© RHS / Tim Sandall

Introducing...

Fatsia

Common name: Glossy leaf paper plant

Sometimes treated as houseplants, fatsias are tough enough to survive outdoors. They're among the most architectural of plants, being evergreen shrubs that add a touch of the exotic to any planting, and combining well with ferns, hostas and other shade lovers.

Looks

Thick, succulent-looking stems have large, shining, hand-like leaves. Those of some forms are marked with white or yellow. Slow-growing Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’ has leaves liberally sprinkled with white.

Likes

These plants will grow in nearly all soils, unless very wet or dry, in sun to full shade, but need a sheltered position from severe winter cold. Variegated fatsias need enough light to bring out the leaf colours.

Dislikes

Strong winds, especially cold and frosty, can tear large leaves in winter. Hard frosts can cause plants to collapse (though they usually recover).

Did you know?

This plant has been crossed with ivy (Hedera) to produce the hybrid × Fatshedera, with similar garden uses.

Fatsia we recommend

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Useful advice

Capsid bugs

Capsid bugs

Frost damage

Frost damage

Scale insects

Scale insects

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: pruning evergreens

Shrubs: pruning evergreens

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Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.