This is a very old favorite of mine. Seems to cycle in & out of favour for home decor. Was a time I coudn't find one for 10 yrs, lately I found 4 of them. Anyway, from the family of Aralias (or Polyscias).
A better shot
Can it really be that I'm the only one who knows this plant & likes it so much?
Hey, Karen! :-)
You're not the only one!
I had to double-check my plant to make sure that I actually have a Balfour (Dinner Plate) Aralia. My brother bought one of these for me a little over a year ago. At first I didn't like it much - primarily because it's a big plant and my brother always buys the largest, most unaccomodating plants for me. However, I've come to appreciate its presence in my house. I turn it often, and I have plans to prune the branches in closer to the central "trunk." The more of a "column" I can create, the more easily the plant can be moved around/managed.
Would you mind if I shared some pics?
I almost got one of these once! Personally, I only have a ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa?) which was, recently, dropping branches, and then it decided to stop. I have no idea why it was doing that, because branch drop's usually associated with excessive dryness or overwatering, which I definitely wasn't doing. I hear Balfour Aralia's are less likely to do weird things like that, though.
They have a really large on in the student union, here. They're impressive looking plants when they get that big. They seem to send up more trunks than ming aralias do, as well.
When it goes outdoors, I try to keep it partially shaded.
Karen, I wish your pic expanded..I tried, but it gave me an error..darn.
Of what I can see, your Balfour is nice-looking..especially the variegation..how old it is?
Josh!!! your trunk is gigantic..I am jealous..lol..Did you say your Ballfour is a Dinner Plate or Fabien?
Amccour. Mings are like cats: Finicky..I've killed several over the years, but in the last five found a way to keep one alive..Neglect..Soil has to dry..Completely..And underpotted. My 5-yr-old is in a 4" plastic pot, near a south window. Cool room..The difficult part is figuring out when soil is dry enough, but not so dry fronds yellow..lol..
They're slow-growing..therefore, mine gets rare feedings w/Fish Emulsion.
Karen and Josh..IMO, Balfours are one of the most difficult plants keeping alive...but lovely..especially when mature...
Karen, can you post a larger pic? Thanks, Toni
"Amccour. Mings are like cats: Finicky..I've killed several over the years, but in the last five found a way to keep one alive..Neglect..Soil has to dry..Completely..And underpotted. "
Yeah, I know. Mine IS underpotted and I definitely let it dry between waterings. I got it four years ago when I was new to plants and it was in a pot with four others that I rotted out from overwatering, so... I don't make the same mistake again.
I thought that the soil it was in was bad (it was. Miracle Grow potting mix. Very... caked. What it's in now isn't great. It's like, half vermiculite and and half orchid mix, which does manage to be fairly fast draining but is also completely useless at keeping the plant anchored in place) so I changed it out, but it still dropped a branch or two after that.
And then it stopped. I think it might've just been age-related branch shedding. I'm not sure if aralias actually do that or not, but I was taking care of it appropriately, as far as I could tell. It looks fine now.
It's actually grown reasonably quickly, despite never, ever going outside in the summer. It's probably also the reason I have a really bad tendency to keep my plants on the dry side.
I've got quite a few Aralias at home, several of which are the variegated balfour, my favorite as well. They are all relatively small, the largest being my parsley aralia which is about 4 ft tall and very full and beautiful. I have 2 mings, one is about 2.5ft tall. It is also very full. Recently, I found 3 small ''snowflake'' aralias, which are basically variegated parsleys. They are very nice as well. I actually found those at Ingles, a local grocery store in North and South Carolina. That is also where I found 2 of my small balfours. They surprisingly have a nice selection of small exotic tropicals. I keep all of my Aralias in the brightest spots in my house (a large west-facing window and a large south facing window. I keep them indoors year round and water them only when the soil is almost completely dry. I mist them, as well as all of my other tropicals about once a day to keep the humidity up in the house, mainly during the winter when the house is dry. I also have most of them on a tray of moist pebbles. Other than that, I have never had any major complaints out of my Aralias, and they are some of the easiest of my plants, imo. They prefer more neglect than too much attention. I've never overwatered them, as I knew about these plants before I ever bought one. So, luckily (*knock on wood*) I wont ever have to watch my Aralias suffer the devastating consequences of too much water. They really CAN put up with some pretty severe drought. I've waited until the soil is cracking and pulling away from the sides once or twice (even though I know not to) and they didnt flinch a leaf. So, that being said, these plants are pretty tough, except when it comes to keeping them too wet. How do you all care for your aralias? What about pruning? I pruned my large parsley about mid-fall and it is sprouting new shoots all over the place now, even in winter! I know they go semi-dormant, but I dont think it really matters when or where you prune them. They grow back quickly and more beautiful than before! I hope all of you Aralia owners are having fun with these awesome plants. They are really nice to have. Peace and happy indoor gardening!
Could you perhaps share any pix? I too find these really like a fair amount of neglect & letting them dry seems key. I haven't grown any Ming in several years, I just focus on my favorite, the Balfour.
It's been a while to get back here Toni, don't think these are bigger, maybe a bit better to show the leaves. These were bought recently (last Spring) so I don't know how old they are. This one is actually from 2 separate 3" pots, 2 small plants potted together in there.
They seem to want drying out, underpotting & even to be potted shallow in the mix, tho' the pot I'm showing here now I potted deeper, just how it worked out & since it seems very happy, I'm leaving it alone.
These are too young to prune yet; I grow them all on pebble trays & don't mist at all. I currently have 5 of them going (including one growing Hydro) in case they suddenly become hard to find again.
I just find these so pretty!
Those leaves are very pretty, indeed.
The pics are slightly larger, too. Thanks.
I can't wait for the weather to warm so that the Dinner Plate will kick into high gear again.
I pruned mine down and re-potted this Autumn, and the trunks are so bare now.
The good news is that the cuttings - even 1.5 inch thick stumps - rooted easily.
I'm not sure how to post pictures on here. I tried but it didnt work. Any suggestions? I'm not the most computer savvy person.
Hi Stinkybuds (you sure that's the name you want to use?)
In order to post pix here, you need to use a photo-hosting site first, then once the pix are uploaded there, then they can then be cut & pasted into here (using the 3rd line of code, or HTML).
I suggest Photobucket as it's free & it's what I use so I'm familiar w/ it. There's also a 'test forum' somewhere around here for just such purposes.
Thanks for the help. I dont have an account with a photo-host, so I might get one set up soon. As for the name, people can think what they want, but its actually a nickname for me and my fiance that a friend came up with years back. It doesnt have anything to do with marijuana, im sorry to say :)
Hey Chris (Stinkyb),
For those on the inside, am guessing it'd be more like the name 'fragrantbuds' or 'deliciouslyspicybuds' ;>) can you tell I'm biased?
Were you going to post about these plants? If you've got questions, come on back & we'll see what we can do.
Oops, I just re-read the thread & see you have already posted, interesting comments. Wow, you've got lots of Aralias, maybe we should be asking YOU the questions.
I'm in NYC, maybe we can try making some tip cuttings to swap in Spring, sounds like you've got some varieties I've never even seen -- like the variegated Parsley, bet that's VERY pretty.
Anyway, nice to speak w/ you & Happy Gardening.
Just saw these old posts and don't know if anyone is still following. I've had a balfour aralia as a house plant for about 30 years. It is about five feet tall. Mine is not variagated but has solid colored leaves. It is a slow grower which is a good thing in this case. From time to time it seems to go through a period where it drops quite a few leaves and my cure for that is to water it less and let it dry out a bit. Just guesswork on my part but it seems to work.
I had this one for a little over a year. It was given to me. Would not have bought one as I was under the impression that they were hard indoors in the North (or anywhere else having a heating season). Well, it did just fine and is now 2.5 plus feet. I think it just likes its locationÃ¢ÂÂ¦ordinarily in the kitchen window, over the sink, western exposure with a lot of hot afternoon sun, plus overhead florescent from ceiling fixture. Pot is smallish as there is not much horizontal space on the window sill, but there is vertical space. This did so well, I added the Ming Aralia and it do seems to love the location. Both had a lot of leaf drop initially but this stopped and then they started to grow and recuperate. I do let them dry out some between waterings and extra humidity from sink probably helps.
This post was edited by njoasis on Sat, Dec 28, 13 at 14:46