Polycias fruticosa called Chinese aralia or Ming aralia is a superb houseplant, quite rarely offered. A real small exotic and sculptural tree with cut foliage, it is very reliable if we respect its watering needs.
Scientific N. Polyscias fruticosa
Synonyms Aralia fructicosa, Polyscias fruticosa var. plume
Origin India and Polynsia
Flowers fairly insignificant, white-yellow
Typehouseplant, small tree, indoor bonsa, polluting plant, officinal plant
Height0.60 2.50m in cultivation, 5m outdoors
Plant and cultivate
Hardiness not hardy, 4C minimum
Exposition bright and indirect light, clear shadow
Acidity slightly acidic acid
Humidity fresh all the time
useapartment, greenhouse, veranda
Polyscias fruticosa, Ming aralia or Chinese aralia, is a tropical shrub plant belonging to the family Araliaceae, therefore related to ivy, and true aralias. Its origin is probably in India and Polynesia, but it is widely cultivated in Asian subtropics, because officinal and edible. Like other polyscias sold as houseplants, the Ming aralia makes a superb houseplant, which is unfortunately too rarely offered: over time, it really takes the look of a beautiful tree on a miniature scale and his feathery foliage is superb.
Description of the Chinese aralia
Polyscias fruticosa forms a slender tree up to 5 m high, and can be limited by size without inconvenience for a growing as a houseplant. Columnar in shape, however, this polyscias shows fuller foliage and more spreading branches than other cultivated species. Its large leaves are compound and finely divided, somewhat resembling ferns or parsley. They are dark green and shiny, often grouped together at the end of a branch.
Some varieties are more curly or variegated with cream.
How to cultivate the Chinese aralia?
Polyscias fruticosa is perhaps a little more delicate in culture than other polyscias, especially from the point of view of watering. However, when watered properly, it is a pretty plant that lasts. The Chinese aralia requires a exposition bright without direct sunlight, or possibly with a little sun in the morning only. He likes between 16 and 29 ° C, which corresponds to our habitats.
The substrate of the Ming aralia must remain constantly humid without ever soaking in water. His land, often a good potting soil green plant, can be mixed with coarse gravel or the pouzzolane to improve the drainage : indeed the weak point of the Ming aralia is that its roots are fragile and rot easily if they are drowned. You therefore need a pot with a hole in the bottom and a certain skill to water it: an abundant supply of fresh water as soon as the surface of the earth dries up, that is to say more often in summer than in winter, by fairly quickly removing excess water. water that ends up in the saucer or the flowerpot.
Conversely, if it is thirsty, it loses its leaves, but they will grow back with the correct watering rate.
Polyscias fruticosa enjoy a a little humid atmosphere, which prevents the development of mites and yellowing of the leaves. If the apartment is too dry, it can be misted regularly or placed on a tray of clay balls.
Repotting will be done in the spring every other year. Contributions fromfertilizer are possible from May to September, especially the year when the earth was not changed. Its growth is quite slow, and its needs are rather low.
The Chinese aralia grows very well all year round indoors, but can also be taken outside and placed in the shade during the summer, as long as you don’t forget to water it.
The supports the size well to limit it in height, to make a beautiful indoor tree or to maintain it as a bonsai.
In subtropical regions, the Ming aralia is used in agroforestry, often as a hedge.
In Asia, its young shoots are eaten as a vegetable, and it is a traditional anti-inflammatory herbal medicine.
Comment multiplier Polyscias fruticosa ?
The 10 cm cuttings pick up easily with a bottom heat of 21 to 24 ° C, kept under pressure and in a very slightly moist soil.
Of root cuttings and the appearance of root suckers are possible.
Species and varieties of Polyscias
About 25 species in the genus
- Polyscias paniculata, with very cut leaves
- Polyscias guilfoylei, false coffee tree, small-leaved
- Polyscias balfouriana, aralia de Balfour
- Polyscia roble, with geranium leaves
- Polyscias filicifoliafern-leaved polyscias or aralia
Source: Au Jardin, conseils en jardinage by www.aujardin.info.
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