Growing Japanese Aralia can be problematic if its growing needs are not understood, so gardening enthusiasts and those new to Japanese Aralia should take time to become familiar with how to grow this beautiful plant. Japanese Aralia, also known by its full botanical name Fatsia japonica, thrives outdoors in warmer climates, but can tolerate cooler climates if grown in a greenhouse or indoors. This visually arresting, vividly green plant has earned itself the nickname "False Castor Oil Plant", due to its similar appearance to the real castor oil plant.
Japanese Aralia will do well in bright light that is not intense. It prefers mildly humid conditions and cooler temperatures ranging from 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers mildly moist soil and bi-weekly fertilization during the spring and summer growth months.
Japanese Aralia is best grown from stem cuttings of existing plants, but can also be grown from seeds. Place cuttings or seeds in a pot which contains a mixture of peat and soil or potting mix available from a commercial grower or nursery. Cover both pot and plant with a plastic bag to contain moisture as the plant takes root and grows. Make sure the pot provides adequate drainage, and keep the potting soil moist. As the plant begins to grow, provide regular mistings to mimic humid conditions and keep the plant and leaves moist.
Once successfully planted, Japanese Aralia can be repotted outdoors in a cool area with indirect sunlight. Continue with regular mistings and bi-weekly fertilizations throughout the growing season. Any necessary pruning should be performed during the spring growing season only.
Following these simple tips will keep your Japanese Aralia looking beautiful.