Houseplant Spotlight: Ming Aralia
A fancy-looking plant that is not at all fancy to tend, this plant adds a tropical elegance with its many-shaded foliage. It does well as a bonsai as well and will bring sophistication to your indoor garden.
Ming Aralia prefers lots of sun but it will be ok with partial or indirect light as well. It isn't too fussy but will truly thrive in a nice sunny spot, as long as it isn't in the full sun all day. North windows and morning sun are good for this plant.
The only particular part of caring for this plant isn't that particular at all. It's actually a concern with many plants. Most problems with this plant occur because of overwatering. Ming Aralia roots are delicate and succumb to root rot easily. Be very mindful of how you water this one and how much you water.
First of all, make sure your container has a drainage hole in the bottom! The key to success with Ming Aralia is to keep the soil moist without being overly wet. I know that sounds complicated but just keep an eye on the wetness of the soil and you'll be ok. Problems usually start when the plant is overly ignored.
Let the top two inches of the soil dry almost completely before watering. When it is ready to be watered, soak it thoroughly and then drain any water that collects in the saucer so the roots are not sitting in a water puddle. During the winter, don't water it as much since its growth is slowed during that time but don't let it dry out either. That is bad too.
Temperature and humidity are very important for this plant as well. Anything below 60F is bad news. Between 65-85F is preferred. Humidity should be high all year-round. If humidity is a problem, place the potted plant on trays of wet pebbles to increase it. Alternately, mist the foliage with water.
A monthly application of a balanced liquid fertilizer at half strength is all this plant needs. If you see any yellowish-green leaves, it is caused by lack of nutrients and it should receive more fertilizer.
Potting soil with good drainage is absolutely necessary for this plant. Make sure there is added perlite, sand, loam or other components that help with draining.
An evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island, this plant used to be very popular among houseplant aficionados. They fell out of favor after many companies started selling plants of poor quality causing gardeners to struggle to keep them alive and thriving.
Nowadays, though, they are experiencing a revival and the plant stock is again the high quality it should be. Yay!! It would be awful to not have this plant as a houseplant option just because some nurseries got over-zealous and overly focused on the money.
Repotting and Reblooming:
Ming Aralia does best when planted in the smallest pot that will hold its roots. It likes to have its roots confined. As it grows, it should be repotted every other year, just be mindful of the container size. Ming Aralia can get up to 4-6 feet tall so make sure you choose a pot with a strong base so it doesn't topple over. If you want to keep the plant smaller, don't repot it as often.
Adaptable and a delight to see, Ming Aralia is a wonderful addition if you have the space for a taller plant that likes the sun. It will add an exotic flair to your home in all its full-grown glory or as a trained bonsai.