Aralia: Tough evergreen indoor/outdoor foliage plant – How to care and details
They are evergreen plants grown for their beautiful looking and attractive foliage. The plants are easy to maintain and fuss free plants with a very little maintenance. They can be grown both indoors and outdoors. They can be either small bushes or some species can grow to up to a height of 60 inches trees.
Quick Details of Aralia
|Other Common Names||Aralia|
|Type||Indoor/outdoor foliage plan|
|Flowering||Late spring/ early summer|
|Light||Low to moderate bright indirect sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.|
|Water||Only when the soil is dry|
|Temperature||Warm humid conditions|
|Fertilizer||Any house plant fertilizer rich in nitrogen|
|Habitat||Tropical Asia and Polynesia|
|Toxicity||Toxic, can cause gastrointestinal irritation|
|Common Diseases||Aphids, spider mites, root rot|
|Scientific name||Polyscias spp.|
Aralia Buying Instructions
- Buy a bushy plant and plant should not have damaged leaves.
- Plant should not have any kind of pest or fungus.
Overview of Aralia
They are perennial or evergreen trees, shrubs, rhizomatous plants or creepers belonging to the family of Araliaceae. They are grown as an indoor/ outdoor ornamental plant. Some are grown as landscape plants. The young plants are fleshy and have herbaceous growth. The stems become woody ones they mature. There are around 70 species. Each species differs from the other in their stem and leaf structures. Some have bristles on the leaves and stem. However, their care and propagation does not vary much. Some of the commonly grown plants of this genus are:
Chicken Gizzard Aralia, Palapala Aralia, Aralia Ming, Parsley Aralia, Fernleaf Aralia, Feather Leaf Aralia, Aralia Cordata etc are some of the common species.
They produce white or greenish flowers.
Almost all the parts of the plant are toxic and contain saponins. A species Aralia cordata is edible and produced commercially to be consumed by humans. The plants are also grown as bonsai plants.
Usage and Advantage of Aralia
- It is grown as an ornamental plant.
- A species is consumed by humans as food.
General Care for Aralia
Soil: They prefer well drained, loamy acidic nutrient rich soil. A potting soil mixed with perlite is the best for the plants.
Light: The plants prefer shade. The plants grown indoors should be provided with bright indirect light. However, the ones grown outdoors can be grown in places with shade or indirect sunlight. A direct morning sunlight is good for the plant. However, over exposure to direct sunlight can be harmful. They prefer humid and warm conditions.
Water: The plants shouldn’t be over watered or under watered. They prefer the soil to be moist. The indoor plants can be deep watered ones in 2-3 weeks. It is advisable to check for the soil dryness before watering. The plants should be watered only when the soil is 50% dry.
Pruning: The plants do not require much pruning. However, in case of indoor plants the tips of the branches can be pinched off to prevent it from spreading out. This also helps in maintaining the shape.
Fertilizer: The plants do not require much fertilizer. an addition of nitrogen rich fertilizer ones in 2 months during the growing period can help in maintaining a healthy plant.
Pests and other problems for Aralia
The plants are mostly resistant to pathogens. Over-watering can cause root rot which can be prevented by making sure that the watering is done only when the soil is dry. The plants are also susceptible to pest attack. Mealy bug is one of the common pests that attacks the plant. Aphids and spider mites are also seen to attack the plant. Hose spraying water ones in a while or spraying neem oil can prevent the attack of pests.
Propagation of Aralia
The propagation can be done either through the seeds or cuttings from different parts of the plant. The seeds can be collected from the plant and buried in the soil and watered regularly. The seeds can be sown during spring as the plants prefer moist and humid conditions for their growth.
The propagation by cutting can be done either by using softwood, hardwood or suckers. A 6-8-inch-long softwood can be cut just below the leaf node. 2-3 pairs of leaves can be left on the cutting, removing the leaves from the bottom. This cutting can be planted to develop into a new plant. A rooting hormone can be used for development of roots.
While propagating hardwood, the cuttings should be fully deprived of the leaves.
The plant can also be grown from the underground suckers. The shoot just above the suckers can be separated from the parent plant and potted separately to develop into a new plant.