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.
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 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.
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.
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
Caring for fatsias
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
- ‘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