Apartment plants

Aralia - Fatsia japonica


GeneralitŠ°


Generally called aralia, in fact the fatsia belongs to the Araliaceae family; the genus contains little less than a dozen species of evergreen shrubs, originating in Asia; in Italy the japonica species is very widespread, originating from Japan and Korea, although recently some lesser-known species and also hybrids of fatsia japonica. This evergreen shrub, of medium size, with large leathery leaves, palate, divided into eight lobes marked by evident clear veins, was once cultivated as a houseplant in Europe, as its cultivation requirements were not known, and its appearance exotic made it perfect for large bright living rooms. For many years it has become part of the decorative shrubs for the garden, thanks to its great adaptability, even in conditions that could be adverse for most other shrubs. There fatsia over the years it assumes a roundish habit, with thin erect or arched stems, which bear the large dark and shiny leaves; the maximum dimensions are usually contained, and do not exceed 3-4 meters in height, also because the older stems tend to become increasingly weaker, while new shoots develop at the base of the stems. In spring the plant produces thin, well-branched stems, which bear some round inflorescences, consisting of many small white flowers, followed by some dark, inedible fruits. Typically the leaves of the fatsia are dark green, but there are varieties with variegated leaves of white, or even the particular variety called "Spider's web" with the foliage embroidered by a thin web of white lines, very particular.

The species of fatsia:Fatsia japonica



As we said, typically in an Italian nursery we find only this species, even the varieties and hybrids are difficult to find in our country, where the aralia is widely used in gardens, but without this it has ever made it a plant "of fashion"; rather it is a shrub that was used in a greater way until a few decades ago. And it is a pity, because the foliage is robust and very particular, the plant is completely rustic, and finds space both in the sun and in the partially shady areas of the garden, and also in heavy soils, where other shrubs may not develop at their best. In addition to this, large leaves can be used as a green element in bouquets, giving an exotic touch.

Fatsia polycarpa



Evergreen shrub, native to Taiwan; also this fatsia can find place in the Italian gardens, but it needs a little protection from the winter frost, and prefers partially shady locations, with a good humidity. The general appearance of the plant is very similar to that of the japonica species, but the segments of the large leaves tend to be thinner, giving the whole leaf a more delicate and decorative shape. Plant not easy to find in nurseries, even in places of origin is not very widespread, as the development habitat is progressively damaged by man.

Fatsia oligocarpella


Evergreen shrub, native to some Pacific islands, widespread in nature even in the Hawaiian islands; it has palmate leaves, with lobes much wider and wider than the leaves of fatsia japonica. Plant not completely rustic, in Italy it is cultivated above all in pots, even if it is difficult to find. It enjoys semi-shady positions, and a humid and cool climate, without excessive changes in temperature during the day.

For some strange reason, plants also follow fashions; some years in the nursery they sell only "Mediterranean" plants, other times the passion spreads for succulent plants of all kinds, for years it could not be said to have a garden worthy of the name if you did not possess at least one webbed maple. For the same reason, some plants are no longer in fashion, and therefore are more and more difficult to see in gardens recently set up; This is the case of the fatsia japonica, which until the end of the 80s was a typical shrub of every garden, almost an essential element. In addition to fatsia, there are many plants that tend to be forgotten, despite their undeniable qualities. Some spring-flowering plants are considered "grandmother plants", and there are those who believe that they do not look good in their garden, such as forsythia or chaenomeles; a few decades ago, a garden in the city, to be able to be called a garden, had to have at least one conifer inside it, regardless of the climatic requirements of that plant, or the size it would have achieved over the years; the viburnum vat was once used for hedges, increasingly supplanted by the photinia "red robin". These taste changes are not always motivated; certainly, in the case of all types of fir trees, today's choice to avoid them at any cost, unless it is a small-sized variety, must certainly be rewarded; in the case instead of other plants, such as the fatsia or viburnum vat, I believe that it is a discrimination made without thinking about the actual merits of these plants, which develop everywhere, even in the garden that has no irrigation system, or that does not it is fertilized if you do not grow 3-4 years, keeping yourself beautiful, luxuriant, full of flowers and healthy foliage. Of course, none of your neighbors will come to ask you about the strange plant that you have planted, but surely, even in the most inclement season, your shrub will make a fine show of itself, without suffering any damage.