Aralia Fabian, also known as Polyscias Fabian, is a popular choice among plant owners. Self-contained and beautiful, it’s the ideal aralia indoor plant!
In this grow guide, we’ll show you the ideal conditions needed to grow a healthy, happy Aralia Fabian.
What is Aralia Fabian?
Aralia Fabian is a miniature tree that’s commonly grown as a houseplant. Native to the Pacific Islands, this tropical plant makes a wonderful addition to any indoor home decor.
One of the main reasons Aralia Fabian enjoys growing popularity is its bushy shape and showy leaves. The Aralia houseplant looks like a tiny tree, with a thick trunk and broad, rounded leaves that are dark green on top and a light maroon on the bottom.
In the wild, Aralia trees can grow up to 20 feet (6 meters) tall. Luckily, the Fabian Aralia is more contained and will usually stop growing once it reaches its full size, at around 4 feet (1.2 meters).
How to care for Aralia Fabian
Aralia Fabian can be a bit tricky for beginners, but caring for it can be a truly rewarding experience.
Here are our top tips to keep your Aralia plant happy.
– Light Requirements
Like most tropical houseplants, Aralia Fabian needs bright but indirect sunlight. Placing it in direct sun will scorch the leaves, causing brown spots and wilting. However, a shady spot will lead to leaves yellowing and dropping.
We recommend placing your Aralia Fabian in a room that’s facing either east or west. Keep it about 3 feet (90 cm) away from the window to avoid direct sun from touching the leaves. This way, your Aralia houseplant should receive at least 6 hours of light each day, which will help the leaves retain their unique color.
The perfect temperature range for Aralia Fabian is between 65 °F and 80 °F (18 °C to 27 °C). Most homes fall within these figures regardless of the season. A bit more heat should be fine if the humidity is high enough but avoid exposing your Aralia to temperatures below 60 °F (15 °C).
– Water Requirements
Aralia Fabian has a shallow root system, and as a result, it is susceptible to overwatering. If you water it too frequently or if the soil is not well-draining, this will instantly lead to root rot.
When should you be watering your Aralia Fabian? It depends on the time of the year. During the growth season (in spring and summer), you can water it once a week. Cut back on watering when the days get shorter and colder, especially in winter.
Ideally, you should check the soil with your finger before each watering. If the top inch feels completely dry, it’s time to water your Aralia.
Feed your Aralia Fabian once a month during the growth season. An organic, liquid fertilizer that’s designed for leafy houseplants is more than suitable for this shrub.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the humidity level in your home. Aralia Fabian is a tropical plant that thrives in a humid environment. We recommend placing it near a humidifier or on top of a pebble tray. Misting the plant daily is also encouraged.
If humidity levels are too low, your Aralia will start dropping its leaves pretty quickly. Also, avoid keeping the plant close to a radiator or under an AC vent. Doing this will lead to temperature fluctuations and a loss in humidity, which will ruin the plant’s foliage.
– Best Soil Option
Using the correct mix of soil for Aralia Fabian is essential. It will promote healthy growth, as well as prevent problems caused by too much water. Use an acidic potting mix rich in nutrients, and add perlite or coco coir to improve drainage and soil aeration.
– When To Repot
Aralia Fabian can live in the same container for a long time. In most cases, you will only need to repot it once every 3 or 4 years. When the time comes, move it to a container that’s around 2 inches (5 cm) wider than the previous one.
Aralia Fabian’s growth rate is relatively slow, typically growing around 3 inches (8 cm) each year. At this rate, it can take almost a decade before it reaches its maximum height of 4 feet (1.2 meters).
Pruning Aralia Fabian
This plant doesn’t need too much pruning, yet it’s best to give it a trim in spring. If you want your Aralia Fabian to be bushy, pinch out the leaves to encourage branching at the sides. You can also remove the single leaves growing directly on the trunk. When pruning, make sure you don’t remove more than ⅓ of the plant, to prevent shock or damage.
Is Aralia Fabian toxic to pets?
Aralia Fabian’s trunk produces a toxic substance that can be dangerous if it comes in contact with the skin or is ingested. If your dog or cat comes into contact with it, the most common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and skin irritations.
Make sure to place your Aralia Fabian in a part of the house where pets don’t have access to it. Also, we recommend using gardening gloves if you’re pruning or repotting the plant.
How to propagate Aralia Fabian
The best time to propagate your Aralia Fabian is in summer. It is when the plant is at the peak of its growth season, and the cuttings have a better chance of rooting.
Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to propagate Aralia Fabian through cuttings:
- Locate a stem that’s about 8 inches (20 cm) long and about the same width as your small finger. The stem should be new growth, with green wood and just a little bit of hardened wood at the bottom.
- Using a sharp pair of gardening scissors, cut the stem close to the main trunk under the bottom leaf node.
- Remove 1 or 2 leaves from the bottom of the cutting or until half of the stem is left bare.
- Place the stem in a pot of well-draining soil mix to a depth of around 4 inches (10 cm).
- Cover the pot with a transparent plastic bag, tied around the pot with some string or elastic bands. It will help retain the humidity levels that the cutting needs to grow.
- Keep the pot with the cutting in a spot where it gets indirect light and where temperatures don’t dip below 65 °F (18 °C). If you can, use a heating mat for plants, which will significantly speed up root development.
- Be patient. Aralia Fabian cuttings can take weeks and even months to grow roots. If you start seeing signs of new growth on your cutting, that’s a sign that the propagation was successful.
Aralia Fabian Problems: Common Pests
The most common problem you’ll encounter with Aralia Fabian is a sudden and abundant loss of leaves. This is usually caused by an incorrect watering schedule, not enough light, or humidity levels that are too low. It’s best to note that Aralia Fabian sheds its bottom leaves during winter. This is normal for the plant as it grows.
Be sure to regularly check the top inch of the soil before watering the Aralia Fabian, and avoid extremes (too much or too little water). If your Aralia is placed under an AC vent or next to a radiator, this will also cause leaf loss. Aralia Fabian does tolerate some partial shade, but if it’s in a poorly lit part of your house, try moving it a bit closer to the window.
– Root Rot
Another common problem is root rot. Aralia Fabian has shallow roots, so if the soil mix is compacted and poorly draining, this can permanently damage the plant. Signs of root rot can vary from yellowing leaves to stunted, unhealthy growth.
To check for root rot, gently remove the Aralia Fabian from the pot and inspect the roots. They should feel firm to the touch, with a light brown or cream color. Blackened or soft roots are a sign of rot. Depending on how bad the rot is, you can trim some of the rotted roots and repot the Aralia in fresh, well-draining soil. If the rot has spread to the whole root ball, your plant could be beyond saving.
– Spider Mites
Aralia Fabian grown as an indoor plant, is also highly susceptible to spider mites. Check the leaves’ underside every time you water it, and search for any patches covered in a white web.
If you’ve found spider mites on your Aralia, take action immediately, as these pests can quickly spread to your other plants. We recommend gently wiping the leaves with a solution of water and isopropyl alcohol at least once a week. Repeat the treatment for a whole month until there are no more signs of spider mites.
Aralia Fabian is a superb houseplant that can add charm and character to any room. With this grow guide, you have all the tools you need to grow your own at home.
Let’s go over the basics:
- As a tropical plant, Aralia Fabian enjoys warm temperatures and high humidity;
- Be sure to avoid direct sunlight, though, as this can scorch the leaves;
- Too much water is the cause for most problems with Aralia Fabian, so make sure you don’t overwater yours!
- When thinking about the Aralia Fabian growth rate, bear in mind that it’s a slow grower and takes up to a decade to reach its full size.
Now you know the secrets, why not try growing the beautiful Aralia houseplant in your own home?
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