The Q&A Archives: Curling And Yellow Leaves On Japanese Aralia

Question: I have several Japanese Aralia and have had constant trouble with yellow leaves; some old growth and some new. I assumed this was due to lack of light, so I try to prune as much as possible, but I am still suffering.

Also this year I am seeing curling leaves and I was wondering what causes this?

Help! I have searched the net and talked to nursery, but they just keep trying to sell me fertilizer.

Thanks, Deby O'Neill


Unless your plants have the correct environmental conditions, all the fertilizer in the world won't make them happy. Japanese Aralia is extremely durable but prefers a cool, well-ventillated and bright situation. Here are some secrets to success:

Provide cool temperatures (avoid anything over 70F); keep cooler during winter months. Provide bright light indoors or light shade outdoors. Keep the plant well-lit during the winter months. Water regularly from spring through autumn, but water sparingly in winter. Repot in the spring every year; be sure to use fresh potting soil each time.

If leaves turn yellow and then drop, two separate culprits can cause the problem. If leaves are wilted and soft - overwatering is the reason.

If leaves are brittle, too much heat is the cause. If leaves are shriveled, the air is too dry or the leaves have been exposed to direct sunshine.

If the leaves are pale and spotted or the leaf edges are brown and brittle, underwatering is the cause.

Hope the above suggestions help you help your plants regain their health!

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