Skip to Content

How to Grow and Care For Fatsia Japonica

Whether you have heard of Japanese Aralia, Japanese Fatsia, or Aralia Japonica,

all of them refer to the same tropical and evergreen plant, known as Fatsia Japonica.

Grown indoors or outdoors, Fatsia gives a commendable appearance to your lawn, with its large green leaves and tiny clusters of flowers.

The most prominent feature of this plant includes massive green leaves that are deeply lobed in the middle, taking the appearance of a flower itself.

The entire plant usually reaches a height of about 10 feet, while some older plants also attain a height of around 15 to 16 feet in length.

The common name of Fatsia Japonica is a paper plant, owing to its crisp and large paper-like leaves.

It belongs to the plant family of Araliaceae, and it is native to the southern regions of Japan and Korea.

It bears black berries and clusters of white flowers. These flowers are a common breeding ground for birds, which visit this plant often. 

 

How to Grow and Care For Fatsia Japonica

Taking care of Fatsia Japonica is not so difficult if you are already accustomed to some of the gardening principles. Keep it in a shady spot where it does not get exposure to direct sunlight, and it will do wonders for you. Fatsia loves rich, organic soil mixed with compost that enriches the quality of the soil. It can be grown in the USDA hardiness zones of 8 to 11.

 

How to Grow and Care For Fatsia Japonica

How to Grow and Care For Fatsia Japonica

 

 

Fatsia Japonica Care Guide

 

Soil

The perfect soil for the optimum growth of Fatsia Japonica is neither too moist nor too drained according to the University of Florida.

You will need draining soil for this plant that retains the water for a little while before losing it through evaporation.

It is best if your soil is fertile. However, if not, you can always add extra manure and compost to it to enrich its quality.

Perfect soil for the optimum growth of Fatsia Japonica is one that is neither too moist nor too drained

Perfect soil for the optimum growth of Fatsia Japonica is neither too moist nor too drained

 

Water

Since this plant naturally grows in coastal areas where the quantity of water is abundant,

it can be easily estimated that the plant is a great lover of water.

Therefore, you need to keep a check on the soil to determine when and how much water your plant is going to take when placed in a garden.

It is a general rule that every plant requires more watering in summers and less of it in winters.

This is because, in summers, the scorching heat of the daylight makes the water evaporate quickly,

whereas, in winters, the water stays on the surface of the leaves and the soil for long before it finally evaporates.

Therefore, make sure that you are watering it every day in the summers and around twice or thrice a week in winters.

 

Temperature

The best temperature for the growth of Fatsia is USDA hardiness zones of 8 to 11.

 

Sunlight

Make sure that the plant is placed in the right spot, where it does not get direct sunlight, as exposure to it will quickly result in burned leaves.

As said earlier, the leaves of Fatsia have a delicate paper-like nature; putting them in direct sunlight would be of great danger to the plant.

 

Humidity

Higher levels of humidity are required for Fatsia for it to thrive properly, whether indoors or outdoors.

To sustain the level of humidity outdoors, you can always mist your plant lightly now and then.

However, if you are growing this plant indoors, you will need to put a pebble tray under the plant to ensure that the plant is getting a sufficient humid environment.

 

Fertilizer

While over-fertilizing the plant will result in leaves falling off the plant, fertilizing it moderately will always lead to good results.

The correct frequency to fertilize Fatsia is once every two weeks in summer, with a balanced fertilizer.

In winters, the need for fertilizer becomes more negligible, so you can fertilize it once every month.

It would ensure the right amount of nutrients for the plant while allowing it to grow efficiently.

Correct frequency to fertilize Fatsia is once every two weeks in the season of summer

The correct frequency to fertilize Fatsia is once every two weeks in the summer

 

Propagation

To propagate Fatsia in the right way, you will need to follow these steps properly.

The best time to plant it is the season of spring so that it has enough time to grow in the summers.

Although this plant can be propagated with both seeds and stem cuttings,

the latter is generally preferable as it leads to quick results and never disappoints.

  • From a mature plant, cut a stem large enough so that it can build a reasonable amount of roots when placed in a new pot.
  • Make sure that the stem cutting has at least two leaves on it.
  • Prepare the soil by adding a generous amount of compost or manure into it, and then place your stem cutting in it.
  • Cover the pot with a plastic bag so that the new plant gets enough humidity to develop roots inside the soil.
  • At this point, you can also use a rooting hormone, which is commonly available in many planting stores.
  • Use the rooting hormone once a week, and make sure to water it daily for a couple of weeks before you see new leaves and stems emerging from the soil.
Fatsia Japonica plant can be propagated with both seeds and stem cuttings

Fatsia Japonica plant can be propagated with both seeds and stem cuttings

 

Repotting

Fatsia Japonica is one of those plants that grows extremely quickly,

so you will need to take out some time once a year to repot it.

You do not want to wait too long before doing it because the plant may develop such strong roots that it becomes almost impossible to repot.

Fatsia Japonica is one of those plants that grows extremely quickly, so you will need to repot once a year

Fatsia Japonica is one of those plants that grows extremely quickly, so you will need to repot once a year

 

Common Problems With Fatsia Japonica

 

Excessive Watering

Watering in excess can have lethal results for Fatsia Japonia, as it likes moist soil but not lumpy and overwatered soil.

Therefore, finding the correct quantity of water that your plant needs per day are extremely important.

If you don’t water the plant enough, it may develop crisp leaves, which will then begin to fall off rapidly.

However, in case of overwatering the plant, the leaves will lose their shape and remain soaked.

It is very important to figure out your plant’s watering needs, as they can vary immensely depending upon the location of your pot,

the size of your plant, the temperature conditions in the space where the plant is kept, and the position of the leaves.

For instance, if your plant is kept indoors, it will not require as much water as it may require when kept outdoors.

Similarly, the bigger the pot of your plant is, the more water it will need to sustain itself.

 

Excessive Light

In its typical habitat, Fatsia Japonica is hidden by other plants and, therefore, does not experience any lighting problems.

However, if you are growing it in your garden, you will see that the plant gets sunburned very quickly.

This is because the unfiltered light of the sun is directly hitting the plant, leaving it vulnerable to burns and crisp foliage.

To prevent this, I recommend keeping your plant in a spot where it gets partial and indirect sunlight to grow well while being protected from the direct sun.

Unfiltered light of the sun is directly hitting Fatsia Japonica, leaving it vulnerable to burns and crisp foliage

Unfiltered light of the sun is directly hitting Fatsia Japonica, leaving it vulnerable to burns and crisp foliage

 

Poor Soil Conditions

Although many plants grow well in neutral soil conditions, you need to ensure the nature of your soil when taking care of Fatsia Japonica.

If the soil is in poor conditions, your plant will not bear leaves at all.

It is always advised to choose the soil that has a higher concentration of hummus in it so that it can retain at least some water for the plant.

Humus is a great natural product that you can use in the soil as it neither gets entirely soaked in water nor loses all the water quickly.

Some amount of compost can also be added to the soil to enhance the quality of the soil.

Humus is a great use in the soil as it neither gets entirely soaked in water nor loses all the water quickly

Humus is of great use in the soil as it neither gets entirely soaked in water nor loses all the water quickly

 

Acclimatization

Acclimatization occurs when a plant has to adapt to a new habitat after being moved from its current location.

Because fatsia japonica has poor tolerance to newer places, it is best not to move it now and then.

In winters especially, the moving of plants turns out to be disastrous as the temperature difference between day and night is so great that it becomes intolerable for Fatsia.

Therefore, ensuring the correct temperature is extremely important to ensure the proper growth of the plant.

 

Fungal Disease

Fungal diseases are very common in plants such as Fatsia Japonica.

They are noticeable by dark spots or small holes in the leaves with dark edges around them.

The reason behind this fungal disease is mainly because the plant has been kept in an under-ventilated room.      

If you notice such symptoms in your plant, it is wise to cut off the affected leaves as soon as possible because if you don’t,

the disease will keep spreading to other leaves and eventually the roots.

After cutting off the leaves, spray the plant with a fungicide and keep it in a well-ventilated room with bright indirect light.

Fungal diseases are very common in Fatsia Japonica, noticeable by dark spots or small holes in the leaves with dark edges

Fungal diseases are very common in Fatsia Japonica, noticeable by dark spots or small holes in the leaves with dark edges

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Fatsia Japonica Care

 

How to keep my Fatsia Japonica healthy?

An easy way to keep your Fatsia Japonica healthy is to keep watering it whenever you find the soil dry to slight touch.

If the soil feels crumbly and dry, it means that you should water the plant well.

Moreover, it is also recommended to keep the plant in bright indirect sunlight to witness the growth at the optimum level.

 

Does Fatsia like sun or shade?

Fatsia Japonica thrives in the bright indirect light of the sun.

It means that although it loves sunlight, direct exposure to it would quickly burn the leaves, and therefore, shade should be ensured to guarantee the best results.

You can also grow this plant indoors if you have extreme sunlight exposure in your garden. 

 

Why are the leaves of my Fatsia Japonica falling so much?

One common reason for your Fatsia shedding off excess leaves is too much fertilizer.

For instance, fertilizing it every week can be dangerous for the plant as it will only make the leaves crumbly and prone to fall off.

Therefore, fertilizing it twice a month seems to be the best option.

 

Am I watering my plant too often?

Although Fatsia does not like wet soil, there will be plenty of reasons when the time comes to slow down on the watering schedule.

The plant, if overwatered, will start to form lumps of wet soil and have drooping leaves.

This should be a warning sign for the owners to reduce the quantity of water they give to the plant each day.

 

What do I need to do to protect my Fatsia against pests?

Spider mites are the most common example of insects that can destroy your Fatsia Japonica.

You will see their presence on the leaves when you notice tiny silver dots on the leaf’s surface, giving it a very patchy appearance.

To protect your plant against them, immediately prune the affected leaves and spray the plant with a powerful insecticide. 

 

Conclusion On How to Grow and Care For Fatsia Japonica

Unlike many plants that can not be placed indoors because they are toxic to pets or children,

Fatsia Japonica is an excellent addition to your indoor plants because they are neither toxic to pets nor children if ingested.

Fatsia is also known to enhance the air quality of your space, which only becomes an additional reason for you to have it right away.

Its blooming flowers give a stunning appearance to your living space, while the large green lobed leaves add a lot of color to it.

 

 

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli

Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.