How to Propagaye Japanese Aralia

Japanese Aralia

As a seasoned houseplant connoisseur, I’ve been nurturing an array of exotic plants in my home for years. There’s one houseplant, in particular, that holds a special place in my green-heart – the Japanese Aralia.

This plant’s ornate, hand-shaped leaves, coupled with its stately, towering height, have a charm that’s both captivating and exotic.Also, here is a detailed article on how to care for Japanese Aralia.

In this article, we delve into how you can propagate this architectural beauty effectively, so you too can be the proud grower of this stunning plant in your indoor garden.

Japanese Aralia Propagation Basics:

Propagation MethodTime for PropagationWorking TimeTotal TimeDifficulty LevelMaterials Required
Stem CuttingsSpring30 minutes4-6 weeksMediumSharp, sterilized shears, potting mix, container, rooting hormone (optional)
SeedsLate Winter to Early Spring2 hours3-6 monthsHighSeeds, potting mix, container, a warm location
DivisionSpring1 hour4-6 weeksMediumMature Japanese Aralia plant, new pot, fresh soil

This table offers a brief overview of the primary propagation methods for Japanese Aralia, along with the associated timeframes, difficulty levels, and necessary materials. We’ll be delving deeper into each of these methods later in this article.

Propagation Methods:

Stem Cuttings

This propagation method involves removing a healthy section of the plant’s stem and encouraging it to develop roots. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you propagate your Japanese Aralia via stem cuttings:

Japanese Aralia

Materials Required

A sharp, sterilized pair of shears or knife, a small container, potting mix, rooting hormone (optional).


a. Select a healthy branch from your Japanese Aralia plant that has at least two leaf nodes. Cut a 4-6 inch section from the tip of the branch.

b. Remove the leaves from the bottom node of your cutting.

c. Apply rooting hormone to the cut end of the stem (optional).

d. Prepare a small container filled with moist potting mix.

e. Place the cutting into the potting mix, ensuring the node is well covered.

f. Maintain a warm and humid environment for the cutting. You can achieve this by covering the container with a plastic bag.

g. Wait for about 4-6 weeks until the cutting has developed roots and starts to show new growth.

Pros: This is a relatively quick and easy method, and it offers a high success rate if the conditions are correct.

Cons: Some cuttings might not take root, or they may suffer from fungal infections if the environment is overly moist.

Seed Propagation

Propagating Japanese Aralia from seeds can be a bit challenging, but it offers a rewarding experience if done right.

Japanese Aralia

Materials Required: Japanese Aralia seeds, potting mix, a container, a warm location.


a. Sow your Japanese Aralia seeds in a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix.

b. Keep the pot in a warm location with indirect sunlight.

c. Maintain a consistent watering routine to keep the potting mix moist but not waterlogged.

d. Germination can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Once the seedlings emerge, continue to care for them until they are large enough to transplant.

Pros: Seed propagation can be an exciting process, and it allows you to grow multiple plants at the same time.

Cons: This method takes a lot of time and patience, and not all seeds will germinate. Furthermore, the resulting plants may not always resemble the parent plant due to genetic variations.


The division is an effective method for mature Japanese Aralia plants. It involves separating the plant into two or more sections, each with roots, and replanting them.

Japanese Aralia

Materials Required: A mature Japanese Aralia plant, a sharp, sterilized knife, new pots, fresh potting mix.

Steps:a. Carefully remove the mature Japanese Aralia from its pot and gently loosen the roots.

b. Identify natural divisions in the root ball where the plant can be separated.

c. Using a sharp, sterilized knife, divide the plant into two or more sections, each with roots and foliage.

d. Replant each division into a new pot with fresh potting mix.

Pros: This method guarantees that the new plants will resemble the parent plant, and it’s an excellent way to rejuvenate an older, overcrowded plant.

Cons: The process can be stressful for the plant, and if not done correctly, it can harm the plant. It’s also only suitable for mature plants.

Common Problems in Propagating Japanese Aralia:

  1. Inadequate Root Development:One of the most common issues faced during propagation, specifically when using stem cuttings, is inadequate root development. You might find that your cutting is not developing roots, or the roots are too weak. This problem could be due to several factors, including improper cutting technique, lack of moisture, or an unsuitable environment.Solution: Ensure you are taking cuttings from healthy stems, and try to maintain a warm, humid environment for the cuttings. Applying a rooting hormone to the cut ends could also encourage root development.
  2. Seed Dormancy:If you’re propagating Japanese Aralia from seeds, you might encounter seed dormancy – a state where seeds are viable but won’t germinate regardless of the conditions.Solution: Some seeds need a process called stratification, which involves exposing them to a cold, moist environment for a certain period. This process mimics natural winter conditions and encourages the seed to break dormancy.
  3. Rotting Cuttings or Seedlings:Overwatering or maintaining overly humid conditions can lead to rotting cuttings or seedlings. This situation can be especially frustrating after investing time and effort into the propagation process.Solution: It’s crucial to provide good drainage and avoid overwatering. Also, maintain a balanced humidity level, especially for cuttings. If you’re covering your cuttings with a plastic bag to increase humidity, ensure there’s still sufficient airflow to prevent mold growth.
  4. Failure of Division:Division is a fantastic propagation method, but it can sometimes lead to plant stress and even failure of the new divisions to thrive.Solution: Make sure you’re dividing the plant at the right time (usually in spring) and that each division has plenty of roots and foliage. Care for the new divisions just as you would a mature plant.

Tips to Propagate Japanese Aralia the Right Way:

As someone who has grown countless Japanese Aralias, I know how thrilling it can be to see a small cutting or seedling develop into a robust, verdant plant. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way that can make the propagation process even more successful.

Basic Level Tips:

  1. Choosing the Right Plant Material: Whether you’re propagating from stem cuttings, seeds, or division, always select healthy, disease-free plant material. The parent plant’s health will significantly influence the success of your propagation.
  2. Creating the Right Environment: Japanese Aralias like warm, humid environments. If you’re rooting a cutting, cover the pot with a plastic bag to create a mini greenhouse. If you’re germinating seeds, keep the pot in a warm, bright location.
  3. Careful Watering: Overwatering can lead to rotting or fungal issues. Keep the growing medium moist, but never soggy.
Japanese Aralia

Advanced Level Tips:

  1. Water Propagation: This method involves rooting stem cuttings in water. To do this, take a stem cutting as described previously, place it in a jar of water ensuring the leaf nodes are submerged, and wait for roots to develop. Change the water regularly to keep it fresh. Once roots appear, plant your cutting in potting mix.
  2. Soil Propagation: This is the standard method of propagation. Prepare a container with a well-draining potting mix, plant your cutting or seeds, and maintain a warm, humid environment.
  3. Propagation by Division: If your Japanese Aralia has grown large and mature, consider propagation by division. This involves carefully separating the parent plant into smaller plants and repotting them.
  4. Rhizome Propagation: Japanese Aralia has thick, tuber-like rhizomes that can be used for propagation. Cut a piece of rhizome with a few nodes, let it dry for a couple of days, then plant it in moist potting mix.


Why is my Japanese Aralia dropping leaves?

Leaf drop can be a sign of stress, possibly due to overwatering, underwatering, or a sudden change in temperature or light conditions. Assess your plant’s environment to identify any potential issues.

Can I grow Japanese Aralia outdoors?

Yes, Japanese Aralia can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 9. However, it needs to be protected from cold winds and harsh sunlight.

How often should I water my Japanese Aralia?

Japanese Aralias like their soil to be kept evenly moist but not soggy. The frequency of watering will depend on the plant’s environment, but generally, watering once a week should suffice.

Why are the leaves of my Japanese Aralia turning yellow?

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Check the plant’s soil—if it’s too dry, your plant needs more water. If it’s waterlogged, you may be watering too much.

Can Japanese Aralia tolerate low light?

While Japanese Aralia can tolerate some shade, it prefers bright, indirect light. If your plant is not receiving enough light, it may become leggy and its growth may slow.

About Christopher Evans

Hello, I'm Chris, the green-thumbed Founder of I'm passionate about bringing the beauty of nature indoors through houseplants and indoor gardening. Let's create healthier and more beautiful living spaces, one plant at a time!

View all posts by Christopher Evans →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *