How to grow and care for Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) Indoors

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Houseplant, Polyscias fruticosa, Ming Aralia

Botanical name: Polyscias fruticosa
Family: Araliaceae
Sufamily: Aralioideae

Ming Aralia is a perennial evergreen shrub or dwarf tree which bears dark-green, glossy leaves which appear divided and are about 10 cm long.

Ming Aralia grows slowly but can eventually reach the height of 6 ft. The ferny leaves droop gracefully from narrow branches that grow straight up and forms a multi-layered beautiful plant.

The leaves of the Polyscias fruticosa have been used as a tonic, anti-inflammatory, antitoxin, and an antibacterial ointment. They have also been proven to aid in digestion and thus, have been used as a spice.

Ming Aralia was originally found in Polynesia where it thrives in environments of medium humidity, with temperatures ranging from 16-290C.

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

The Best Indoor Growing Conditions for Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa)

The Best Light for Ming Aralia

The best light for Ming Aralia is bright light but away from direct sunlight. However, Ming Aralia will adapt to light shade. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to water Ming Aralia

Water your Ming Aralia 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.

Avoid soggy soil as Ming Aralia does not like to sit in soggy soil as they are prone to rot-rot.

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


The Best Temperature for Ming Aralia

The best temperature for Ming Aralia is warm to average warmth with a minimum of 160C.

Protect your Ming Aralia from cold draughts as it doesn't like cold temperature at all. Cold temperature may result in reduced growth in your Ming Aralia. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

The Best Humidity for Ming Aralia

Ming Aralia requires high humidity to thrive. Raise humidity for your Ming Aralia by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Ming Aralia by splashing a lot of water from a strong jet to get rid of dust and reduce pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Ming Aralia

Feed your Ming Aralia 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 Ming Aralia

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

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

How to prune Ming Aralia

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

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

How to Propagate Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa)

Ming Aralia can be propagated from stem-tip cuttings or from hard-wood stem cuttings.

How to propagate Ming Aralia from stem cuttings

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

Strip off most of the leaves from the bottom of the Ming Aralia 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 Ming Aralia 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 Ming Aralia 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 Ming Aralia does not like to be disturbed. It is advisable to start the cuttings in pots with adequate room for the young plants.

Common Problems in Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) Indoors

Why is my Ming Aralia dropping (shedding) leaves?

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

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

Why does my Ming Aralia have brown leaf spots?

Brown leaf spots in your Ming Aralia are caused by underwatering. Never allow the soil-ball to dry out and maintain the soil moderately moist at all times.

Why is my Ming Aralia dying?

Soggy soil for your Ming Aralia will result in death of the plant due to root-rot disease.

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

Why is my Ming Aralia producing yellowish-green young lMing Araliaeaves?

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

Ming Aralia require 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.

Why does my Ming Aralia have yellowing and wilting leaves?

Yellowing and wilting leaves in your Ming Aralia is an indication of root-rot disease. Ming Aralia are 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 Ming Aralia in fresh soil.

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

Ensure that the soil for your Ming Aralia 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.

Which are the common plant pests in Ming Aralia?

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

Isolate the affected Ming Aralia Plant and treat with an insecticidal solution.

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

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

Is Ming Aralia toxic?

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

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