Houseplant ID

becauseednaAugust 27, 2012

I bought this on a whim at the grocery store about five days ago, and it's lost about 50% of its leaves. I'd like to know what it is so that I might better care for it!

Thanks!

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scsva(7/VA)

Variegated aralia? PG or Toni will be able to tell you for sure.

Susan

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:32PM
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subtropix

Wow , all of a sudden ths plant seems to be showing up everywhere! It is Polyscias balfouriana ' variegata'. I just got one for a recent birthday and see them popping up everywhere now. Polyscias are tropical plants from SE Asia and need high humidity and warmth year round. There is a related speces tat is also quite popular, the Ming Aralia (P. fructosa). Don't let it get too dry, and give bright light/filtered sun.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:36PM
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becauseedna

Many thanks! I'll mist it now! :)

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:41PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Two questions....what's that stuff at the base of the trunks that looks like string? And what kind of potting soil is that?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 3:43PM
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becauseedna

That's the plant itself- it seems to have a more fibrous, older 'trunk' situation, and then it moves into newer-looking growth.

The soil is some sort of moisture-management formulation from Miracle Gro.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:10PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Yep, that is my beloved Balfour Aralia, aka Polycias Balfouriana. My all time favorite plant, not too easy.

I'd change the mix to something lighter, then add maybe 30% more perlite. I'd put it in a plastic pit to help conserve some moisture & set it on a pebble tray, a saucer full of stones, such that when you water, you water to overflow which flows into the pebbles (this helps add humidity).

Not an easy plant, nor is there lots written online about their care. If you search here about it, you'll likely find posts from me here, showing some of my lovelies of this.

FYI: misting won't really help anything, they need the pebble tray, that will help somewhat.

The family of these (Aralias) are know to drop leaves when moved around.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:32PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Yep, that is my beloved Balfour Aralia, aka Polycias Balfouriana. My all time favorite plant, not too easy.

I'd change the mix to something lighter, then add maybe 30% more perlite. I'd put it in a plastic pit to help conserve some moisture & set it on a pebble tray, a saucer full of stones, such that when you water, you water to overflow which flows into the pebbles (this helps add humidity).

Not an easy plant, nor is there lots written online about their care. If you search here about it, you'll likely find posts from me here, showing some of my lovelies of this.

FYI: misting won't really help anything, they need the pebble tray, that will help somewhat.

The family of these (Aralias) are know to drop leaves when moved around.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:37PM
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becauseedna

Thanks! This is really helpful information. It was novel to my eye, so I picked it up. I've had some bad luck with houseplants lately, and I'm determined to turn it around. I'll go to the garden center tomorrow!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 6:48PM
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PRO
The Ficus Wrangler

Yeah, balfour aralias - love em. They're popping up all over lately, which gives me worry that growers are pushing them too fast, and they're going out for sale without a good root development. You've received all good advice here. Just make sure it has plenty of bright light, don't let it sit around with wet feet, or get too dry, fertilize with a light hand no more than every 3 months, and watch out fro mealy bugs.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 10:24PM
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StephenSS

I have a non-variagated Balfour that I've owned for 30 years. It was already a few feet tall when I got it and now it goes about five feet.
I've never seen one as tall as mine so maybe its a record holder! GRIN

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 2:15PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Stephen,

So won't you share a pic w/ us pls? Am sure I'm not the only one curious to see such a mature plant.

How do you care for it since you've had it 30 yrs? Mine always fade out after a year, or 2 at most.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 4:12PM
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