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

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Polyscias care, Aralia Care

Botanical name: Polyscias spp
Family: Araliaceae
Sufamily: Aralioideae

Aralia (Polyscias) Description

Polyscias also called Aralia are popular plants on account of their attractive foliage and ability to adapt to indoor growing conditions.

Polyscias are not easy to grow under room conditions and they readily drop leaves if the environment is wrong.

They need good light, even moisture at the roots and frequent misting of leaves in dry weather. Polyscias are distinctly unhappy where the atmosphere is dry.

The numerous (there are over 100) varieties of Polyscias are oriental trees with attractive foliage and are grown with twisted stems. The leaves in Polyscias are usually ferny.

Aralia (Polyscias) Size

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

Aralia (Polyscias) Flower

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

Aralia (Polyscias) Varieties

Common Polyscias that are grown indoors include Polyscias balfouriana, commonly called Aralia balfouriana or Dinner Plate Aralia, Polyscias scutellaria, commonly called Shield Aralia and Polyscias fruticosa, commonly called Ming Aralia.

Aralia (Polyscias) for Sale

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

Polyscias care, Aralia Care

Aralia (Polyscias spp) Care Indoors

Aralia (Polyscias) Light Requirements

Aralia (Polyscias) grows best in bright light but away from direct sunlight. However, Polyscias will adapt to light shade.

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 (Polyscias)

Water Polyscias 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 soil as Aralia (Polyscias) 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 your Polyscias may drop all its leaves. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Aralia (Polyscias)

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

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

Humidity for Aralia (Polyscias)

Aralia (Polyscias) require high humidity to thrive. Raise humidity for your Polyscias by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly clean the leaves of the wide-leaved Polyscias 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 (Polyscias)

Feed Aralia (Polyscias) 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 (Polyscias)

Repot Aralia (Polyscias) every two years only when they have outgrown the current pot. Polyscias grow best when they are root-bound.

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

How to prune Aralia (Polyscias)

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

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

Aralia (Polyscias) Propagation

Aralia (Polyscias) propagation can be done from stem-tip cuttings or from hard-wood stem cuttings.

How to propagate Aralia (Polyscias) from stem cuttings

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

Strip off most of the leaves from the bottom of the Polyscias 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 (Polyscias) 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 Polyscias 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 Polyscias do not like to be disturbed. It is advisable to start the cuttings in pots with adequate room for the young plants.

Polyscias care, Aralia Care

Aralia (Polyscias) Problems Indoors

Aralia (Polyscias) dropping (shedding) leaves

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

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

Aralia (Polyscias) brown leaf spots

Brown leaf spots in your Polyscias are caused by underwatering. Aralia (Polyscias) grows best in moderately moist soil.

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

Aralia (Polyscias) dying

Soggy soil for Polyscias 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.

Aralia (Polyscias) yellowish-green young leaves

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

Polyscias 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.

Aralia (Polyscias) yellowing and wilting leaves

Yellowing and wilting leaves in Aralia (Polyscias) is an indication of root-rot disease.. Polyscias 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 Polyscias in fresh soil.

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

Ensure that the soil for your Polyscias 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 (Polyscias) pests

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

Isolate the affected Polyscias Plant and treat with an insecticidal solution.

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

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

Is Aralia (Polyscias) toxic?

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

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