Houseplant of the Week: Aralia

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Sometimes you look at two plants and you are amazed that they come from the same family. Take the Aralia, which can range from indoor plants that are about 20 inches high to trees that soar more than 60 feet in the air.

Even among the species most commonly indoors, there are several distinctive features. The Fabian Aralia has large, scalloped, dark green leaves. As it grows it eventually develops a very woody trunk. Then there’s the Ming Aralia that has a totally different look with feathery fronds. Other variations have leaves that are serrated or variegated. 

Despite the different looks of all these plants, they tend to have similar needs in terms of water, light and general care.

Aralias do best in bright indirect light, but will also tolerate low to medium light. They will grow faster – and much lusher – in brighter conditions. 

Make sure your Aralia is planted in high quality potting soil with enough drainage. 

Water when the top half of the soil is dry and keep watering until liquid flows through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. Discard any water that accumulates in the saucer.

Finally, your Aralias enjoy their fertilizer but are modest eaters. You only need to feed them about twice a year during the spring and summer months.