites stay on the undersides of leaves, indicated by webbing and light-weight yellowing of leaf surfaces. Useful predatory bugs like ladybugs and predatory mites assist management populations.

Slugs and snails could also be unwelcome guests to aralia. Set beer or soda traps (dishes of beer or Coke that entice the slugs to swim) at soil stage, or manually choose off the pests within the morning if you happen to see harm.


Golden branches spiral gracefully, adorned with vibrant, serrated leaves, each leaf glowing with rich shades of yellow and green.
Take away severely infested vegetation.

As with pests, one of the best illness management is prevention by way of cultural circumstances, primarily by offering satisfactory (however not extreme) moisture and air circulation. On the whole, take away downside vegetation from the backyard to attenuate chemical remedies and promote the well being of surrounding vegetation.

Leaf spot is a fungal an infection that manifests in yellow leaf spots in spring, which transition to crimson in summer season and black within the fall. To deal with leaf spot, take away broken leaves (together with fallen leaves).

Continuously Requested Questions

It’s a wonderful shade backyard specimen. It prefers partial solar (particularly morning solar) to gentle, open shade. With extra solar, the leaves have a golden-yellow aura. Foliage turns a deeper chartreuse tone in heavier shade.

Sure, it grows superbly in containers. Guarantee pots are massive sufficient to accommodate root progress for these vigorous perennials. Use a well-draining potting combine and topdress with compost every spring. Present common moisture since containers dry out extra rapidly than in-ground plantings.

This cultivar is just not invasive and doesn’t unfold aggressively by way of suckering or reseeding like another Aralia species. It’s well-behaved within the panorama and showy as a focus or massed planting.

Remaining Ideas

‘Solar King’ aralia is a wonderful selection for a glow within the shady border, woodland planting, or darkish backyard nook. Its contemporary foliage superbly foils different shade-loving perennials, particularly these with darkish or variegated foliage. Blue, coral, purple, and white blooms stand out with this perennial as a backdrop.

With three seasons of backyard curiosity, pollinator-attracting blooms, and deer resistance, ‘Solar King’ is a high-value backyard perennial. Its carefree nature makes it an everlasting performer and shade backyard favourite.

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