Ming Aralia

hayleyJanuary 12, 2003

Hello, this is my first post in this forum.

I recently bought a Ming Aralia -- Polyscias fruticosa -- that is in an 8 inch pot, and about two and a half feet tall. It's lovely. Kind of reminds me of a marijuana plant!

Here's what it looks like:


I'm confused about the required lighting. I bought it at my local farmer's market, and the vendor said it requires 'low to medium' lighting. When I got home and checked the internet, I found that the information about lighting requirements isn't consistent. I've been reading that the Ming grows in either full sun or heavy shade and would be happy in a north window. Now I don't know WHERE to put this thing!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hayley, I'd go with medium light for a few weeks to allow the plant time to adjust to possibly different humidity, water regimen, etc. in your home. You may notice a few yellowing stems appear...don't fret....it's just making itself at home. As long as new foliage continues to appear it will be fine.

After you get a "feel" for its watering needs, you can later move it to a brighter or dimmer location. In my experience these will grow well in a north window or under regular incandescent lighting if bright enough to read by. I also have a large one in an eastern window. I guess the bottom line is they like time to adjust to new sites but once they do, they grow well.

Mine go outside in summer in full shade with almost daily watering...they love our humid heat. But every fall they shed copious foliage when I bring them back inside. I like the strong gnarly stems they develop with this treatment, though, so even if they didn't lose the excess summer foliage naturally, I'd clear some away to show off the stems/trunk. Good luck...super plant! jo

    Bookmark   January 22, 2003 at 5:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fpnana(z7b alabama)

Does Aralia flower? My neighbor has a plant that has leaves like aralia but gets flowers like a hibiscus. I'd sure like to know what it is!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 11:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a surprise to see this posting. How's your Aralia doing, Hayley?

The Hibiscus is H. coccineus, and is beautiful, easy to grow and another favorite of mine! Here's a link. josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Hibiscus coccineus

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not a ming expert but what Josh says sounds true to my experiences.
I have bought several mings from Home Depot and all of them lost some to much foilage to yellowing leaves.

I have two mings close to three ft. tall that are rdoing well know. I would like to take some cuttings and try to propogate these plants but I am not sure how. Any help here would be great.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2006 at 11:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Nate, No expert here but I've had good luck taking small 6-inch cuttings and placing in damp potting soil. Keep warm (68 to 75 degrees), in medium light, and don't let soil dry out. This is good time of year to try, or over the next few weeks. As soon as you see new growth, it's rooted, but I'd wait another couple of weeks before transplanting.

Some folks cover with plastic (Saran wrap) held up off leaves of cutting with bamboo sticks for extra humidity until rooted, but I've never found it necessary.

Good luck. They are slow growers but in small pots resemble bonsai. I've never been able to decide if I like my larger ones or the little fellers the most. josh

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 9:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Josh,

I had read on one site that mings will take root by simply putting them in water. I tried this a couple times with no success.

I will try what you suggested and with good hope it will work. I have two big; almost 3 feet, one medium at 18 inches in bonsai style; and one smallcutting bought for me by a friend out of an Oklahoma nursery. As far as I am concerned they are all great. Different qualities can be found in all sizes of mings.

Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nate, I have rooted Aralias in water but it sometimes is not possible to then successfully move to soil...I usually just leave cutting in small decorative bottle and sit on windowsill. Doesn't grow much but is still nice.

Here's a good link with advice from a real houseplant expert...I read Elbert's columns and books many years ago when I first got into plants.
There are also several other Aralias described/pictured that you might want to watch for locally. This nursery's prices seem high, but I'm glad they helped bring the Aralia back again.


Here is a link that might be useful: Aralias

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 3:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi I happen to grow mine from cuttings. Take off all leaves but one from the stem your cutting from. Wait 24 hrs. Make your cut at least 6" and on a 45 degree angle. Cut the stem again at a 45 degree angle under water. That's important. Then dip in a rooting starter and stick in a mix of peat moss and soil medium. Keep moist. If you really want to see a plant that looks like weed it's call Coral Tree.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 7:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way have you ever heard of the Snowflake Aralia. I visited that link and didn't see them on there. The leaves really take on a snowflake pattern and get about 3' wide. If your interested I have pictures. I think I got three or four around here somewhere. Mings are alright but the Snowflake is the pimped out daddy.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I take care of plants in offices for a living and I care for a number of ming aralias in different environments. They are remarkably adaptable to a wide range of light. In bright light, they grow faster, branch more, and are much fuller, but they will live for years in fairly dim light without growing much.

The biggest error people make is keeping them too wet.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try the site below for good info,

Here is a link that might be useful: Ming Aralias

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 1:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry for the late coming, i just discovered this thread and though I'd reply. I have good luck rooting them in water. I've found the key to rooting them in water is to keep them in subdued light and higher temps. Remember, they don't have any roots, so can't photosynthesize much. Higher light stresses the cuttings too much and can kill them. And very important to keep them above 70. My cuttings wont root if it gets under 70 or so.

The establishing is also a tricky thing. I'm an interior landscape technician, and we use mings quite frequently. They are fussy when you are trying to estalish them. But its just like ficus: mostly because you've changed their light. They shed when fall starts rolling around because of hte change of lighting. And definitely, if they were grown in high light in their greenhouse,they'll most likely shed when you get them home. If you take an even tempered hand with them, they eventually settle down and can take almost any light you give them. In lower light, though, they get a little leggy and don't have quite as much leaves as you would like.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 5:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi - I just found your site, and I am worried about a beautiful ming aralia that has been living happily in my house for a year and a half, until this month, when it suddenly started to droop. I have had leaf drop before, but that proved to be from drying out, and establishing a once every two week watering pattern has seemed to be the answer, until now. It has been quite warm in the house during the day whille I am gone, so I thought maybe it needed to be watered every week instead, but it actually looks as though it might be overwatered now. What can I try, that won't make it worse?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also just bought a ming from Home Depot and I love it. I needed a full looking office plant for in my cube to sit behind my monitor in the corner. There is lots of fluorescent lighting above and it catches maybe a little bit of indirect natural lighting through the windows a few aisles over (i have the ming propped up a bit and peeks over the wall about 6-7 inches). I was also confused about how much light this plant would need so i purchased the Miracle grow plant food spikes and stuck a few in. I was hoping that would help give it nutrients. I am noticing what you guys were talking about how it turns yellowish and starts to shed. Perhaps it is also adjusting. Any tips on using the miracle grow? The yellowing started to happen about a week after i stuck the sticks in. overall it looks good, dry in some areas and i am watering it about every other day, just a little but on top to keep the soil cold and only slightly damp. on the weekend i moved it to the confrence room to get more light, and coming back this monday, is when i saw the most damaging.. maybe i'll leave ming ming in the same spot over the weekends too??

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

anybody still on Arealas here ??? Helllooooooo

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I bought what looks to be 'Snowflake,' today at Home Depot.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Could please help me with my Aralia? It took a nasty bump from a cat and most of the dirt fell out of the pot. I picked it up quickly, but now the leaves are rather droopy and after looking into the pot a few days later, I found fuzzy mold on the top layer. I removed that dirt and replaced it with an organic bonsai soilâ¦I know it would have been better to just re-pot, but it does not look to be in good enough condition to tolerate that very well.

ItâÂÂs about 9 inches high with a thick trunk and branches. ItâÂÂs been about two years since I potted it after bringing it home.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 11:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
what's wrong with my coleus plant? Its dying?
This is my first coleus plant.. and I thought it was...
Help!! Plant Identification
I have no idea what plant this is. It is doing really...
Tradescantia zebrina
The three detached leaves, center below, are T. zebrina....
A Mouse Ate My Coleus!
I had a great summer last year, growing coleus. So,...
docmom_gw Zone 5 MI
brown tips on leaves
hey to all. I wanted to post pics but kinda struggling...
Sponsored Products
Mosaic Tile: Merola Tile Building Materials Tessera Square Ming 11-3/4 in. x
$13.75 | Home Depot
Whitecraft by Woodard Oasis Conversation Collection - WD2489
Ming Floor Lamp with Silver Accents
Lamps Plus
Area Rug: Ming Charcoal 6' x 9'
Home Depot
Sample- Spa Ming White Tile Sample
$2.99 | TileBar
Alloy Grassplains 1/2 X Random Glass & Marble Mosaic Tiles
$15.95 | TileBar
Ming Style Jade Porcelain Mini Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Phoenix Urn
$19.99 | Dot & Bo
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™