WHAT: Fatsia japonica is the most distinctive of all evergreens with large palmate leaves. The lobed leaves can reach 16 inches across and provide contrast in the shade garden.
The drumstick-shaped cream-colored flowers are otherworldly in appearance but add to the distinctiveness of this shrub.
Plant with the usual woodland perennials sich as hellebores, hostas and Solomon’s Seal.
WHY PLANT IT: It can be grown in mass plantings on larger sites or as a specimen in smaller gardens.
Grow it with ferns for contrast and it is excellent when mixed with large plantings of rhododendrons to relieve the monotony of dark, medium evergreen foliage.
Foliage is excellent in flower arrangements and lasts for weeks when cut.
WHERE: This tropical looking evergreen shrub prefers rich well-drained soil, but will tolerate sandy sites and clay if drainage is adequate.
The best foliage is in open to deep shade with protection from hot sun. It needs regular summer watering for lush growth.
Fatsia requires little pruning other than to remove any dead, broken or poorly formed limbs.
SIZE: Japanese fatsia will grow to 6 feet high by 6 feet wide.