Tips on how to Develop Japanese Aralia (Fatsia Japonica)

Fatsia japonica

With massive, daring leaves, put fatsia in your want checklist if you happen to’re in search of a pet-friendly houseplant or one that can tolerate low mild ranges.

Take one take a look at its emerald inexperienced leaves and also you’ll need to transfer it to the highest of the checklist!

A horizontal close up of several dark green, shiny, Fatsia Japonica leaves.

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Maybe you’ve already taken the plunge and introduced a Fatsia japonica plant residence.

Or perhaps fatsia is in your want checklist and also you’re right here to determine if it is going to tolerate the rising circumstances you’re capable of present.

On this article we’ll cowl all of this houseplant’s rising wants so whether or not you’re troubleshooting an issue or getting ready to convey a specimen residence, you’ll be able to proceed with confidence!

Right here’s what we’ll cowl:

What Is Japanese Aralia?

Fatsia japonica – additionally identified merely as fatsia – is an evergreen shrub that has a rounded, open, spreading development behavior.

Although it may attain as much as 16 toes tall when grown open air it often grows to round six toes tall and large as a houseplant.

A horizontal photo of a large Japanese aralia leaf that is lit from behind.
Fatsia (F. japonica) leaf.

Fatsia has shiny, emerald to darkish inexperienced palmate leaves which can be deeply lobed, develop to be eight inches large or bigger, and are held on lengthy petioles.

These leaves have an odd variety of lobes – often seven, 9, or 11 lobes per leaf – although youthful specimens usually have fewer and shallower lobes.

A horizontal close up of a young leaf on a Japanese aralia plant.
Leaf on a juvenile fatsia specimen. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

When new fatsia leaves unfurl, they’re lined with small, orange-tinted hairs, so if you happen to discover some fuzz in your houseplant’s foliage, don’t panic.

Although Japanese aralias grown as houseplants don’t usually bloom, when cultivated open air these vegetation produce aromatic white blooms in fall, which magnetize pollinators comparable to wasps.

A horizontal close up of the dark blue berries on a Japanese Aralia plant.
Berries on fatsia.

Flowering is adopted by enticing clusters of darkish blue berries, which enclose seeds that can be utilized to propagate new specimens.

Cultivation and Historical past

F. japonica is native to the Korean peninsula and Japan, and is a member of the ivy household, Araliaceae, associated to different stars of the houseplant world comparable to false aralia and umbrella tree.

A horizontal photo of a Japanese aralia shrub in the forest.
Fatsias (also referred to as Japanese aralias) rising open air.

Additionally referred to as fatsi, Japanese aralia, paperplant, massive leaf paperplant, shiny leaf paperplant, Formosa rice tree, figleaf palm, and false castor oil plant, this species was categorized taxonomically in 1854.

Nevertheless, because of their chilly tolerance, fatsias are grown open air as decorative shrubs simply as steadily as they’re loved as houseplants.

A horizontal photo from above of a fatsia seedling in a ceramic pot.
Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

In Korea and Japan, these vegetation aren’t simply admired for his or her magnificence – fatsia sprouts are eaten as a delicacy.

Japanese aralias will be grown open air yr spherical in USDA Hardiness Zones 7b to 10b.

Japanese Aralia Propagation 

Japanese aralia houseplants will be propagated from seeds, cuttings, and transplants.

For those who’re hoping to propagate a cultivar, you’ll want to take action through cuttings, for the reason that seeds of cultivated varieties gained’t develop true.

And if you happen to’re new to propagating, you would possibly need to learn our information to houseplant propagation for freshmen first!

From Seed

Rising new paperplants from seed is a straightforward and low cost possibility.

You’ll want to start out by procuring some fatsia seeds.

Houseplants are unlikely to flower or produce seeds, however you might be able to acquire seeds from a plant rising open air if there are any in your space – you should definitely ask first!

These shrubs produce flowers in fall adopted by berries in winter. The seeds inside are mature and able to harvest when the berries are darkish blue. Take away the fleshy pulp from across the seed earlier than sowing.

And when propagating seeds, begin greater than you want in case germination charges are low.

Packs of 10 Fatsia Japonica Seeds

You should buy packs of 10 Japanese aralia seeds from Seedville through Amazon.

After getting acquired your Japanese aralia seeds, there are 3 ways to start out this houseplant from seed – germinating in moist paper towels, utilizing propagation baggage, or sowing straight into rising medium in nursery pots.

In all instances, the seeds want to remain heat and moist to germinate.

We focus on these strategies intimately in our information to propagating Japanese aralia from seed.(coming quickly!)

From Cuttings

Whereas beginning Japanese aralia from seeds is simpler, if you happen to’d prefer to propagate a cultivar, you’ll have to take action by taking cuttings.

Use semi-ripe Japanese aralia cuttings – the bottom of the chopping needs to be woody, whereas the tip needs to be inexperienced. Late summer season to mid-autumn is the very best time to take cuttings of their semi-ripe stage.

Use sterilized backyard snips to take cuttings to keep away from spreading ailments, and take extra cuttings than you want, since they could not all survive.

Take cuttings which can be 4 to 6 inches lengthy, chopping proper beneath a node, which is the swollen place alongside the stem the place leaves emerge.

Cuttings will be propagated both in water or in rising medium.

To propagate in water, place the cuttings in a jar of water, and situate them in a heat location with vivid, oblique mild. Change the water each few days. Roots ought to develop from these cuttings inside a month.

You’ll be able to pot up water-rooted cuttings when the roots are not less than an inch lengthy, following the directions within the transplanting part beneath.

To root your cuttings in rising medium, take the cuttings and trim off all of the leaves on every stem besides the highest one.

Dip the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone, comparable to Olivia’s Cloning Gel, obtainable in an assortment of sizes through Arbico Organics.

A horizontal product photo of three jars of Olivia's Cloning Gel.

Olivia’s Cloning Gel

Place every chopping in particular person four-inch nursery pots, crammed to inside an inch of the rim with moist rising medium.

Place the pot in a heat location with oblique, vivid mild, maintain the rising medium moist, and anticipate the chopping to root inside a month.

The rooted chopping needs to be grown in the identical pot till it begins drying out too shortly, indicating it wants repotting.

Be taught extra about propagating houseplants from stem cuttings with our information.

From Transplants

Whenever you convey a brand new specimen residence, you would possibly surprise if it is going to must be transplanted into a brand new pot instantly.

The reply is – it relies upon!

If the plant is drying out too shortly between waterings or is tipping over as a result of the container is just too small to help the mass of the plant’s development, then sure, go forward and transplant the specimen into a bigger container.

In any other case, depart it in the identical nursery pot, or transplant it to an ornamental container of the identical dimension.

When repotting paperplant specimens which have outgrown their present containers, select a brand new one which is only one dimension bigger, and ensure it has drainage holes.

Along with a pot, you’ll additionally want some rising medium. I like to make use of Rosy Soil for this goal.

It’s peat-free, and incorporates compost, pine fines, and biochar for aeration, in addition to helpful mycorrhizal fungi.

Rosy Soil 4-Quart Bag

You’ll be able to decide up a four-quart bag of Rosy Soil from the Rosy Soil Retailer through Amazon.

After getting your new pot and rising medium, place an inch or so of rising medium within the backside of the brand new pot.

Subsequent, unpot the Japanese aralia from its present container, then loosen up the sides of the basis ball earlier than inserting it into the brand new pot.

Examine the highest of the basis ball – it needs to be round an inch beneath the rim of the brand new pot. If it’s too excessive, take away among the soil beneath the plant – if it’s too low, add a bit of extra.

When the plant is located on the proper degree, fill in alongside the edges of the basis ball with rising medium, ensuring to not cowl the crown of the plant, then water, and return the plant to its regular location.

Tips on how to Develop Japanese Aralia

Able to study extra concerning the mild, water, soil, and climatic wants of those attractive inexperienced houseplants?

Whenever you convey a fatsia residence, first examine it for pests and ailments. You’ll study extra about what to search for later within the article, so maintain studying!

Even when the plant appears to be like wholesome, when you’ve got different houseplants, it’s finest to quarantine a brand new specimen for 2 to 4 weeks in case there are any critters hiding within the soil.

As I discussed earlier, Japanese aralias can alter to quite a lot of indoor mild circumstances, so long as they aren’t uncovered to an excessive amount of direct daylight.

Oblique vivid or medium mild ranges are optimum for Japanese aralias, however additionally they put up with low mild, and lots of houseplant lovers select these vegetation for his or her tolerance of darker circumstances.

However let me let you know from expertise – what looks as if “low mild” to the human eye may very well be too darkish for Japanese aralias grown indoors.

To make sure you’re taking excellent care of your houseplants, there are a big selection of sunshine meters that may provide help to be certain your cherished vegetation get the luminosity they want – and these shiny beauties want not less than 75 to 200 foot candles.

Learn our information to find out how utilizing a light-weight meter can assist you present your houseplants with optimum mild circumstances.

A vertical photo of a Japanese fatsia plant in a wicker planter in the home.
Fatsias favor oblique mild. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

When rising paperplants open air year-round or simply in the course of the summer season months, place them in shade or dappled shade.

After getting situated a spot with the proper mild circumstances on your Japanese aralia, you’ll need to be sure you get the watering proper too.

Hold the plant’s soil moist however not soggy, and keep in mind that they actually don’t prefer to dry out!

The truth is, fatsias will let when you might have gone too lengthy between waterings by wilting fairly dramatically.

A horizontal photo of a wilting fatsia houseplant on a wooden table near a window.
A thirsty fatsia, having gone too lengthy between waterings. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

As you get to know your fatsia houseplant, remember the fact that this can be a widespread response when these vegetation want water – and attempt to time your visits with the watering can so that you just keep away from such pitiful shows.

A horizontal photo of a fatsia houseplant in a wicker pot on a table with sunlight streaming through the window.
The identical plant, on the next day, after being watered. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

Water Japanese aralias when the highest of the rising medium is dry to the contact, and use a houseplant watering can with a slim spout to be sure you water the soil evenly.

You’ll be able to study extra about watering houseplants in our information.

These vegetation will adapt to quite a lot of soil varieties so long as it’s wealthy in natural matter and well-draining, however they do favor barely acidic rising mediums with a pH vary of 5.5 to six.0.

As for temperature, a spread of 60 to 80°F throughout summer season is finest, however in winter Japanese aralias favor cooler temperatures in a spread of 45 to 55°F, however shouldn’t be uncovered to temperatures beneath 10°F.

You would possibly discover a great place for a fatsia houseplant on the north aspect of your house – for these within the Northern Hemisphere – the place the solar’s rays don’t heat the house as a lot.

On the subject of humidity, a degree of 60 p.c or increased is finest.

For those who’re attempting to develop this houseplant in a local weather that has low humidity, you may set a humidifier close to the plant which may elevate humidity ranges in a small room from 40 p.c to 60 p.c in just a few hours.

Rising Suggestions

  • Develop in oblique vivid, medium, or low mild.
  • Hold soil moist however not soggy.
  • Present 60% relative humidity or increased.

Pruning and Upkeep

After getting a Japanese aralia plant that outgrows its pot – both one bought from a nursery, or propagated from seeds or cuttings – ultimately you’ll must repot it to a bigger container.

It’s time to repot if the Japanese aralia specimen is drying out too shortly between waterings, roots are rising from the drainage holes within the backside of the pot or from the floor of the rising medium, or the plant has grown so high heavy that it’s tipping over.

A vertical photo of several Japanese aralia plants growing in pots in a greenhouse.

As famous earlier within the article, when repotting Japanese aralias, select a pot that is only one dimension bigger than the present container and solely repot when the plant has outgrown its present container.

Be certain your chosen pot has drainage holes.

In case your fatsia turns into leggy otherwise you want to reshape it, you may prune again one third of the plant at a time. Eradicating a couple of third of the leaves will make it arduous for the plant to get better.

When pruning, you should definitely sterilize scissors or backyard snips with hydrogen peroxide in between totally different specimens to cut back the chance of illness unfold.

As for fertilizer, you may supply your fatsia worm compost out of your vermicompost bin, or present a delicate, balanced fertilizer as soon as per week in the course of the rising season, comparable to Dr. Earth’s Pump and Develop Indoor Houseplant Meals.

A vertical product photo of a container of Dr. Earth' House Plant Pump&Grow fertilizer.

Dr. Earth Pump and Develop Indoor Houseplant Meals

You’ll discover Dr. Earth’s Pump and Develop Indoor Houseplant Meals in 16-ounce bottles obtainable from Arbico Organics.

Hybrids and Cultivars to Choose

When selecting a fatsia for a houseplant, there are a number of choices together with quite a lot of cultivars in addition to the straight species. 

The straight species, F. japonica, is a magnificence in its personal proper.

With shiny, emerald inexperienced leaves, it’s simple to discover a place within the residence for such a basic foliage plant.

Fatsia Japonica in 1-Gallon Pot

Able to welcome one in every of these into your house? You’ll discover two-foot tall specimens in one-gallon pots obtainable from 9EzTropical through Amazon.

Listed below are some widespread cultivars you might discover at your native nursery or on-line:


‘Annelise’ has impressionistic, marbled patterns which may remind you of the prayer plant cultivar ‘Fusion White.’

The foliage of this cultivar shows interior variegation – the middle of the leaf is mild inexperienced, after which darkens in the direction of the leaf margins.


‘Annemieke’ (x Fatshedera lizei ) is an intergeneric hybrid – a cross between F. japonica ‘Moseri’ and Hedera helix, higher often called English ivy.

A horizontal close up of two green Japanese Aralia leaves with white veining down the center.
x Fatshedera lizei ‘Annemieke’
This hybrid, additionally referred to as “tree ivy” or “bush ivy,” has five-lobed leaves with the gorgeous veining of ivy.

The cultivar ‘Annemieke’ has stunning yellow variegation on the leaves, and will be cultivated as both a vine or a shrub, with common pruning to encourage bushier development.

Of observe for these fascinated about fatsia as a unhazardous houseplant – this intergeneric hybrid possible loses that property, since English ivy is poisonous to people and pets.

Spider’s Net

‘Spider’s Net’ is an F. japonica cultivar that has speckled white variegation on the margins of the leaves, which transitions to inexperienced on the facilities. Some leaves could also be fully white.

A square product photo of a Spider Web fatsia in a black nursery pot.

‘Spider’s Net’ Fatsia

For those who’d like to purchase one for a houseplant, you could find a ‘Spider’s Net’ fatsia in a 10-inch grower’s pot from the Nationwide Plant Community through Walmart.

Managing Pests and Illness

Fatsia is vulnerable to the identical pests and ailments which generally plague houseplants.

As talked about above, you’ll undoubtedly need to examine any new specimen you convey into your house and quarantine it from different houseplants for 2 to 4 weeks, if doable.

After that, examine for pests beneath the leaves everytime you water your Japanese aralia, and provides it an intensive inspection earlier than bringing your plant indoors after it has spent the summer season outdoors.

Hold an eye fixed out for aphids, mealybugs, and scale, all of that are sap-sucking bugs that can suck vitamins from these vegetation, weakening them to the purpose of dying if left unchecked.

Personally, I’ve had the most important subject with scale on newly arrived Japanese aralia specimens.

Examine underneath leaves, alongside leaf veins, and on stems for these well-camouflaged bugs – they generally seem like little bumps or imperfections and could also be black, grey, brown, inexperienced, or white.

A horizontal close up of the underside of a fatsia houseplant with scale on the veins of the leaf.
Scale bugs on underside of fatsia leaf. Photograph by Kristina Hicks-Hamblin.

If scale is a matter on your Japanese aralia plant, you might discover leaves that seem deformed, or exhibiting discolored spots.

These bugs could depart oily trying liquid on the houseplant’s foliage – this is named honeydew, and its presence can encourage fungal development, supplying you with a two-for-one plant disaster!

Fortunately, it is doable to rid these houseplants of scale, aphid, or mealybug infestations. My remedy of alternative is neem oil, which is unhazardous to people, canines, and cats.

A vertical product photo of a jug of Monterey Neem Oil.

Monterey Neem Oil

Monterey Neem Oil is available in an assortment of sizes and is obtainable from Arbico Organics.

Apply the product as soon as per week for 3 to 4 weeks, ensuring to coat the plant effectively, and spray the floor of the soil too.

For additional steering on dealing with scale infestations, you should definitely learn our article.

On the subject of ailments, the issue you’re most probably to expertise with this plant is root rot – a illness which will be averted with correct plant care.

In case your plant is wilting, but its rising medium is damp, it’s extremely possible that root rot is the issue.

On the subject of root rot, prevention is essential!

Be certain your Japanese aralia is planted in a well-draining rising medium, a pot with drainage holes, and maintain the rising medium moist however not soggy.

Be taught extra about controlling root rot in houseplants in our information.

Greatest Makes use of for Japanese Aralia

Along with serving as a big inexperienced foliage plant in your house, Japanese aralia is superb for interiorscaping because of its tolerance for low mild circumstances.

A horizontal photo of decorative green leaves of Fatsia Japonica after they have been watered.

Paperplants are additionally secure for households with pets or young children.

However primarily based on my expertise, that is actually not a type of houseplants your cat will depart alone.

My cats are significantly drawn to my Japanese aralias and are intent on mauling them, so when you’ve got felines, you too would possibly must maintain these out of their attain by putting them in hanging planters or wall planters.

I’m assuming my cats like to chew on this plant a lot due to its tasty foliage.

Whereas I haven’t tried sampling it myself, as talked about above, fatsia is edible and the younger sprouts are thought of a delicacy in Japan and Korea.

A horizontal close up photo of cooked fatsia on a white plate.
Fatsia shoots ready as Korean fashion pickles.

And as a reminder for these of you in hotter zones, fatsias will be planted open air in shady areas in USDA Hardiness Zones 7b to 10b.

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Sort: Evergreen shrub Flower/Foliage Coloration: White/emerald inexperienced, variegated inexperienced and white, variegated inexperienced and yellow
Native to: Japan, Korea Water Wants: Average
Hardiness (USDA Zone): 7b-10b Upkeep: Low
Bloom Time/Season: Fall Tolerance: Cool circumstances, humidity, low mild
Publicity: Brilliant, medium, or low oblique mild (indoors), dappled shade to full shade (open air) Soil Sort: All-purpose houseplant rising medium
Time to Maturity: 3-5 years Soil pH: 5.5-6.0
Planting Depth: 1/8-1/4 inch (seeds), high of root ball (transplants) Soil Drainage: Nicely-draining
Peak: 6-16 toes Makes use of Foliage houseplant, shade plant
Unfold: 6-16 toes Household: Araliaceae
Progress Fee: Average to quick Genus: Fatsia
Frequent Pests and Ailments: Aphids, mealybugs, scale, spider mites; leaf spot, root rot Species: Japonica

A Daring and Lovely Foliage Alternative

Huge and daring, fatsia gained’t fade into the background and conceal – and now you’re geared up with the care information you might want to maintain your Japanese aralia trying stunning within the foreground.

Now it’s your flip to indicate off pictures of your personal Japanese aralias – simply use the feedback part beneath! And if you happen to nonetheless have any unanswered questions on caring for fatsias, be happy to drop them there as effectively.

On the lookout for extra indoor foliage choices on your residence or workplace house? Hold studying proper right here:

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