Fatsia japonica

Common Name: glossy-leaved paper plant 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Araliaceae
Native Range: Japan, Korea
Zone: 8 to 10
Height: 6.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 16.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Creamy white
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 8-10. Grow as a houseplant in St. Louis. Easily grown in a humusy potting mix. Site in part shade to shade, with no prolonged summer sun. Water regularly during the growing season, but substantially reduce watering from fall to late winter. Likes cool temperatures (60-70°F). This plant may be set out on a shady patio in summer. Appreciates regular fertilization during growing season. Prune to shape as needed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fatsia japonica, commonly called Japanese aralia, is native to Japan. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that typically grows to 16’ tall in its native habitat. Plants must be grown indoors in St. Louis where they more typically grow to 6’ tall. This is an attractive foliage plant noted for its palmately lobed glossy dark green leaves (to 16” wide) that typically have 7-9 deep lobes. Small creamy flowers in umbels bloom in fall, followed by black berries. However, plants rarely flower and fruit indoors. Synonymous with Aralia sieboldii and Aralia japonica.

Genus name comes from the Latinized adaptation of an obsolete or misrendered Japanese name Fatsi for Fatsia japonica.

Specific epithet means of Japan.


Watch for aphids, mealybugs, scale, thrips and spider mites. Overly moist soils may lead to root rot.


Coarsely textured shrub for mixed borders, accent specimens, large containers, irregular screen or hedge. Houseplant for bright shady conditions.