Fatsia japonica

How to grow fatsias

Find out all you need to know about growing fatsias, in this detailed Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does not flower in June

Plant does not flower in July

Plant does not flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Fruits
Fruits

Plant does not fruit in January

Plant does not fruit in February

Plant does not fruit in March

Plant does not fruit in April

Plant does not fruit in May

Plant does not fruit in June

Plant does not fruit in July

Plant does not fruit in August

Plant does not fruit in September

Plant does not fruit in October

Plant does fruit in November

Plant does fruit in December

Fatsia japonica is a fantastic foliage plant. A medium sized shrub, with large, glossy evergreen, palm-shaped leaves, it’s a great choice for a shady spot. It can also be grown as a houseplant.

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Often overlooked are the unusual white flowers and black fruits that provide interest in the autumn and winter and food for wildlife. Fatsia is guaranteed to add an exotic touch and looks good teamed with softer grasses and bamboos, but also works in contrast with smaller leafed shrubs, or bold canna lilies.

It’s such a good and reliable all rounder, that The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Take a look at our handy fatsia Grow Guide, below.


Where to grow fatsias

Fatsia japonica growing in a courtyard garden
Fatsia growing in a courtyard garden

Fatsia japonica is very versatile. It’s a good choice for a tricky shady spot, but is just as well suited to a hot, sunny, location. It’s also suitable for coastal gardens or growing against a wall in a city courtyard.


Planting fatsias

Plant fatsias in spring to establish over the warmer months. Dig a generous hole, adding some well-rotted compost and a sprinkling of mycorrhizal funghi to help the plant settle in. Follow our step-by-step guide to planting an evergreen shrub.


Propagation

Take semi-ripe cuttings of fatsia in late summer. Watch Chris Beardshaw in this video for some useful tips on taking cuttings.


Fatsias: problem solving

Fatsias are generally pretty tough, but can get scale insects, thrips and mealybugs. Also, keep a look out for leaf spot and remove affected leaves.


Caring for fatsias

Fatsia foliage
Fatsia foliage

A severe frost can cause damage to the leaves. In a bout of prolonged cold or if snow is forecast, you could cover with protective fleece. However, a good mulch over the roots in autumn will help see the plant through average winter conditions. Prune lightly in mid- to late spring, to shape the plant as required.


Fatsias to grow

Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web'
Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’
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  • ‘Variegata’ – a slightly less hardy and less common variegated form, with leaves edged in cream. Usually sold as an indoor plant
  • x Fatshedera lizei – is an intergeneric hybrid that combines the large, glossy palmate foliage and unusual flowers of fatsia with the climbing habit of ivy, hence it’s known as tree ivy
  • ‘Spider’s Web’ – slightly slower growing than the species, ‘Spider’s Web’ has variegated, speckled leaves giving them a webbed appearance