Friday, May 31, 2019

About the Aralia balfouriana 'Roseleaf'

This graceful Aralia Balfouriana 'Roseleaf' is over 40 years old! As it has grown its branches have taken on curves and twists giving it an asymmetrical and intriguing shape. I think of it as a living sculpture. 

It is potted in a 14" diameter pot. Its been in that same size pot since 1991! Every few years I prune off some of the roots and foliage and add some fresh potting soil. Aralias truly don't mind staying pot-bound, as you can see. They are a wonderfully easy houseplant to keep. I believe the most important thing to keeping them thriving is to water them thoroughly when the top of the soil is dry. They appreciate a good soak.

Its botanical name is Polyscias paniculata 'Variegata''. Most Polyscias species are sold as Aralias, their horticultural name. This Aralia Balfouriana 'Roseleaf" is native to Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean.  

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.  

Watch this plant on YouTube as it is repotted in 1991:

Repotting a Large Plant (this Aralia!)

***To watch short video clips from my 90's TV series, click below:




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  2. If you have a specific question about this Aralia, I'd be glad to answer it. I don't have any particular books on plants or other websites to recommend but you may be able to find out more through one of those sources.

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  13. Hi! I'm working on a schoolproject with a tiny Aralia, could I possibly use your photo as a comparison of a full grown Aralia? It would only be for a school project, and I would ofcourse credit you and your wonderful blog!

    1. This is late but you are welcome to use the picture.

  14. I have a 35+ year old Balfour Aralia. It is currently six feet or so tall and doing well. It drops leaves from time to time and I hold off on watering when it does.

  15. Always great to hear about plants that have lived for a long time.It's encouraging!