He’ll be fine in a shady spot, but equally happy somewhere that gets sun most of the day. Sun all day might be too much.
He likes his soil gently moist. Give him a drink whenever the top two inches of soil are dry and he’ll be very happy.
You can help him grow big and strong by giving him a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.
He’s not the biggest fan of strong wind, so try to keep him sheltered from very stiff breezes.
Japanese aralia; Castor oil plant
Plant height (including pot)
Nursery pot size
About fatsia japonica
The beautiful fatsia japonica gets its name from the Japanese word ‘fatsi’, meaning ‘eight’, because its magnificent leaves have eight lobes. It’s found in the wild in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, where it lives happily through warm summers and pretty cold winters (it can cope with temperatures as low as −15 °C).
It’s become hugely popular around the world for its impressive glossy leaves. In summer, you should also see it bloom with small white flowers, then possibly little (inedible) black fruits.
Another reason for its popularity is its easygoing nature. It’s happy almost anywhere and is a great choice for outdoor space that gets limited sun. It likes a mix of sun and shade best, but it will cope with whatever you can give it. It’s not too fond of strong wind, so try to put it somewhere sheltered.
Your plant will arrive in a nursery pot (the plastic pot it’s been growing in). There’s no need to remove it from this. Just place the whole thing inside a decorative pot. Choose one that’s as gorgeous as those leaves.
Did you know?
Though it’s sometimes known as the castor oil plant, it has nothing to do with castor oil. The proper castor oil plant is ricinus communis.