The Aralia Balfouriana plant, also known as Balfour Aralia or Polyscias Balfouriana, is most commonly found as a house plant, though it can be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 10 and 11. As a house plant, the Aralia Balfouriana is popular not only because it grows vertically, but it also has attractive, scalloped leaves, edged in white. The Aralia Balfouriana is a slow-growing plant. It can be pruned to range in size and shape from a small bonsai to a small bush or tree.
As a House Plant
Your Aralia Balfouriana will be the happiest when planted in a soil that contains a high amount of peat, though it will be fine in a general, all-purpose house plant potting soil. Because Aralia Balfouriana plants are slow-growing, they require infrequent repotting.
The Aralia Balfouriana originates in the tropics and needs moist soil, but it does not like soggy soil. Monitor the soil of your Aralia Balfouriana; when the surface becomes dry, it is time to water. Do not let excess water remain in the catch tray under the pot. Fertilize monthly with a high nitrate house plant fertilizer.
Place your Aralia Balfouriana where there is strong light. It prefers temperatures from 60 degrees F to 85 degrees F. The plant can tolerate high temperatures, but will not live in temperatures below 50 degrees F.
Your Aralia Balfouriana will not often be bothered by pests or disease. Fungus is rare, but spider mites or aphids may invade your plant. Treat your Aralia Balfouriana with a general house plant pesticide formulated to rid plants of spider mites and aphids, should they appear.
Because of its tropical origins, the Aralia Balfouriana is only found growing outdoors in places like southern Florida, where it can enjoy high humidity and strong sunlight. Your outdoor Aralia Balfouriana should be planted in loose humus soil that drains well, and which is kept consistently moist.
In their natural environment, the Aralia Balfouriana can reach a height of 25 feet. In home landscaping it normally appears as a large bush, no taller than eight feet, and can make an excellent hedge or accent plant.
Your Aralia Balfouriana will recuperate from most abuse of occasional dry soil, high temperatures or less light, but not exposure to low temperatures. To encourage denser foliage and stem growth, you can freely trim the tips of branches. Trimming will also strengthen the trunk of your Aralia Balfouriana plant.