Aralias make unique houseplants. They find varied uses in homes and gardens. Available in varied heights, the plants can fit into most interior spaces and sit in different positions indoors. The different plants under the genus mean there’s a specific plant form for every homeowner. The plant can also be used in various forms in the home setting.
Unlike most houseplants, Aralias are aesthetically beautiful and can create a focal point indoors in natural-themed interior spaces. The plants are increasingly being used indoors due to their successful application in high-end in home interiors. What’s more, they thrive in conditions unsuitable for most houseplants.
What are Aralia Plants?
Also known as Spikenard, Aralias belong to the Araliaceae family. It comprises about 70 plant species. They come in the form of evergreen and deciduous plants, trees and even shrubs. Some varieties are also herbaceous perennials with rhizomatous rooting systems.
The plants are native to the Americas, Asia, and regions with mountain woodlands. Varied in sizes, some Aralia cultivars grow up to 20 meters high while others barely hit half a meter in height.
Aralia Plants for Home Interiors
Most Aralia species are superior houseplants with great capability to adapt to conditions indoors. They have unmatched ‘staying power’ in home interiors even when grown in hot, dark places. The plants have been on and off gardeners’ list of favorite plants over the last many years.
International botanicals have grown Aralias for years to come up with the best cultivars for home interiors. They diversified the forms and sizes of the plants. The plants come in varied colors and leaf forms. Ming aralia feature elegant, lacy leaves while the chicken gizzard has spherical leaflets.
‘Dinner plate’ aralia feature large, aptly leaves while ‘spinach leaf’ aralia have dark, tightly-crinkled leaves. Aralia leaves, petioles and general foliage range in color from cream and gold to solid green and white. Others come in dark-green, almost black to burgundy hues.
Aralias sweeping, curving branches; massively woody trunks; and shaggy, heavily-dense foliage make them stand out in home interiors as houseplants. They find use indoors as large or small plants. The plants can be grown as ‘bonsai’ plants in 6-inch or 8-inch pots. Use them to accentuate reception counters in offices or table tops in homes with their attractive colors and shapes.
Certain varieties that grow up to 4 feet tall can fit in 10-inch pots. Stump or bush plants that grow up to 3 to 6 feet in height can comfortably fit in 14-inch pots for indoor use. However, varieties that range in height from 7 to 12 feet fit 17-inch to 21-inch pots. The large Aralia plants are suitable for placement in entryways and other places indoors with lots of open spaces.
Aralia Growth Conditions and Maintenance Tips
The kind of care Aralia plants receive in nurseries determines their successful growth indoors. Aralias thrive in light, well-drained soils with proper drainage. The plants require sufficient watering for optimal growth. The amount of light the plants can access indoors determines the level and frequency of watering and applying fertilizers.
Although it’s recommended for soils to be kept moist, some gardeners report that the plants thrive in dry soils. If the amount of light available is low, water the plants at least once every three weeks. Avoid overwatering to prevent the development of plant diseases such as root rot. Opt for sub-irrigation or a controlled watering device for efficient Aralia watering.
With proper care and growth conditions, the plants can successfully grow indoors for a minimum of a decade. Unlike most houseplants, Aralias can be pruned to foster new foliage growth and maintain their lush look. Granular fertilizer rich in nitrogen is recommended.
Some Aralias can be costly during initial planting stages and growth. However, it rewards gardeners and homeowners with a long lifespan as long as they’re accorded proper care and placed in locations with all the growth requirements.
3 Popular Aralia Species for Home Interiors
- Aralia Fabian
Just like Feng Shui, a plant popular for its energy, love and calmness flow, Aralia Fabian offers similar benefits. Also known as Plum Aralia, it’s a shrub tree with maroon leaves that tend to be purplish on the undersides. The shiny leaves range in size from large to medium. The round leaves are deeply veined. Although the plant’s flower in the wild, cultivated cultivars rarely bloom.
Aralias grow upright as columnar plants in containers, making them ideal houseplants. Potted Aralia Fabians make perfect housewarming gifts.
Also known as Aralia ‘Chicken Gizzard’, the plant has leaves similar in shape to chicken gizzards. It features branches with spherical leaflets with at least two lobes. Just like Aralia Fabian, it grows a columnar plant. Its leaves are uniquely-shaped, which, together with the plant’s distinct growth stature, are bound to improve an existing interior décor.
Unlike other houseplants, they’re more costly due to the time and care they require to grow. They’re worth each cent spent on them.
- Aralia Balfour
Aralia Balfouriana is a beautiful, potted floor plant. Some species boast large, shiny, dark-green leaves while others feature crinkled leaves with deep veins. The leaves are waxy on the surface and lobed. The container plant grows upright and less wide than the pot housing it.
5 Common Aralia Problems
- Wilting from overwatering – leaves drop if the plant is excessively wet. Extremely hot or cold temperatures also result in dropping of leaves.
- Aralia Leaf Drop – Low humidity indoors or dry air conditions causes leaves to drop.
- Weak / Over-grown Limbs – Aralias require lots of light to grow. Insufficient lighting conditions lead to weak, stretched plant growth. Prune in spring to foster plant growth and fill spots without foliage.
- Leaves with Brown Edges – Excess fertilization and low humidity levels result in browning of leaf edges. Exposure to air dries the leaves, leading to the browning of their edges.
- Insect Pests – Aralias are prone to spider mites, aphids, and scale. Use natural pest control solutions such as neem oil to eliminate Aralia pests.
Other popular Aralia species for home interiors include the following:
- Aralia spinosa
- Aralia stipulata
- Aralia Tibetan
- Aralia racemosa
- Aralia malabarica
- Aralia nudicaulis
- Aralia hispida
Aralia plants can be grown indoors or outdoors. With proper care and maintenance, the plants can grow successfully for many years. They require proper watering, fertilization, soil, and lighting conditions to grow optimally.
Do you want to grow Aralia in your home or office? Contact us to find out more on how to grow Aralia plants in pots or grow bags.