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.
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.
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.
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.
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.