The Fatsia japonica or aralia is one of the most resistant and popular plants that can be kept outdoors and indoors. Its rusticity or resistance has popularly given it a place in doorways and patios, thanks to its ability to develop and survive with little care.
If you want to learn about the Fatsia japonica or aralia carekeep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article.
Characteristics of Fatsia japonica
Its common name is araliaalthough the scientist is fatsia japonica. It is a plant of the family of the Araliaceae which, as its name indicates, comes from Japan. It is worth mentioning that it is common to call the entire genus Aralia, which has about 50 species, although today we focus specifically on Fatsia japonica.
It is a perennial shrub that, in ideal conditions, can reach up to 5 meters in height, with striking lobed and palmate leaves up to 45 cm in diameter. Do not worry about its size, because, as you can imagine, grown in a pot and indoors, this plant grows much less.
Its flowering gives rise to umbrellas of greenish-white flowers, very small and largely reminiscent of ivy because of how inconspicuous or showy they are. These, in turn, give rise to the fruits, some dark berries and rounded. Flowering usually occurs in autumn, although it is more difficult to see it when grown indoors.
Location of Fatsia japonica
The aralia needs a good lighting, but does not tolerate direct exposure to high intensity sun. The ideal is to find a well-lit room to place it in semi-shade or receiving light from a window, always filtered by a curtain. Outdoors it can be grown in bushy areas, but always under the shade of a tree or other protection.
If your aralia has variegated leaves, you should ensure that the plant receives some direct light during the first hours of the day, when the sun is less intense. In the case of common varieties, they will do well in semi-shade and even in the shade if there is no other option.
Temperature for Fatsia japonica
The ideal temperature for this plant is between 16ºC and 20ºC. If you have it indoors, you should try not to place it too close to heat sources that do not allow the plant to go into vegetative rest, while outdoors, try to keep the soil dry if the temperature drops below 10ºC, or the roots will suffer.
Fatsia japonica irrigation
The large leaves of the aralia require a good supply of water to be able to maintain them, so the plant needs Fairly frequent waterings, especially during the warm months spring and summer. In this season, the best is do not let the substrate dry out completely, maintaining a certain level of humidity in it. Of course, this should never be confused with flooding the substrate, something that very few plants tolerate and that would do a lot of damage to your aralia. We recommend reading this other post to learn more about when to water plants.
The aralia or Fatsia japonica also needs certain level of environmental humidity. Since homes are usually dry places, it is necessary to provide this contribution in some way. The most comfortable is to place the pot on a dish with water, in which we have placed enough stones or pebbles so that the pot remains above the water level. Thus, as it evaporates naturally, the plant will receive the moisture it needs.
On the other hand, it is very convenient regularly clean the leaves of the aralia with a damp cloth in water at room temperature, so that we free them of accumulated dust and dirt and they will be able to absorb environmental humidity and receive the light they need well. Here we explain how to clean the leaves of plants.
Substrate for Fatsia japonica
The aralia is not demanding with the soil, and the only thing it needs is that this contribution an acceptable drainage. In a pot, the universal substrate will normally be sufficient, while in the garden you can plant it almost anywhere that does not have too much clay soil.
If you want to ensure your aralia the best care, you can always prepare a universal substrate mix for seedlings mixing peat, earthworm humus and coconut fiber in equal parts, and then adding a handful of vermiculite and another of perlite.
Fertilizer for Fatsia japonica
The aralia only needs compost during the warm months, which is when it is most active. Add an inch or two of organic fertilizer as compost or worm humus once every 20 days during spring and summer, which is the most ecological way to fertilize your plant.
Here you can learn how to make homemade compost.
Other care for Fatsia japonica
You may prune the aralia plant in early springas soon as the cold passes, if you want to control its growth so that it maintains a more compact shape.
If the plant does not have enough humidity or there is not good ventilation, it is possible that it is attacked by mites or mealybugs. Be vigilant and remove them by hand if the pest is mild or with a homemade insecticide if more is needed.
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