Polyscias leaves
Polyscias (Aralia) - Expert tips

How to Care for Polyscias (Aralia) - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

Imagine having a tiny, exotic jungle right in your living room! That's exactly the vibe you get from Polyscias. This plant is really something special - it grows like a mini tree and can either be a petite table-top buddy or a tall indoor companion, all depending on the type and how you choose to grow it. Although it grows slowly, it can get up to 2 meters high.

A Polyscias plant belongs to the Araliaceae family of flowering plants. There are about 180 species of Polyscias on Earth. These plants love to soak up the sun and enjoy mild climates, as they're usually found in subtropical parts of the world. You may have to give your Polyscias plant a little extra attention to ensure that it thrives. Practice will make you an expert in no time!

This green friend is best known by the name "Aralia" or “Polyscias”. The name “Polyscias” means "many" and "shade" in Greek, which suits the plant's beautiful foliage (which will provide plenty of shade). This Polyscias is a great plant tree covered with cute round leaves with light purple undersides that partially cover the stems. In addition to being a beautiful piece of art in your home, this plant is also a quality air purifier!

Aralia Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Polyscias plants enjoy bright, indirect light. Find a spot with lots of natural light near the window. It also does well in medium shade, so try it out in your north-facing window.
  2. It is best to avoid too much direct sunlight. It may be beneficial to have morning and evening sun, but intense midday sun can harm its beautiful leaves.
  3. Let the soil dry out slightly between the watering. It hates "soggy feet", and if its roots stay too wet for too long, they could get root rot.
  4. Polyscias isn't a fan of cold drafts or sudden temperature changes. If that happens, it might start dropping its leaves. So make sure the room where it is placed has a consistent temperature.
  5. No matter what, keep the temperature above 16°C. It is especially important in winter when windows can get cold, and if you open them, a cold breeze could enter the room. It may cause your plant to lose leaves pretty quickly. In extreme cases, it might even lose all its leaves!
  6. You don't need to use a lot of fertiliser. You can keep your Polyscias happy and healthy by fertilising once a month with a liquid houseplant fertiliser during the growing season.
  7. Pruning can help your Polyscias maintain its shape. Don't be shy to trim back overly long branches or remove dead or yellowing leaves. It's best to cut it back in spring, before the active growth season.
  8. It's good to repot regularly every 2-3 years. Even though it loves being slightly rootbound, it will eventually need some fresh soil and a slightly larger pot to flourish.
  9. Give it space to shine. Although this plant also comes in smaller sizes, the wooden stems and beautiful leaves still need space to show off.
  10. Keep an eye out for leaf changes and pests. If you see anything suspicious, act quickly and try to solve it as soon as possible.

Polyscias Care

Light requirements

Polyscias plants are truly easy-going houseplants that can handle various lighting situations. Whether it's an indirect light spot or a cosy corner with a medium shade, they can adjust and feel at home. Since the Polyscias originally grows in subtropical forests in Polynesia, it is ideal to put your tough friend in a light place without direct sunlight on the leaves, as this can hurt its leaves.

Just remember, keeping Polyscias in medium shade may hinder its growth and make its leaves less vibrant and lush. Even so, it will still look beautiful in your home!

Expert tip! Once you notice your Polyscias start dropping leaves, it might indicate that it's not getting enough light, and you may need to move it to a brighter location.

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When it comes to watering, Polyscia is not particularly picky. Just remember that it won't like soggy ''feet'', so make sure you don't overwater your green friend. In general, it is best to water when the soil ball has slightly dried out. Just touch the soil with your finger or use a water meter. In summer, once a week is enough, but in winter, you can slow down and water only once every fortnight. Your green lady is also a bit fussy about its water. If you give her as much soft water as possible, your Polyscias will thrive even faster!


If you want your Polyscias to grow fast and healthy, give some plant food like our PLNTS liquid houseplant fertiliser. During the growing period, feeding once a month is perfect. You don't need to fertilise your Polyscias during the winter months because it is hibernating.

Temperature & humidity

Polyscias enjoys a warm and humid environment. Ideally, the plant should be in an environment with a temperature of 18 to 29°C and humidity around 50-60%. However, a room with a temperature above 16°C and humidity as low as 40% is fine too.

Expert tip! This plant is also ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, as it prefers moderate to high humidity.

Too dry or too cold air can even lead to leaf fall. Keep it away from cold drafts (especially in winter), and you might want to raise the humidity for plants if you see any brown leaf edges or leaves start to drop. You can prevent this by misting the plant regularly or creating a small indoor forest by putting several plants together.

Repotting & soil

Polyscias plants typically need to be repotted every 2-3 years, but this can vary depending on how quickly your plant grows. A rapidly growing Polyscias might need to be repotted annually, while a slower-growing or mature plant may be fine in the same pot for several years. It's definitely time to repot once roots begin to grow out of drainage holes.

When it comes to soil, choose well-draining houseplant soil. We recommend to use organic PLNTS houseplant soil, which will provide all necessary nutrients for your Polyscias!

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Polyscias propagation

Most Polyscias can be propagated by cutting off branches. You might want to consider starting propagation when you notice your "parent" Polyscias plant has stretched out a bit, looking too tall or a little sparse. Giving it a trim not only provides you with cuttings to propagate but also encourages your Polyscias to grow in a more lush and compact way.

To do this, choose a healthy branch 20 centimetres long and cut it off. You can then plant the cut branch in soil rich in organic matter. It may take up to a month for the branch of Polyscias to develop roots. After that, it is best to wait until your beloved cutting has grown a little before repotting it into a larger pot.

Most common pests on Polyscias

Polyscias are susceptible to spider mites, aphids and scale insects. If the soil lacks nutrients and is dry for an extended period of time, spider mites may appear. Remember to use a plant sprayer to regularly moisten the plant to prevent pests and diseases.

A healthy plant is less susceptible to pests and diseases! If you want to be sure what kind of pest your plant is dealing with, check out our PLNTSdoctor page to recognise and eliminate your plant pests! If you are interested in organic pest control, you can check out our shop. We also sell organic pesticides.

Is Polyscias poisonous for your pets or children?

The thing about Polyscias is that it depends on the species whether it is poisonous or not! It is an air-purifying plant, but it is, therefore, sometimes toxic to pets or children. So it is best to keep your four-legged friend and your children away from your Polyscias. That way, something can definitely never go wrong.

Buy your new Polyscias online at PLNTS.com

Here at PLNTS.com, we have the incredible Polyscias Fabian. The beautiful round green leaves with the purple undercoat are made to light up your interior! Here at PLNTS.com, we can help you get the plants of your dreams!

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Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!