Aralia spinosa - OK to keep?

bruglover(Gulf States)April 25, 2005

I'm trying to landscape with all native plants. OK, except for my roses ;-).

An Aralia spinosa (devil's walking stick) started sprouting, out of nowhere.

Can I move it? Is it good wildlife food? Picturesque?

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It sure is an appealing plant from an aesthetic standpoint with the tropical-like foliage and huge mid summer flowers followed by clusters of dark fruit.
However, it can be a bane in a more cultivated area of your garden due to all those armed shoots coming up everywhere - it is thorny and prolific!
Wildlife? I am not sure, but I would think birds and critters will eat the berries.
Can it be moved? I dont know how easily, but some suckering shrubs can be hard to move successfully from a colony. I am thinking of plants like Aesculus parviflora and Asimina triloba. Try it and see.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 4:58AM
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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

I personally like this plant a lot, especially the red color of the new leaves in the spring. I cut a bit of stem & root (no more than 2 feet combined) to a friend out of my yard and it grew well. That was 8 years ago. In that time, it had grown from a small club of wood into a spreading mass of 10 growths, the tallest of which was 8-10ft. Last year, I cut off 3 large growths from his plants for my yard again (since I moved). This spring, my 3 are coming up well.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 10:38AM
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croakie_SC(SC Zone 8)

I just planted one this fall. The warblers LOVE the drupes in fall!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 2:17PM
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I was thinking of putting one of these in my yard, if I can find one, but now I'm not so sure I want to. It sounds as though it might take over everything. "it had grown from a small club of wood into a spreading mass of 10 growths"?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2007 at 6:41PM
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shelley_r(7b NC)

I've had an Aralia spinosa for several years. I, too, love the plant, but apparently they need full sun to bloom. Mine is in partial shade and it's never bloomed. As for the shoots, I read that if you want to control them, you can just run over them with a lawn mover when they are very small. I haven't tried that, but it makes sense. I just let mine form a colony and I'm glad that I did as I just lost the parent plant in a storm last week.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:11PM
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I love this plant too... as long as you have thick gloves to deal with the nettles, you should be fine... Birds love the berries, and butterflies are all over the flowers...

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 3:05PM
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nankeen(z8b Portland OR)

They are easy to move, as long as you get a good piece of root with the growth.

The suckers can be controlled just by pulling them when they break the surface. They tend to only sucker for me early in the summer.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 9:20PM
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