Monday, April 28, 2014

The Elegant Spinach Aralia

Today I spotted this lovely and elegant Spinach Aralia growing in my own living room! It's a touch of living luxury that is easy to grow, if you have the right instructions. I will pass them on below. It's deep green and curled leaves resemble spinach which is how it got its name. It's lived with me for several years.
The Spinach Aralia is a slow grower and so interesting to watch as its trunk grows with twists and turns. How much it is in will affect how it grows; it almost seems to make its own choices in positioning and twisting its branches, as it grows. (Really, plants don't make conscious decisions :)

In an official botanical way, the Spinach Aralia is of the genus Polyscias. The Polyscias or Aralia plants are tropical evergreens that naturally grow in New Caledonia, India, and Polynesia. Horticulturists were surprised at first to discover how well they adapted to the indoors. I love their exotic beauty and how easy it is to keep them. I own several species.   

Care Instructions---
  • Bright indirect light to some direct sun. Full afternoon sun may prove to be too strong.   Directly in front of a north or east facing window will work out well.
  • For all Aralias:  Water when the top of the soil is dry. They like a good soak but not to sit in water for long.
  • in a 6" (15 cm) diameter pot, water with 1 pint of water (almost 1/2 liter)
  • in a 10"(25 cm) diameter pot will use about 2 quarts of water (or 2 liters) when necessary
  • in a 14" (35 cm) diameter pot, use 1 gallon of water (almost 4 liters)
  • Fertilize regularly for best growth.
  • Misting daily with water would be appreciated but is not necessary. 
  • Once in awhile clean the leaves in the shower or outdoors with a hose on gentle spray. You can mix up about a tsp. of mild dishwashing soap in a pint bottle and soap up the leaves first.  

  ***To view short video clips on plant care from my 90's TV series, click below: 


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