How to prune a fatsia japonica

Written by sharon sweeny
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Fatsia japonica is a tender perennial shrub often grown as a houseplant. It has flat leaves shaped like outstretched hands with individual fingers. They are prolific growers and will eventually outgrow their homes. Prune Fatsia japonica at any time of the year when they are in active growth. The plants are resilient and new growth will soon erase any sign of pruning.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Garden clippers

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  1. 1

    Remove any diseased or damaged stems or branches. Cut them off flush with the branch from which they grow. If a branch is a main growth stem, prune it at soil level.

  2. 2

    Remove one third of the oldest and largest growth stems at soil level. Choose those near the centre of the plant. The object is to open up the centre of the plant to let in light and air, which encourages new growth.

  3. 3

    Cut back remaining stems by one third. Make each cut just above the point where a leaf grows out from the stem.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't remove more than one third of the plant at any one time. If the plant requires additional pruning, wait 6 to 9 months and then remove up to one fourth of the remaining branches or main growth stems.
  • New growth will begin in just a few weeks after pruning. The plant will branch out and fill in areas where it was pruned

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