How to Care for an Aralia Plant

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Aralias, with their striking glossy green leaves, make elegant houseplants. Plants grown indoors include Japanese aralia, Ming aralia, Balfour aralia and False aralia. The leaves of the aralia can be lobed, fringed or whole, and the plant itself has a thick, woody trunk. The plants vary in size, but can reach 8 feet tall and false aralia can reach 15 feet tall. If given the right environment, aralias thrive. Most plant problems arise from the wrong type of care.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton ball
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Place most aralias where they receive medium to high light. Japanese aralias particularly need high light.

  • Monitor the temperature: Aralias do best when kept at 60 degrees F year-round. Avoid placing your aralia near a heat source that can drive the temperature up, and likewise make sure it's not near a drafty window or door that will chill the plant.

  • Water your aralia when the soil becomes dry, adding enough liquid to saturate the soil. Wait for the soil to become dry again before watering.

  • Notice if your plant loses leaves: this means there's something wrong. Aralias can shed leaves when given too little light, too much water or cold temperatures. Also look for mealybugs, which can bother these houseplants. Remove mealybugs by placing the aralia in your shower and blasting the plant with water, or by rubbing the leaves with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol.

  • Fertilize your plant each spring using slow-release houseplant fertilizer. Use the dose range recommended for your size aralia plant.

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