Make Your Plants Happy – False Aralia Care Guide

Welcome to my comprehensive False Aralia Care Guide, where I will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to ensure the well-being of your false aralia plant. Caring for false aralia can be a rewarding experience, and with the right knowledge, you can keep your plant thriving and beautiful.

Whether you are new to caring for false aralia or have some experience, this guide will cover all the essentials. From understanding the light and soil requirements to watering tips and pruning techniques, I’ve got you covered. I will also share expert advice on propagation and pest control, ensuring that your false aralia stays healthy and pest-free.

So, if you are ready to dive into the world of false aralia care, let’s get started! Discover the secrets to keeping your false aralia plant happy and thriving. From choosing the right location to providing the perfect amount of care, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create an ideal environment for your false aralia.

What Is False Aralia?

False aralia, scientifically known as Plerandra elegantissima, is a distinctive houseplant with unique foliage. It is sometimes mistaken for marijuana or a finely serrated Japanese maple. Native to New Caledonia, this plant is often grown as a houseplant in the US. It has narrow, toothed leaves that can be copper, burgundy, or medium green in color. False aralia is also known as threadleaf, spider, or finger aralia. It belongs to the Aralia genus but is considered a “false” aralia because it resembles some true aralia species.

False aralia adds a touch of elegance to any indoor space with its delicate, lace-like leaves. Its intricate foliage and striking color variations make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts. The plant’s long, narrow leaves are what give it its unique appearance, resembling threads or spider legs. Despite its intricate foliage, false aralia is relatively low-maintenance and can thrive in the right conditions.

As a native plant of New Caledonia, false aralia has adapted to a tropical climate. It prefers bright, indirect light and high humidity levels, making it well-suited for indoor environments. False aralia is an excellent choice for plant enthusiasts looking to add a touch of exotic beauty to their homes. With proper care and attention, this remarkable houseplant can thrive and become a focal point in any space.

Unique Characteristics of False Aralia

False aralia is known for its unique characteristics that set it apart from other houseplants. Its narrow, toothed leaves come in various shades of copper, burgundy, or medium green, adding a touch of vibrancy to any room. The plant’s delicate foliage resembles lace or feathers, making it a visually appealing addition to interior spaces. False aralia’s captivating appearance and low-maintenance nature make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts looking to enhance their indoor greenery collection.

Characteristics Description
Scientific Name Plerandra elegantissima
Common Names False Aralia, Threadleaf Aralia, Spider Aralia, Finger Aralia
Native Habitat New Caledonia
Leaf Color Copper, Burgundy, Medium Green
Light Requirements Bright, Indirect Light
Watering Needs Allow Top Inch of Soil to Dry Out Before Watering
Humidity Preferences High Humidity

Cultivation and History

False aralia, also known as Plerandra elegantissima, has an interesting cultivation history. The plant was first introduced to the Western World in 1873 and has since gained popularity as a houseplant. It belongs to the Araliaceae family and is native to New Caledonia. However, due to habitat loss, false aralia is now listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.

In its natural habitat, false aralia can grow up to 50 feet tall, but when grown indoors, it typically reaches a height of six feet. The leaves of mature plants become longer and more heavily lobed, adding to the plant’s unique appearance. False aralia is a visually striking plant that can add a touch of elegance to any indoor space.

Historical Classification Changes

False aralia has undergone classification changes throughout its history. It is considered a “false” aralia because it resembles some true aralia species. The plant has narrow, toothed leaves that can be copper, burgundy, or medium green in color. False aralia is also known by various other names, such as threadleaf, spider, or finger aralia.

Conservation Status

Currently, false aralia faces challenges in its native habitat. Habitat loss due to deforestation and land development has led to a decrease in its population. As a result, efforts are being made to protect and conserve this unique plant species. By growing false aralia as a houseplant, individuals can contribute to the conservation of this species while enjoying its beauty in their homes.

False Aralia Cultivation

Native Habitat New Caledonia
Family Araliaceae
Growth Potential Up to 50 feet outdoors, 6 feet indoors
Leaf Characteristics Narrow, toothed leaves in copper, burgundy, or medium green
Common Names Threadleaf, spider, finger aralia
Conservation Status Listed on the IUCN red list due to habitat loss

Propagation and How to Grow

Propagating false aralia can be done through either seeds or cuttings, although the success rate may vary. When propagating from seeds, start by soaking them in water for 24 hours to soften the seed coat. Then, sow the seeds in a mixture of sphagnum moss and sand. Keep the soil consistently moist and provide warmth to encourage germination. It’s important to note that false aralia seeds can be challenging to germinate, so patience and persistence are key.

Another method of propagation is through stem cuttings. Select a healthy stem and make a clean cut just below a leaf node. Remove the lower leaves and dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth. Plant the cutting in a mixture of sand, perlite, and moss or coco coir. Keep the soil moist and provide bottom heat to promote root development. With proper care, the cutting should develop roots in a few weeks.

When it comes to growing false aralia, it is important to provide the right conditions. The plant prefers bright, indirect light, so place it near a window with filtered sunlight. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight as this can scorch the delicate leaves. Additionally, false aralia thrives in high humidity environments. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water or using a room humidifier. Maintain a temperature of at least 65°F to ensure optimal growth.

Watering is an important aspect of false aralia care. Check the moisture level of the soil regularly and water when the top inch feels dry. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. It’s also a good idea to water the plant from the bottom to prevent wetting the foliage, which can increase the risk of fungal diseases.

In terms of fertilization, false aralia benefits from monthly feedings during the growing season. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer that is diluted to half the recommended strength. Apply the fertilizer according to the package instructions, being careful not to exceed the recommended dosage. This will provide the necessary nutrients to support healthy growth.

Propagation Method Success Rate Difficulty
Seeds Varies Moderate
Cuttings High Moderate

Pruning, Maintenance, and Pest Control

Proper pruning and maintenance are essential for keeping your false aralia plant healthy and thriving. Regular pruning helps remove dead or yellowing leaves, improves the plant’s appearance, and encourages new growth. Additionally, routine maintenance tasks such as repotting and pest control are crucial for the overall well-being of your plant.

Pruning Tips

When pruning false aralia, start by inspecting the plant for any dead or diseased leaves. Using clean, sharp pruning shears, carefully remove these leaves at their base to prevent any further damage. If you notice any yellowing leaves, it’s best to remove them as well to improve the plant’s aesthetic appeal. Additionally, you may want to consider pinching off the tips of stems to control excessive growth and encourage branching.

Maintenance Guidelines

False aralia plants should be repotted every three years or when they outgrow their current container. Choose a well-draining potting mix suitable for houseplants and ensure the new pot has drainage holes. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, loosen the root ball, and place it in the new container. Fill any gaps with fresh potting mix, lightly press it down, and water the plant thoroughly.

Maintaining optimal humidity levels is crucial for false aralia plants. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves regularly or placing the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles. It’s also important to provide the plant with bright, indirect light and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Pest Control Measures

False aralia plants are susceptible to pests such as spider mites and scale insects. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of infestation, including webbing, sticky residue, or tiny insects on the leaves and stems. If you notice any pests, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further damage.

Organic pest control methods, such as neem oil, can effectively manage these pests. Dilute the neem oil according to the instructions on the label and apply it to the affected areas of the plant. Be sure to cover both the tops and bottoms of the leaves, as pests can hide on the undersides. Repeat the treatment every 7-10 days until the infestation is fully eliminated.

False aralia pruning


As we wrap up this False Aralia Care Guide, I hope you feel confident in your ability to care for this unique and stunning houseplant. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your false aralia thrives in your home.

A Rewarding Experience

Caring for false aralia plants can be a truly rewarding experience. The intricate foliage and striking appearance of this plant make it a standout addition to any indoor space. By providing the right conditions, such as bright, indirect light and high humidity, you can create an environment where your false aralia can flourish.

Essential Care Tips

When it comes to watering your false aralia, be sure to check the soil moisture level and only water when the top inch is dry. Pruning is minimal, but removing any dead or yellowing leaves will keep your plant looking its best. Regular inspection for pests and treatment with organic pest control methods, like neem oil, will help keep your false aralia pest-free.

Enjoy the Beauty

With the information provided in this guide, you are well-equipped to care for your false aralia and enjoy its unique beauty in your home. Remember, each plant is unique, so don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust your care routine as needed. Embrace the joy of nurturing your false aralia and watch it thrive!


How often should I water my false aralia plant?

Water your false aralia plant when the top inch of soil has dried out. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot.

What kind of light does false aralia need?

False aralia prefers bright, indirect light. Place it near a window where it can receive filtered sunlight throughout the day.

How often should I fertilize my false aralia?

Fertilize your false aralia monthly with a houseplant-specific fertilizer diluted by half. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

How do I propagate false aralia?

False aralia can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. Soak the seeds before sowing them in a mixture of sphagnum moss and sand. Take cuttings from softwood stems and root them in a mixture of sand, perlite, and moss or coco coir.

How often should I prune my false aralia?

Prune your false aralia as needed, removing any dead or yellowing leaves. You can also pinch off the tip of the stem to control excessive growth. Regular pruning will help maintain the plant’s shape.

How do I control pests on my false aralia?

Regularly inspect your false aralia for pests like spider mites and scale insects. Treat them with organic pest control methods such as neem oil to keep your plant pest-free.