Growing Ming Aralia (Houseplants)

Ming Aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) may look something like a fine-leaf Japanese maple, but it is an evergreen shrub from tropical India and the Pacific Islands. As such, it requires warmth and humidity and will drop leaves if placed in a cold draft or below 60-degree temperature. Frequent misting keeps foliage in tip-top shape. Repot in a larger container, preferably terracotta, every year or two as your plant grows, unless you wish to keep it small. Ming aralia can reach 6' under ideal conditions. Snipping the tips of branches during spring or summer encourages denser growth.

LIGHT: Bright indirect light is best, although this plant does well with a few hours of direct morning light and can also take a fair amount of shade. Foliage may burn with too much sun or strong afternoon rays.

WATERING: Well-drained soil is a must, and consistent moisture. Water deeply and let soil dry so that it is almost (but not completely) dry to the touch between waterings. Water less in the winter dormant season; never allow the soil to become waterlogged.

FERTILIZER: When plants are in active growth from April through September, use a balanced (18-18-18) houseplant fertilizer monthly, diluted to half strength.