Ming aralia, scientific name Polyscias fruticosa, is a versatile and easy-to-grow houseplant. Belonging to the family, Araliaceae, this evergreen foliage plant is native to India and categorized under shrubs and bushes. Some botanists refer to ming aralia as a dwarf tree, especially because of its variable height. Commercially, ming aralia propagation is done by stem cuttings, root cuttings and air-layering. Nevertheless, when the plant is in its active state (during summer), propagation by suckers is usually practiced. With basic ming aralia care, you can maintain a healthy foliage and a disease free plant. Read more on identifying different types of evergreen shrubs and evergreen and flowering shrubs.
Ming Aralia Care
The evergreen trifoliate leaves and unique branching pattern are notable features of the ming aralia plant. The branches are developed at regular intervals in the upright stem, giving it a symmetrical canopy shape. Depending upon the cultivar, the leaf shape is either obovate or lanceolate. Small inconspicuous flowers are developed in summer. Speaking about ming aralia plant care, it is an outstanding decorative houseplant that requires minimal maintenance. Some of the basic tips for ming aralia plant care are discussed follow:
For planting ming aralia, you can use a general potting mixture. It can be planted in different types of soil, as long as the soil is loose, well drained and rich in nutrients. As this houseplant cannot tolerate either water logged or dry soil, it is essential to add peat moss, loam and sand in the potting mixture. For preparing the soil mixture on your own, add one part each of garden soil, humus and perlite or coarse sand. You can use small amount of lime dust to avoid acidic soil.
The ming aralia plant thrives well in partial sunlight. When maintained indoors, the ming aralia performs best in bright however, indirect sunlight. Hence, for better growth of this evergreen houseplant, you can place them in a direction facing a window that receives sunlight. In case, you are living in a cold climatic region, use artificial light occasionally, particularly in winter months.
The favorable temperature range for ming aralia care is 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This houseplant cannot tolerate extreme cold conditions. Extreme cold (below 60 degrees Fahrenheit) for a prolonged period can cause the leaves to discolor and drop. Hence, make sure you maintain the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
A medium to high humidity level is ideal for growing ming aralia. A prolonged low humidity condition can lead to yellowing and falling of leaves. A dry environment may cause this plant to lose all its leaves. You can use a room humidifier in order to maintain the preferable humidity level for ming aralia.
Watering the ming aralia tree should be done in such a way that the top portion of the soil remains moist. Regular irrigation is advisable during warm and growing seasons. To be precise, maintain moist soil between two waterings. You can cut down on the watering in winters, when the plant is in its inactive phase. Over-watering can cause water logging and damage of the root system.
You can use balanced liquid fertilizers that are rich in essential plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and trace nutrients in the growing period. Fertilizing this houseplant thrice during the growing season is sufficient for proper growth. During winter, you can supplement the plant with compost.
Repotting ming aralia plant can be performed at any time throughout the summer months. While transplanting, special care should be taken so that the delicate roots are not damaged. As the roots are not so extensive, you can replant them in another pot of the same size as the current one.
Leaf staining is a common ming aralia problem, caused as a result of dry soil and extreme cold climates. Common pests that infest ming aralia plants include spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs and very rarely, scale. In order to keep pests under control, you can use appropriate pesticides. In case, you are not sure about the pest type, get it checked by a horticulturist and then apply the pesticides.
At Plantscape Designs Inc. we always implement the use of ming araleas in our Bedford, MA and Lexington, MA officescapes and cityscapes.