False aralia – House Plants

False aralia - House Plants

False aralia (Plerandra elegantissima) is an evergreen, ornamental shrub or tree. False aralia can grow up to 26–49 ft tall by 7 ft wide. The leaves, on a 10-14 cm long petiole in the young plants, 12-16 inches in the matured ones, are alternate, palmate-compound, formed by 7-12 leaflets almost linear with grossly and irregularly dentate margins, 5-10 inches long and 1-2 cm broad in the young plants or in the branches growing at the base of mature specimens, 8-12 inches long and 7-8 cm wide in the matured plants. The leaves are first brown purple, then glossy dark green, coriaceous, with a prominent greenish white central vein. Umbel compound terminal inflorescences with numerous small hermaphroditic pentamerous flowers of yellow-greenish color. The fruits are sub-globose, of about 1 cm in diameter, of blackish color containing usually 5-6 pale yellow seeds.

Scientific Name: Plerandra elegantissima
Synonyms: Dizygotheca elegantissima, Aralia elegantissima, Schefflera elegantissima.
Common Name: False Aralia

False aralia - House Plants

 

 

 

 

How to grow and maintain False aralia:

Light:
It requires bright light but should not be placed where exposed to strong direct sunlight. Direct sun can cause the leaf tips and edges to turn brown.

Soil:
It grows well in loose, rich in organic substance, slightly acidic to neutral, well-drained soil.

Temperature:
It prefers normal room temperatures of between 65°F – 85°F / 18°C – 29°C. Do not expose it to temperatures below 60°F / 15°C, which can cause leaf drop.

Water:
Water thoroughly and allow the top one inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduced watering from fall to late winter. Wilted leaves are a sign of overwatering.

Fertilizer:
Fertilize every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) diluted by half in spring and summer and feed monthly in fall and winter.

Propagation:
It can be easily propagated by seeds or stem tip cuttings. Take stem tip cuttings in spring. Use a rooting hormone for best results and keep the stem cuttings in a warm, humid place for a few weeks, until new growth emerges.

Repotting:
Re-pot your false aralia plant every year or every two years in spring using general purpose potting soil and a pot just big enough to accommodate the roots.

Pests and Diseases:
There is no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for mites, aphids, mealy bugs, scale, and whitefly.

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