The Fatsia japonica is often referred to as the Japanese fatsia or false castor oil plant. It is a hardy shrub, which can survive indoors or outside. The versatility of this evergreen shrub means it has various uses around the garden, acting as either a centrepiece plant or as a wall shrub.
The Fatsia japonica is a mid-sized evergreen. It possesses large, flat leaves containing eight lobes each. The plant is green in colour, growing up to 2m high. In autumn the plant flowers white leaves and produces small black fruit. Small white flowers are produced by the Fatsia japonica every autumn along with black fruit.
The plant is a native of Japan and Korea. It is a hardy plant found in coastal woodlands that grows in either full or part sunlight. It enjoys moderate temperatures but is adaptable to changes in its environment.
Seeds can be sown in either late autumn or spring and it is advisable to prune in the middle of spring to ensure the spread is restricted and controlled. The Fatsia japonica can be propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings and can grow fairly quickly.
Fatsia japonica is a species in the Fatsia genus. It belongs to the larger Araliaceae family. A less hardy variety of this plant is the Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’, which has cream tips and prefers to be kept indoors.
Whilst being very hardy, it thrives far better with regular feeding and fertile soil. It is not, however, so forgiving of direct sunlight. Do not use leaf shine on the leaves but wipe with a clean damp cloth. Although a fast grower, growth can be encouraged by pinching it out occasionally.
Did You Know?
The Japanese name for Fatsia japonica is ‘yatsude’, which means ‘eight fingers’ or ‘eight hands’. This is in reference to the eight lobes of each leaf on the plant.