Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’

Japanese aralia 'Variegata'


Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’ is a cultivar of the Japanese aralia known for its striking variegated foliage. It features large, glossy leaves with creamy white margins that contrast beautifully with the dark green centres, adding brightness to shaded areas. This evergreen shrub grows up to 1.5-2.5 metres tall and to a similar width, thriving in partial to full shade and well-drained soil.

Regular watering and occasional pruning in spring help maintain its vigour and shape. ‘Variegata’ is prized for its ornamental value, offering a tropical aesthetic while being resilient to pests and urban conditions. It’s an excellent choice for adding colour and texture to garden landscapes or indoor settings.


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Origin: Cultivar of horticultural origin, species native to Southern Japan
Genus: Fatsia
Species / Cultivar: japonica 'Variegata'
Common Name: Japanese aralia 'Variegata'
Synonym: Fatsia japonica silver variegated, Aralia sieboldii var. variegata

Plant Biography

Fatsia japonica, commonly known as Japanese aralia, is an evergreen shrub native to southern Japan and South Korea. First described by Carl Peter Thunberg in 1784, it belongs to the Araliaceae family. The plant is noted for its large, glossy, palmate leaves and was introduced to Western horticulture in the 19th century. It quickly became popular in Europe and North America for its tropical appearance and hardiness.

Fatsia japonica is valued in traditional Japanese gardens and has been cultivated for its ornamental qualities, adaptability to shade, and resistance to urban pollution. It continues to be a favoured plant for both indoor and outdoor landscapes. Many variegated cultivars are now available including ‘Spider’s Web’ and ‘Camouflage’.

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata'
Soil: Moist but Well Drained
Soil that allows water to drain at a moderate rate, without the water pooling.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Medium
Once it is established, this plant is likely to only require watering during drier periods.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Part Shade to Full Shade
Can enjoy several hours of direct sunlight, but also happy in full shade.
Eventual Height: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.

Expert Tip

Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' looks fantastic planted amongst other plants with a particularly tropical feel, such as bamboo or palms.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

‘Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata;, or Variegated Japanese aralia, is an evergreen shrub that thrives in partial to full shade and prefers well-drained, fertile soil. It will survive in full sun, but plants tend to look better when given some shade, particularly from the afternoon sun. Regular watering is essential, particularly in dry periods, but avoid waterlogging. In colder climates, protect the plant from hard frosts.

Pruning in spring helps maintain its shape and encourages new growth. Fatsia japonica ‘Variegata’ is relatively low-maintenance, resistant to pests and diseases, and tolerant of urban pollution, making it an excellent choice for shaded garden areas or as a houseplant. Its large, glossy leaves add a lush, tropical feel to any setting.


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