How to grow and care for Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) Indoors

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 Polyscias balfouriana, Aralia balfouriana

Botanical name: Polyscias balfouriana
Family: Araliaceae
Sufamily: Aralioideae
Common names: Aralia balfouriana, Dinnerplate Aralia, Balfour Aralia

Aralia balfouriana Description

Aralia balfouriana also called Dinnerplate Aralia or Balfour Aralia is a tree-like houseplant which bears an abundance of attractive dark green leaves and easily adapts to indoor growing conditions.

Dinnerplate Aralia needs good light, even moisture at the roots and high humidity especially where the temperatures are high.

Aralia balfouriana may not be easy to grow under room conditions and will readily drop leaves if the growing conditions are not right.

Aralia balfouriana Size

Dinnerplate Aralia can grow to a height of 8 ft in the tropical outdoors but for the container grown plant, height is controlled through regular pruning of the branch tips which also encourages bushyness.

Aralia balfouriana Flower

In the tropical wild Polyscias will produce a 6 inch long inflorescences but when grown indoors, flowering is unlikely.

Aralia balfouriana Origin

Aralia balfouriana has its origins in the regions of New Guinea to Queensland, Australia.

Polyscias Varieties for Indoors

Other Polyscias that can be grown indoors include Polyscias scutellaria, commonly called Shield Aralia and Polyscias fruticosa, commonly called Ming Aralia.

Buy beautiful and healthy Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) from Etsy.

 Polyscias balfouriana, Aralia balfouriana

Photo Credit: FlorAccess

Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) Care Indoors

Aralia balfouriana Light Requirements

Aralia balfouriana grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight. However, it will adapt to light shade but will not grow in deep shade and may die.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure your plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth to prevent lopsided growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Aralia balfouriana

Water Aralia balfouriana moderately during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold months as growth is minimal at this time.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Aralia balfouriana does not like to sit in soggy soil as it is prone to root-rot disease.

Never allow the soil to dry out completely as the plant may drop all its leaves. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Aralia balfouriana

The best temperature for Aralia balfouriana is warm to average warmth with a minimum of 100C.

Protect your Aralia balfouriana from cold draughts as it doesn't like cold temperature which may result in reduced growth in your plant. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Aralia balfouriana

Aralia balfouriana requires high humidity to thrive. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves by damp wiping them with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and reduce pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Aralia balfouriana

Feed Aralia balfouriana monthly with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer or a balanced, liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Flush out accumulated salts arising from fertilizers every 2-3 months by running a stream of water through the soil until the water comes out through the drainage holes. Let the stream of water run for a few minutes and repeat the process several times.

How to repot Aralia balfouriana

Repot Aralia balfouriana every two years only when they have outgrown the current pot. It grows best when root-bound.

Use free-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes for your Aralia balfouriana to avoid getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot and eventual death of your plant.

How to prune Aralia balfouriana

Pruning Aralia balfouriana requires pinching-back of the growing tips to encourage a bushy and compact growth.

Remove yellow and dead leaves to keep the plant neat and tidy. Cut-back the overgrown plant to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) Propagation

Aralia balfouriana propagation can be done from stem-tip cuttings or from hard-wood stem cuttings.

How to propagate Aralia balfouriana from stem cuttings

Take top 4-6 in. of the stem-tip cutting from a healthy Aralia balfouriana. You can also take about 6 in. hard-wood stem cutting.

Strip off most of the leaves from the bottom of the stem cutting. Leave at least 2-4 leaves on the cutting.

Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone to hasten rooting. Insert each cutting into a pot of moist sandy soil.

Cover the pots with clear plastic bag to create a humid atmosphere which enhances root development.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit spot away from direct sunlight.

Note that Aralia balfouriana stem cuttings and newly propagated plants rot easily at the base and in the roots therefore do not mist the leaves and maintain the soil moist but not wet.

The Aralia balfouriana cuttings will begin to root after a 4-6 weeks. You will know your cutting has rooted when you see new growth on your cutting.

Once rooting has taken place, gradually phase out the plastic bag covers.

Do not transplant the new plants as Aralia balfouriana does not like to be disturbed. It is advisable to start the cuttings in pots with adequate room for the young plants.

 Polyscias balfouriana, Aralia balfouriana

Photo Credit: FlorAccess

Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) Problems Indoors

Aralia balfouriana dropping (shedding) leaves

Some leaf drop in Aralia balfouriana is normal. However, a sudden change in lighting will cause excessive leaf drop.

Avoid sudden changes in the growing conditions for your Aralia balfouriana. Acclimatize it gradually over a period of time before changing its position.

Aralia balfouriana brown leaf spots

Brown leaf spots in Aralia balfouriana are caused by underwatering. Aralia balfouriana grows best in moderately moist soil.

Never allow the soil-ball to dry out and maintain the soil moderately moist at all times.

Aralia balfouriana dying

Aralia balfouriana death is due to root-rot disease which is promoted by soil soil (too wet soil).

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Aralia balfouriana yellowish-green young leaves

Lack of nutrients is the cause of yellowish-green young leaves in Aralia balfouriana.

Aralia balfouriana requires to be fed monthly with a balanced plant fertilizer and the soil needs to be regularly flushed out of accumulated fertilizer deposits. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Aralia balfouriana yellowing and wilting leaves

Yellowing and wilting leaves in Aralia balfouriana is an indication of root-rot disease. Aralia balfouriana is prone to root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

To save the plant, take it out from its pot, clean off the soil from the roots and inspect the roots.

Cut away brown-black mushy roots and treat the remaining roots with a fungicidal solution.

Clean and disinfect the pot with the fungicidal solution and repot your Aralia balfouriana in fresh soil.

Keep your Aralia balfouriana dry for a few days before beginning the regular watering.

Ensure that the soil is free-draining and the pot has a drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil in the future.

Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Never allow the plant to sit in soggy soil. Read more on how to deal with Root-rot Disease.

Aralia balfouriana pests

The common pests in Aralia balfouriana are Spider Mites especially where air humidity is low or there is inadequate watering.

Isolate the affected the plant and treat with an insecticidal solution.

Raise humidity for your Aralia balfouriana to discourage future pest infestation. Read more on how to raise the humidity for houseplants.

Maintain the soil moderately moist and never allow the soil to dry out completely to discourage pest infestation.

Is Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) toxic?

Aralia balfouriana (Polyscias balfouriana) is mildy toxic to pets. Aralia balfouriana contains saponins which if ingested will cause swelling and burning in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains.

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