Polyscias fabian is a plant that really wastes no space. Leaves grow almost from the base of its trunk, covering it in thick foliage. It’s no surprise that in places where it grows happily outdoors - mostly islands in the South Pacific - it’s often used for hedging. You wouldn’t see much through a row of Polyscias fabian.
Despite its tree-like appearance, it doesn’t grow too large. It will top out at about 1.5 metres, in the right conditions. It’s also easily pruned to keep it at a modest size, if you don’t want it too lofty.
As a plant from the tropics, it likes a steamy, warm environment. It’s not too fussy on light, learning to adapt to most conditions, but it doesn’t like to be cold, so keep it out of the path of drafts. It will also like a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer, to help it grow big and strong.
With its full shape and big round leaves with fine purple veining, this is a plant for people who want instant impact.
Did you know?
The botanical name Polyscias means ‘many shade’, probably because the dense foliage lets very little light through.