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    I brought a fatsia japonica a few weeks ago. It was doing really well until last week when the leaves dropped and whats left don't look great. I remember the label saying to use a ericacious based mulch. im wondering if it would be better treated as a ericacious plant??? Any other advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



My Fatsia japonica needed pruning back a couple of weeks ago due to its hugeness and a little die-back from the winter months that usually happens.

It does tend to natrually shed leaves at this time of year as well and new growth unfurls from central buds.

I garden on sandy, neutral soil and have never given it any special treatment apart from the odd spring feed, although I did find it difficult to place when I first bought it and it looked very sorry for itself for a couple of years. Eventually it found a cosy spot in a north facing corner with shelter from winds for the most part, which must have helped because its now 8' 8' if I let it.

Alina W

It doesn't ned ericaceous compost, no.

What it does need is to be reasonably dry and not in much direct sunshine, or it'll go yellow. Is yours in a soggy spot, perhaps?

As already said, shelter from strong winds is also important.


Mine is a a rescue from the GC at least 15 years ago and is huge and happy, I've never done anything to it. My soil is slightly alkaline loam with a gritty layer about 2 ft down. It's on the shady side of the garden where it gets a little sun and is nicely sheltered by surrounding shrubs and trees. I'm in East Dorset so relatively mild. Clearly it was beginner's luck that shone down on me the day I brought the sad little half-price pot home

Oh wow, Alina W has just described my plant to a T. Mine is also a rescue plant from a GC the other week. I have definately been over watering and it is in direct sun. Yellow as a banana with a proper droop going on. 

At least it stands a chance now.  Thanks 



Missy I have a VERY mature one, about 17 years old, and small self set in a pot, I didn't know they self set but there it was in a bed nearby so must be the birds. As stated they aren't acid lovers. The large one has yellowing of older leaves that it will shed, new growth is dark green but will fade as it get's a small amount of sun in afternoons. It lived in a pot for 7 years and then I tried a couple of places in the garden until it seemed happy where it now is.

Sure yours will recover, when it gets older keep yours eyes open for black berries that form, quite unusual on stalks, but the birds soon have them. Enjoy.

Hi guys, 

im very new to gardening, in fact it took me weeks just to find out what the plant in my garden was. 

I have a Fatsia japonica in my garden a very large one at around 10ft with berries. 

I would like to dig it out of the ground pond pot it in a huge pot. 

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to do this? What minimum pot size and material of pot will be suitable? And soil etc it will need? 

Any help would be great as I really don't want to kill it in the process. 



It would have to be a very, very big pot, and heavy or it'll blow / topple over. Wherever you put it you'll need lots of space to get around it. Going to take some watering.

I wouldn't do it. Doubt it will do it any good at all.

If it needs to go I'd just remove it and start again. You might find some off shoots at the base, this does occasionally happen.


I'd suggest you get the biggest pot you can and get as much rootball when you dig it out. Don't think you'd need anything specific in terms of compost as you'll see from the previous posts here. Mine grows in fairly neutral soil. Rich, damp but well drained, and some shade are the main requirements and I'd prune it back as it won't be able to support the amount of foliage it currently has if it's going into a pot. Just take branches back to the main stem - like you would when you take older ones off - and keep a nice shape. If you do it in late summer you could always use the prunings for cuttings and get a few more plants. A bit of tlc and a feed and hopefully it'll be ok! 

Up until the phenomenal amount of rainfall we had over the winter my Fatsia was growing beautifully.  However, I guess because they like dry conditions and my Fatsia is now sat in quite a wet bit of earth the leaves have pretty much all drooped down and it looks in a bit of a sorry state, although the leaves are still their original colour, just very, very droopy.

Please tell me it will recover and the leaves will perk up.  Should I do anything to try to help it?

Yes, it should have perked up by now, although the older leaves may be turning yellow at this time of year and it seems like the plant is dying.  The yellowed leaves can be picked off fairly easily and you will see new shoots coming through.  I was tempted last year to cut down the top branches of my fatsia as they looked a bit bare but sentimental value stopped me from doing so. I am so glad I didn't as all the tall branches have new leaves on them and the growth last year even with all the rain was phenomenal.  I planted my fatsia 8 years ago knowing little about it except that I loved its leaf shape and colour.  I must have got lucky as it was about 8" tall at that point and planted in a shady clay soil its now 10 feet high and about the same in diameter... great plant that needs little assistance.  Sits nicely between a viburnum and surprisingly an ericaceous rhododendron.  I planted a second one today on the opposite side of the garden to be used as a boundary shrub. 


Hi Alistair, I have successfully grown Fatsia from heel cuttings, I just pull off the small leaves and stem that grow at the top of the mother plant and put them in a pot of compost. I have grown on some really big plants that way. I keep them potted up and put them in shady areas of the garden. good luck

I have a well established japonica that was originally in a pot till I planted it about 9 years ago in its current position. It has done really well, flowering and growing well until the last couple of months when it has started to go black, yellow and drop leaves. I wouldn't be worried except this is happening to new growth as well as lower older leaves. 

It is is a fairly sunny position although by noon the shade starts to move over it. The only other thing I have done recently is bury our bunny nearby when he died in March. Could he be making the soil too rich for the plant? There is a lavender and a large fushcia that are closer to the bunny. Clearly I don't want to exhume the rabbit but wonder if there is anything I can do for the plant if it is the effect he is having on the soil?

the new growth that has been affected is nearer the base of the plant

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