Japanese Aralia, Glossy-Leaf Paper Plant, Etc.
Synonyms of Fatsia japonica (5) (Last updated on 1-24-21): Aralia japonica Thunb., Aralia sieboldii K.Koch, Dimorphanthus japonicus (Thunb.) Endl., Echinopanax japonicus (Thunb.) Kuntze, Fatsia japonica var. liukiuensis Hatus. ex H.Ohba
Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Fatsia. The genus and species were both named and described as such by Joseph Decaisne and Jules Émile Planchon in Revue Horticole in 1854. It was first named and described as Aralia japonica by Carl Peter Thunberg in Nova Acta Regiae Societatis Scientiarum Upsaliensis in 1780.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists three species in the Fatsia genus (as of 1-24-21 when I am updating this page. It is a member of the plant family Araliaceae with 43 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made.
This awesome plant was growing next to the kitchen along the northwest side of the mansion in Leland, Mississippi. It had been severely neglected for many years and incorrectly pruned off and on.
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Fatsia japonica can get quite tall (10-12′ ++), so I had to thin it out from time to time. According to Dave’s Garden, this shrub is hardy in USDA zones 7a-10b, which is down to ZERO. However, this plant is frost sensitive and many websites say it is only cold hardy down to 10 degrees and needs to be protected from frost. It will grow as a houseplant and normally won’t grow over 6′ tall indoors and it seldom if ever will flower.
I really liked this plant even though it could get a little crazy. I learned how to trim it properly by just removing some of the newer growth. Well, that’s the way I did it anyway. There are other ways to do it as explained HERE. Dead parts need to be removed to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Origin: Japan, Korea, Nansi-shoto
Zones: USDA Zones 7a-10b (0-35° F)
Size: 6-16’ tall x 6-16’ wide
Light: Part shade to full shade
Soil: Well-drained soil where hardy.
Water: Average water needs
Uses: Can be grown outside where hardy or as a houseplant.
I don’t know anything besides what I read online about growing Fatsia japonica as a houseplant. They need cooler temperatures during the winter during their rest period. I like where this one website says 45-65 during the winter and NEVER above 70 the rest of the year. This plant thrives outside during the summer in temps well above 90 degrees so why would they object to over 70 inside?
I never had any problems with this plant other than it growing and needing trimming off and on. It really added a nice tropical look. Some people may be allergic to its sap, but I never had any problems with it. You may want to use gloves just in case and avoid eye contact.
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