Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia, Etc.)

Fatsia japonica by the kitchen at the mansion in Leland, Mississippi on 2-1-09, #3-23.

Japanese Aralia, Glossy-Leaf Paper Plant, Etc.

Fatsia japonica

FAT-see-ah juh-PON-ih-kuh

Synonyms of Fatsia japonica (9) (Last updated on 11-14-22 from Plants of the World Online): Aralia brownii André (1866), Aralia japonica Thunb. (1790), Aralia sieboldii K.Koch (1858), Aralia sieboldii moseri J.R.Duncan & V.C.Davies (1925), Aralia sieboldii var. variegata J.Dix (1861), Dimorphanthus japonicus (Thunb.) Endl. (1842), Echinopanax japonicus (Thunb.) Kuntze (1891), Fatsia japonica var. liukiuensis Hatus. ex H.Ohba (1899), Fatsia japonica var. lobulata Makino (1916)

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.

As of 11-14-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists three species in the Fatsia genus. It is a member of the plant family Araliaceae with 46 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

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.


Fatsia japonica starting to flower on 10-27-10, #62-2.

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.

Fatsia japonica on 8-12-12, #115-63.

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.

Fatsia japonica on 11-22-12, #130-14.

Family: Araliaceae
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.

Fatsia japonica on 11-22-12, #130-15.

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?

Fatsia japonica on 11-22-12, #130-16.

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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2 comments on “Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia, Etc.)

  1. Terri says:

    I have a fatsia japonica. It did great over the winter (I covered it when we would get freezes), but I’m thinking I’m going to have to move it. It gets morning sun for about 4 hours, but here in texas is still very strong. I don’t want to kill it by moving it, but its leaves are getting crispy. I want to wait till fall to move it because I don’t think our hundred plus days would help it. Do you think I can move it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Terri! Great to hear from you! Glad you have a Fatsia japonica! They are great plants! The Fatsia japonica was at the mansion when I moved there. If I remember correctly, it received a little morning sun then more in the afternoon. It was right against a wall so it was mostly in the shade. If you notice it getting sunburned, then moving it may be a good idea. The taller (older leaves) on mine sometimes would die off and get crispy, as I am sure yours does the same. Since you can propagate this plant with stem cuttings, I don’t see why it would be difficult to move it as long as you get lots of roots. Please let me know if you transplant it and let me know how it went. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. Take care and thanks for the comment!


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