Ming aralia is an interesting and exotic houseplant that is technically an evergreen shrub. While it is a bit more temperamental to grow than your average plant, it's well worth the effort for its fluffy, bright green foliage.Its ferny, feathery leaves droop from graceful narrow branches that grow straight up, forming a many-layered, complex plant. Ming aralia grows slowly but can eventually reach over 6 feet in height with the proper care. While it can be considered an outdoor ornamental shrub in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12, it's most commonly cared for indoors, where it can be planted and grown year-round.
Ming aralia likes bright, indirect light and can handle light shade. Allowing the plant to get morning sun is good, but it should never be kept in direct sunlight during the harsher afternoon hours, as the rays can scorch its fragile foliage. Aim for about six to 8 hours of filtered light a day; it's said Ming aralia do especially well in North-facing light.
Ming aralia prefers a rich but well-drained soil mixture to help balance its need for moisture with its fragile, rot-prone roots. While the specific blend of soil can vary (from sandy to peat moss to loamy), drainage should be the priority. Choose a pot made of clay or terracotta to help wick extra moisture from the soil and act as an added defense against root rot.
Both temperature and humidity are very important to Ming aralia's overall growth and success. In order for your plant to thrive, you will want to ensure temperatures in your home maintain a balmy baseline. Ming aralia can happily handle warmer temperatures (it does beside between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit), but anything below 60 degrees will cause your plant to fail and shed its foliage. The biggest challenge with a Ming aralia is keeping it fully clothed in leaves throughout the cold, dry winter months. If the plant is subject to cold air, it will begin to drop leaf stems and quickly be completely denuded.