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- Common name:
- Fatsia Japonica Variegata
- Shrubs, Indoor Plants
- Araliaceae or Arelia family
Fatsia japonica variegata, also known as Variegated Japanese Aralia or Variegated False Castor Oil Plant, is an evergreen shrub native to Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It is known for its striking, large, glossy, and palmate leaves with cream or white variegation. This low-maintenance plant is perfect for adding tropical flair and architectural interest to any garden, patio, or indoor space.
Ideal Growing Conditions
- Light: Partial shade to full shade; avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching.
- Soil: Well-draining, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.
- Water: Keep soil consistently moist but not waterlogged; reduce watering in winter.
- Temperature: Ideal range is 60-75°F (15-24°C); tolerates cold down to 20°F (-6°C).
Planting and Propagation
- Seed Sowing: Sow seeds in a seed tray with moist, well-draining soil mix. Maintain a temperature of 65-70°F (18-21°C) and keep the soil moist. Germination takes 4-6 weeks.
- Cuttings: Take 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) stem cuttings in spring or summer. Remove lower leaves, dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant in a moist soil mix. Cover with a plastic bag to maintain humidity and place in a warm, shaded spot. Roots should form in 6-8 weeks.
Care and Maintenance
- Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring and summer.
- Pruning: Prune in early spring to maintain shape and promote bushier growth. Remove dead or damaged branches as needed.
- Pest Control: Check for common pests like aphids, scale, and spider mites. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control infestations.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Fatsia japonica variegata adds a unique, tropical touch to gardens, patios, or indoor spaces.
- Air Purification: As an indoor plant, it helps purify the air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene.
- Wildlife Attraction: The plant's small, white, and fragrant flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies.
- Leaf Yellowing: Overwatering or poor drainage can cause leaves to turn yellow. Ensure proper watering practices and well-draining soil.
- Leggy Growth: Insufficient light can result in leggy, weak growth. Move the plant to a brighter spot with indirect light.
- Frost Damage: Protect the plant from frost by moving potted plants indoors or covering garden plants with frost cloth.
By following this comprehensive guide, you can grow and maintain a healthy Fatsia japonica variegata plant, enjoying its tropical beauty and air-purifying benefits.