Basic Care for Fatsia japonica
Today we'll speak about fatsid – an effective plant which has come to us from the humid sub-tropic forests of Japan. Fatsid is considered to be one of the most beautiful house plants. Nowadays it's widely used in flat arrangements.
Fatsid (or fatsia japonica) is a low evergreen of the family of aralia with spreading long branches and glaring green or motley digitate leathery leaves (with diameter up to 13 inches).
Fatsid flowers are small, plain, and gathered in umbellate inflorescences; fruits are berry-shaped. In room conditions it's rarely in blossom.
Another name of fatsia is aralia.
Ara – is one of the forest nymphs-companions of Cynthia. She was sent to live among people and to teach them the art of magic. Ara was called when someone wished to inflict a penalty on a person. A messenger of Cynthia, aralia is beautiful but very biting. Admire it, but don't touch. It should be pointed out, however, that a house aralia isn't an aggressive plant at all.
Fatsid is rather undemanding, though it likes spacious cool rooms. In winter the plant is placed in a fair room with a temperature of 41-46°F, though it also can grow in penumbra. It needs airing. During the period of summer-fall it's desirable to place fatsid outdoors in light shade.
During the period of active growth (from May to September) the plant needs abundant watering, but there shouldn't be excess water in a flowerpot. Two times a month you should add fertilizers for flowers (mineral and organic). Fatsid prefers high air humidity -- that's why you should sprinkle its leaves with water regularly or carefully wash them.
In spring fatsid is usually propagated with seeds, top cuttings, or offsets. Plants strike roots rather quickly in heated substratum (77-79°F) and if air humidity is high. For propagation, cuttings are covered with a glass jar or a polyethylene packet. Then they are planted into common substratum for flowers (leaf soil, sod soil, humus, peat and sand (1:1:1:1:1)). Fatsia easily stands pruning; if your house plant has grown thick, cut it to the desirable size.
As for pests and illnesses: this plant can suffer from scales and sometimes from whiteflies. As a result of frequent watering, especially in the fall and winter, the plant can suffer from powdery mildew; root decay is also very possible.
Fatsid will “inform” you about incorrect care with changes you'll notice at once. If you over-dry the soil at least once, your plant can hang its leaves down and it will be very difficult to bring them back in the former position. Even very abundant watering won't help you. In this case, leaves should be tied up to spreaders in a horizontal position. In some time the plant can probably acquire its typical appearance.
If watering isn't sufficient, the ends of leaves become pale and spotty or brown and brittle. If there is over-wetting of the soil, leaves will become soft and withered, and then they will turn yellow and fall.
If leaves are brittle or shrunken, it means that the air is too dry in a room. Put a moisturizer near the plant, or just place the plant on a tray with moist pebbles.
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