False Aralia

A Beginner's Guide to False Aralia | All you Need to Grow

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Family: Araliaceae    
Common Name: spider aralia, finger aralias, threadleaf aralia
Botanical Name: Plerandra elegantissima (Schefflera elegantissima)

The distinctive foliage that the False Aralia (Plerandra elegantissima) has, makes this tree VERY easy to fall in love with! As this indoor tree grows, it takes on its own unique form that can turn a well-lit space into an art masterpiece. Taking care of this plant is known to be easy, due to it being extremely adaptable. This reliable plant is bound to be (one of) your favorites. 


To ensure greatness for your False Aralia, provide it filtered indirect light. Ensure it receives at least 4 hours of light a day. This will help it to stay healthy and grow properly if it is getting the required light. To prevent burning the leaves, it is important to keep your plant out of the direct sunlight. For those who are growing their False Aralia plants indoors, consider using an LED light as an alternative.


False Aralia plants like to dry out between watering sessions and quickly decline if the roots are left sitting in water. Watering your plant every 7 to 10 days should be sufficient. Factors such as temperature, humidity, and the environment its growing all play a role in how often you should water your plant.  Let the water saturate the soil completely when watering. If your plant is in a terra-cotta pot, you will be watering more frequently as these containers absorb moisture. The smaller the pot the plant is in, the faster the soil will dry out.


Loose, nutrient-rich soil is preferred for your False Aralia plant. Use a soil medium that can retain moisture but also allows for draining excess water to avoid root rot. Most pre-mixed soils will suffice. Make sure that there is plenty of organic matter, like coco-coir, peat moss, or shredded leaves, and avoid soils that contain moisture retaining crystals. If your soil drains too quickly, we recommend re-potting your schefflera into a compost-rich soil mixture, with less drainage materials. The encouraged pH level range for the soil is between 6.0 and 7.0. You can make changes as needed to ensure that the pH levels are in the wanted range.  Learn how to create your own universal soil mixture for all of your indoor plants!


For your False Aralia, the average household temperatures of 60-75℉ are perfect. Make sure to avoid any temperatures under 55℉ as this type of plant is sensitive to cold temperatures. This is especially important during the winter months. If needed, relocating your plant to a warmer spot is an option to keep your plant even warmer. 


Try to have slightly higher humidity levels with your False Aralia. Humidity levels over 60% will make your plant thrive! This level helps replicates their original environment. You can increase humidity levels by grouping plants, misting, using a humidifier, and putting a filled tray with water and pebbles by your plant.


False Aralia plants are not heavy feeders. However, this plant will benefit from being fertilized once a month during the growing season with a ¼ diluted complete fertilizer. Remember to water your plant before fertilizing it. If you want to go the organic route, a well-balanced fertilizer that is good for indoor plants will be best. Ensure you go by the directions on the package.

Growth Rate

False Aralias are fast-growing plants when grown in optimal conditions and provided with the right care. This plant can reach heights of 10'+ and can be pruned back to maintain their shape. The mature height that this plant can reach is 3 to 6 feet. Please note that your plant has the potential to grow taller in better environments.

Pet Friend or Foe

False Aralia are toxic to Pets! Foe.

Pro Tips

  1. It is suggested that you are pruning your False Aralia frequently. This will help to keep the height and shape that you want your plant to be!
  2. If the leaves on your False Aralia turn a yellow color, this is an indication that you need to make sure your plant is receiving enough nutrients.
  3. This plant has the ability to increase indoor air quality. It helps by filtering out any toxins and releases oxygen.

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