Ming aralia's unusual form and feathery texture make it a stunner in a South Florida shade garden.
This exquisite shrub (or dwarf tree) should be used more often, since its natural bonsai look works very well with tropical landscaping - or any other style, for that matter.
Ming grows upright with multiple side branches that create a layered appearance. The occasional exposure of bare branches only adds to the plant's beauty.
Each one is unique. The delicate, lacy leaves cover branches that grow in odd formations like "heads" of foliage.
This plant contains toxins that can cause skin irritations - wear gloves when handling, if you have sensitive skin. Keep away from munching pets who can develop minor illness if they ingest stems or leaves.
This shrub is a moderate grower that needs full to partial shade (morning sun only).
It prefers Zone 10 temps but has been known to grow in Zone 9B, even coming back after a winter dieback. Plant in an area protected from wind.
These plants can grow to about 15 feet but usually top out (or can be trimmed) around 8 feet.
Add a combination of top soil and composted cow manure to the hole when you plant.
Trimming isn't necessary but you can cut tips of branches in spring to encourage new "heads" of foliage.
Sometimes branches get heavy and floppy, especially when wet during rainy season. You can stake them up or trim the plant so the branches don't droop too far down.
Water on a regular basis, and fertilize in spring, summer and autumn.
Plant 3 to 4 feet apart. Don't plant too close to another large shrub (such as variegated ginger) that may overwhelm it in size and impact.
Come out from the house 2-1/2 to 3 feet, and away from walks and drives 3 to 4 feet to allow for future growth.
This aralia is an excellent container plant, often grown indoors in colder climates. If you do grow it indoors, be sure to mist it regularly to make up for lack of humidity.
GOOD SNOWBIRD PLANT? YES
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Holly fern, pinwheel jasmine, croton, pentas, and alocasia odora.
Other plants you might like: False Aralia, Dwarf Black Olive
The ultimate guide to low-maintenance plants
An ebook by
Want to learn more about South Florida planting, watering, fertilizing and dealing with weeds and pests?
See our Gardening How-To section for answers!
An ebook by
Learn how to get instant curb appeal with fast growing plants and landscaping techniques!