Fatsia Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#62

This leathery, leaf plant can be found under many different names. But the one thing that remains consistent is it's impressive foliage shape, making it worth the extra care it needs.

Botanical Name: Fatsia japonica (may see it as Aralia japonica also)

Common Name: Fatsia, Japanese Aralia, Paperplant

Cultivars: Variegata, Spiderweb Plant, Camouflage, Annelise


Sun Requirements:

In nature, Fatsia prefers a shady spot in your yard. But in your home they do best in medium to bright, indirect light.


Water Requirement

Keeping your soil a bit more moist for Fatsia is essential. You don't want to let it completely dry out in-between watering. Instead, you want to allow the top layers to become dry before watering again. If you underwater, the leaves will curl, but if you overwater the leaves will turn yellow and droop.


Providing humidity is important for the plant to thrive, so using a humidifier, misting it, placing it in a terrarium or over a tray of pebbles can all help to increase humidity.


Fertilizer

As I always say, there are LOTS of ways to fertilize plants. Unless you are extremely over-fertilizing your plant, there isn't necessarily a wrong way to do this. I currently use Fox Farm's Grow Big Liquid Fertilizer and I fertilize every 2 weeks (when I water my plants) from the end of February to October. I reduce fertilizing to about once or twice in winter when a plant slows down pushing out new new growth.


Practical Houseplant Book: "Apply a half-strength balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from spring to late summer."


There are MANY ways to fertilize and it is completely up to you! There are tons of products out there you can try but an overall rule of thumb for houseplants is that it is best to under-fertilize, rather than over-fertilize. Always use the recommended amount, or less, when applying your fertilizer to houseplants.


Propagation

Stem cutting is one way to propagate Fatsia. Before cutting willy-nilly, make sure the stem has hardened off a little and you aren't cutting too new of growth. This will be a more successful propagation.


Other Facts

  • Part of the Araliaceae family.

  • Native to Japan or Taiwan where it can grow upwards of 15ft tall.

  • Fatsia japonica has deeply lobed leaves with a new growth coming lime green and darkening over time. Other varieties come with white variegation or different shades of green.

  • As a houseplant, Fatsia rarely blooms but if it does, there will be small white flower clusters protruding from the center. After it flowers, shiny black berries form that will last a long time until birds eat them or a hard frost comes. Here is the link to Oregon State University which has some great images of the plant, flowers and berries.

  • This plant is favorable in the southern United States as a landscape plant because of its tolerance of cooler weather. Even though this is a broadleaf evergreen, the growth goes dormant in winter and benefits from a drop in temperature (around 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit).

  • Fun fact: Fatsia has been crossed with English Ivy to create Tree Ivy!

  • According to ASPCA, this is non-toxic to pets and humans. If you are interested in learning about more pet friendly plants, check out Podcast Ep#31 for more info or the corresponding blog post!

 

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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)

 

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