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Hide the huge, fingered leaves of this handsome tropical-looking plant in deep, dry shade and it will still provide white late-autumn, insect-friendly flowers
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: moist, well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: September to October
- Hardiness: frost hardy (needs winter protection in cold areas)
A handsome, tropical-looking, evergreen shrub that's deservedly popular. It has huge, glossy, deep green palmate leaves and in autumn, produces showy panicles of spherical, creamy white flowers, which are often followed by round, black fruit. Try it in an exotic-style garden, where the large leaves team well with bamboos and grasses, or as a focial point for a shady corner.
- Garden care: Prune lightly in mid to late spring, trimming shoots that spoil the symmetry. Protect plants from cold, drying winds.
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Q:There is one of these in our front, north-facing garden a few feet from our bay window. It has continually looked good despite my scientific (!) approach to maintenance.
Over a few years I have gently pruned it so currently it's about 1.5m high. It has 5 quite substantial stems and about the same number of smaller ones.
Is it practical to keep it to that height by pruning? Should I remove some of the thicker stems to encourage the smaller ones? What parts should I avoid cutting? I am a novice and really would like to avoid killing it off sooner than necessary!Asked on 25/2/2016 by Petertheelder from NE London
These shrubs don't normally need much pruning it is just as you say to keep it to a manageable size and shape, and to remove any dead or damaged stems in mid to late spring.
If you need to prune harder then I would do this over a several years by removing a few of the older stems at a time to ground level, and then hopefully new fresh growth should come from the base.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 26/2/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:I want to plant in a container as I only have a hard landscaped garden. Can you please tell me the best size pot and what special care if any the plant will need.
SheilaAsked on 11/1/2016 by Sherbert from Hertfordshire
Yes this can be grown in a pot. For the 2lt plant I would choose a pot approx 30-40cm diameter and the 5lt plant a larger pot approx 40-50cm diameter. They will need to be kept well watered and fed, and I would plant them using a John Innes no3 compost.
These plants are classed as frost hardy so may need protection from hard frosts and cold weather, particularly when grown in pots, so I would use a frost fleece to protect them. I have attached a couple of links below.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 12/1/2016 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:My fatsia japonica which was planted a year ago and was doing very well has suddenly curled. All the new leaves have curled UP around the edge of each finger. The older leaves are fine. I have inspected each leaf. Found one vine weevil (which I killed) and sprayed each leaf with a general bug spray. The leaves look no better, but no worse either. I am wondering if it could be too much water as my soil is prone to being a bit clay in spots and we did have a deluge of rain the day before I noticed this. Any comments on this much appreciated. Many thanks.Asked on 31/5/2015 by Jacwright1 from Norfolk
As it seems to be the new foliage that has been affected, the most likely cause would be either a lack of water (it has generally been pretty dry in most areas), or the newly emerged leaves were hit by a late frost. If the damage has not been too severe however, the plant should recover in time.Answered on 1/6/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:The new growth on my new Aralia is turning brown and crispy on the edges - is it more likely to be too much direct sun, or too little water?Asked on 28/4/2015 by dulcie77 from Leeds
It sounds as though it is getting scorched somehow and this could be caused by a number of reasons. The most likely are a lack of water, too much sun, or frosty weather.Answered on 15/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Hi, I moved a mature Fatsia Japonica last month due to space issue - just a few feet back from the front of the bed where it was originally, to the back. It now looks like a weeping willow, with drooping branches and leaves - looking very sad. It is next to another Fatsia which hasn't been moved. Both plants have thrived in this bed for years so the soil and position are good. Can I rescue it or does it sound like I've chopped the roots and it's dying? I'm not sure whether to prune it back (or how to) to see if this will improve things. Please advise.Asked on 20/8/2014 by Clare from United Kingdom
The best time to move an established evergreen shrub is in the autumn in October or late March, but even then you have to be careful how you move the plant and keep it well watered.
I wouldn't cut it back, - I think it is waiting and seeing what happens, it might pick up yet.
Hope this helpsAnswered on 27/8/2014 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Fatsia in a shady part of the garden, mainly a northern aspect. I noticed at the beginning of the year the leaves were more yellow than green. It was growing big and tall, I lopped off the top and shoots appeared from the roots and on some upper branches.
Can you tell mem why it is growing yellow and what is the remedy>Asked on 28/7/2014 by don't have one called Jean from Kingston upon thames
If the soil is not too wet or too dry, then I suspect it may be a nutrient deficiency, so give it a feed with a good general purpose fertiliser such as Vitax Q4.
http://www.crocus.co.uk/product/_/vitax-q4-fertiliser/classid.2000009519/Answered on 29/7/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:Hello I bought 2 Fatsia japonica's from you one is in a very large pot in a shady spot and the other at the back of a border in a shady position enclosed on 3 sides by house walls, so far they are growing well, but they have not flowered so I have not had the berries I was hoping to see. Any advice?Asked on 23/3/2014 by keen/inexperienced planter from Hailsham, East Sussex
There are a number of reasons why plants don't flower including too much shade or not enough water or nutrients. It can also be caused by the plant putting on new root growth instead of focusing its energies on producing flowers. I am not really sure why yours have not produced flowers yet, but given time and the right conditions, there is no reason why they won't flower. You can often give them a bit of a push by feeding during the growing season with a high potash fertiliser. Hope this helpsAnswered on 25/3/2014 by Anonymous from Crocus
Q:Suggestions for planting low maintenance border please
Hello, I recently had my garden extended by a piece of land measuring 34 metres by 14 metres, and my son purchased 23 Phormiums from you in last August on my behalf. I was delighted with the service I received, and the plants appear to be thriving well especially considering the dreadful weather we have suffered this winter. We also bought Rootgrow from you to assist with their development ,and also for use when we moved mature Acers and other shrubs. I still need more shrubs or other types of plants and would appreciate some advice as to what to use. Along one of the 14 metre lengths there is a "hedge" of bamboo plants, and adjacent to these on the return (long) length there is a small rise of earth, tapering down to ground level, with a specimen black bamboo at the end of the mound. There is also a mature acer, which we had to move, situated at the edge of the dividing path (between the lawn) on the field side of the garden. Would it be possible for you to suggest the names of suitable plants which I could purchase from you and which would compliment the existing ones. I am in my eighties and therefore need a very low maintenance garden. I would also like to introduce a little colour if possible. My garden is very exposed and is on quite a windy site. I look forward to your reply.Asked on 15/2/2010 by Marian Burgess
A:Hello there, There are many plants that might tempt you - here are some of my favourites:- Fatsia japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/fatsia-japonica/classid.3840/ Rodgersia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.rodgersia/cat.plants/ Heuchera http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.heuchera/cat.plants/ Hydrangea paniculata http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.hydrangea-paniculata/ Aucuba japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/aucuba-japonica/classid.277/ Rosa rugosa Alba http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/roses/shrub-rose/hedging/bush-rose/hedging-rose/other-shrub-rose/rosa-rugosa-alba/classid.1148/ Cotoneaster http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.cotoneaster/ Buddleja http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.buddleja/ I hope this helps, Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 16/2/2010 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:My Fatsia japonica has blackened leaf tips
Dear Crocus, I purchased 2 Fatsia japonica plants from you many years ago - they were one of my first purchases from Crocus. Although they seem in general good health and are growing away quite happily, one of them has developed black tips on some of it's leaves. Would that be wind scorch or a root space problem? It is planted next to the back wall of my house (next to 2 rose bushes and a Ceonothus) on clay soil, and it is quite a windy spot. ThanksAsked on 18/6/2009 by Christine Anderson
A:Hello there, I think you have hit the nail on the head as they dislike cold, drying winds and their foliage can get scorched if they are subjected to it. If you can try to offer it some protection then you should see an improvement. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 19/6/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk
Q:What tough plants can I grow in big pots?
I am looking for plants to fill up some outdoor planters facing a carpark. I want something tough please - can you give me 2 to 3 options?Asked on 6/2/2006 by Fung
A:There are several plants that will be suitable for growing in your containers. Below I have listed plants that are quite low maintenance and tough - just on the links below to access my suggestions:- Elaeagnus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.elaeagnus/?s=elaeagnus Aucuba http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.aucuba/?s=aucuba Euonymus http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/euonymus-fortunei-emerald-gaiety/classid.3820/ Fatsia japonica http://www.crocus.co.uk/plants/_/shrubs/fatsia-japonica-/classid.3840/ Buxus http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.buxus/?s=buxus Skimmia http://www.crocus.co.uk/search/_/search.skimmia/?s=skimmiaAnswered on 8/2/2006 by Crocus
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