Fatsia japonica

Japanese fatsia

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Fatsia japonica is the most distinctive of all evergreens with large palmate leaves. The lobed leaves can reach 16 inches across and provide contrast in the shade garden. It can be grown in mass plantings on larger sites or as a specimen in smaller gardens. Grow it with ferns for contrast and it is excellent when mixed with large plantings of Rhododendrons to relieve the monotony of dark, medium evergreen foliage. Drumstick-like flowers are otherworldly in appearance but add to the distinctiveness of this shrub. Plant with the usual woodland perennials like hellebores, hostas, solomn's seal and the like. Foliage is excellent in flower arrangements and lasts for weeks when cut.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 6 ft. 0 in. (1.83 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 10

Flower Color: cream

Sun/Light Exposure: open to deep shade

Water Requirements: drought tolerant once established, but appreciates occasional to regular water during very long dry spells

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: variegated, blue, silver

Great Color Partners: dark green, chartreuse

Culture Notes
This tropical looking evergreen shrub prefers rich well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy sites and clay if drainage is adequate. Regular summer watering encourages full lush growth and large, bold leaves, but it will tolerate only occasional watering during dry weather. The best foliage is in open to deep shade with protection from hot sun. It requires little pruning other than to remove any dead, broken or poorly formed limbs.