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Photo: Japanese aralia

General description

Japanese Aralia (Fatsia japonica), 5-8 ft., part to full shade, clusters of small white flowers fall and winter, large glossy foliage, good foundation plant.

From Korea, Japan. This is a tropical-looking shrub with long-stalked, big, glossy dark green, deeply lobed, fanlike leaves to 16 in.wide. Moderate growth to 5–8 ft. high and wide (rarely more); sparsely branched. Many roundish clusters of small, creamy white flowers appear in fall and winter, followed by clusters of small, shiny black fruit.

Grows in nearly all soils except soggy ones. Adapted to containers. If leaves are chronically yellow, add iron to the soil. During prolonged dry spells, wash occasionally with hose to clean leaves and to lessen insect attack. Control slugs and snails. Established plants sucker freely; keep suckers or remove them with a spade.

Rejuvenate spindly plants by cutting back hard in early spring. Plants that set fruit often self-sow. This is a natural landscaping choice where a bold pattern is wanted. It is most effective when thinned to show some branch structure, and provides year-round good looks for a shaded entryway or patio. It’s also useful near swimming pools. ‘Moseri’ has acompact habit. ‘Variegata’ has leaves edged golden yellow to creamy white.

Properties

Height
1 - 394 cm