Help me ID this plant, please :D

ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)May 24, 2011

Hi there! I bought a plant from HD yesterday because it was unusual to me. I've never seen it anyway. Its small but has lots of leaves and two main stems. (The stems look like they could turn woody as they mature).

Any help with IDing this would be great! And if by chance anyone has tips on care thats more than welcome! :D



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An aralia of some nature, but that's all I've got!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:22AM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Thanks! I was able to find the specific name, aralia balfouriana. After putting in aralia in google I found a plants that look just like mine :D Thanks gravyboots!!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice plant, Ashley.
I think it's an Aralia, as well. Maybe Polyscias balfouriana, with variegation.
The stems will turn woody, and it has the potential to grow very large.
It roots easily from cuttings, too.

As for care...try to keep it warm, and keep it moist but not wet.
From what I can tell, it attracts pests in many environments.


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:58AM
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GB and Josh..Ashley's plant is definately a variegated Aralia, but don't know if it's a Balfour.
Look at the edge of leaves..HD sells numerous Aralias, (Dinner Plant, Fabian, etc) but I've never seen one with jagged leaf edges like the one Ashley found..Quite unusual.

Ashley, very nice Aralia. No matter which species, follow Josh's directions. They don't like wet feet, and are slow-growers.

Josh, insects? Where did that come from? lol, Toni

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:15PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Yes, it's my beloved Polycias balfouriana, aka Balfour Aralia; my all time favorite plant. (I believe by definition the Balfour Aralia is variegated (leaves are edged in white). There's a similar looking, all green version which is called something else like maybe 'Ruffles'.

These cycle in & out of favor every few years. There's not a lot of care info around on these. A major article about them written by one of the late founders of my Indoor Gardening Society, the late George Elbert.

I must pls. disagree w/ the recommendation to keep them moist, I have found they don't like that. They do in fact need to dry out somewhat btwn waterings. I've also found they do not yield cuttings readily EXCEPT for cuttings started in water, that's the only way I've succeeded in propagating them.

I've also had trouble w/ the mix they're sold in, it's very peaty & tends to turn rock hard, just as we warn people about (at least regarding many succulents). The problem is the mix hardens, & can't be re-wet, which essentially causes the plant to die of thirst.

I am battling this very issue w/ 3 small new ones & swapped out the mix of one this past weekend to a much grittier, faster draining mix. GRRRRRRR to peaty mixes!!

But it's a GREAT plant & a good little grower, tho' not terribly fast. Also benefits from a pebble tray.

I've never had one more than several years (indoors only) so I haven't experienced yet them getting large.

If one searches this Forum for this plant name, you'll find other posts of mine, recent ones, of this plant & how much I love it!!!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 3:39PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Thanks Josh and Lori for the tips!

Pirate_girl, I've changed the soil since the plant was in a very small pot (3 inches); though I do not have anything gritty at the moment. I watered it after it was in the new pot and soil but I will make sure to let it dry out a bit before every watering.

This is such an unusual plant and I loved it as soon as I saw it! I'll search the forums for some of your other posts on this, pirate. :D Thanks all the advice!


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 8:25PM
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