Balfour Aralia Care
Balfour Aralia Care
Balfour Aralia Care Instructions
Many people ask us for the proper care of the Balfour Aralia- a member of the family Polyscias. By following these instructions, you should have no problem keeping your Balfour Aralia not only surviving, but thriving for years to come. The Aralias are some of the most sought after, interesting and unique plants used in homes, offices and interior landscapes due to their attractive appearance and scarcity on todays plant market. Aralias beauty comes with a price, as these plants are not one of the easiest to care for. Aralias originate from South East Asia and the Tropical Islands of the Pacific.
There are several varieties of Aralias that are cultivated for indoor landscapes. They include the Balfour, Chicken Gizzard, Ming and Parsley. The differences are generally in the shape of the foliage. Some of these varieties are also available with a variegated leaf. Aralias are sold in every size pot including 4,6,8,10,12,14,17 and even 21″ pots. They generally can be found groomed to bush shapes, canes and stumps. Aralias can reach over 10′ in height, however – it may take years to reach maximum size when grown indoors.
Aralias do best in well-lit locations such as a window sill that has an Eastern exposure. Bright but indirect sunlight is optimal. Be careful not to put your Aralia in full sun because in many cases the plant will burn and the leaves will be damaged in a similar way that people get sunburn. If you have less than optimal lighting available, we recommend choosing a different plant. Balfour Aralia have a low tolerance for less than optimal lighting conditions. In most cases, artificial lighting such as in a windowless office will not be enough. From our experience Aralias are an excellent choice for bright light situations.
The Aralia prefers the same temperatures that many homes are kept at on a daily basis. Night time temperatures in the lower 60’s and day time temperatures in the 70’s are ideal. Keep in mind that although your home or office are kept at these average temperatures, other factors may play a part in your plant being too hot or cold. Make sure that your Aralia is not directly affected by a heating or air conditioner vent. The direct cold or hot air will surely damage your plant. You also want to keep an eye on the window if you place your plant in or near one. On very cold days, the glass will transfer the cold – and if the leaves from your Anita are pressed against the glass, they will become damaged. It is never a good idea to have your Aralia up against any window or wall. You will also want to avoid any drafts in colder climates. A cold gust of wind from being placed near a door or window that opens could also damage your plant.
Watering Balfour Aralias
The most important thing to keep in mind when watering Aralias are that you want to avoid creating a situation that promotes root rot. In our homes and offices, we keep Aralias in a light, well-draining soil. They prefer to be kept on the dryer side, but not so dry that it damages the plant. There is not specific amount or frequency of water that we can suggest because the lighting, temperature and evaporation rates differ in every location. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of water. Try to water at an even amount of moisture, not letting your plant get soaking wet and then allowing it to completely dry out. Do not let water accumulate in the crown or cups that the leaves. Overwatering your Aralia could result in the plant dropping a significant amount of leaves. Moderation is key. Any planter that allows for evaporation, air flow and water drainage works well. Once you develop the “feel” for watering, you will be able to judge when to water by picking up the plant. The heavier the plant feels, the more moisture there is in the growing medium. If the plant is too large to lift, a water meter is well worth the investment.
Are Your Plants Leaf Tips Turning Brown?
A common problem with Aralias and almost all indoor houseplants is what we call “tipping” or simply the tips of the leaves drying out and turning brown. This can be caused by a number of factors including over-watering, chemical burn from too much fertilizer, Root rot and dry stagnant air. Probably the most common reason your plant is tipping could be in the tap water. Tap water contains salts, chlorine, minerals and fluoride – all of which can build up in the soil of your plant causing the tips of the leaves to burn and turn brown. One way you can reduce this is to use a water filtration system. If you do not have a filtration system available, leaving he water in an open container overnight before using can help relieve some of the chlorine.
Fertilizing Balfour Aralias
Do house plant fertilizers work? Definitely. Aralias, like every other living thing need a source of energy. The plants take in their nutrients from the water and potting medium they are planted in. That medium only holds so much, and when the nutrients are depleted, fertilizer is the only source left. People who grow house plants without repotting and fertilizing regularly are essentially starving the plants and holding them back from their full potential. There are many different fertilizers on the market and they come in many forms. There are water soluble fertilizers, ready to use liquid, liquid concentrate, fertilizer spikes, time release granules and many others. Which fertilizer works best? That is up for you to decide. We prefer a ready to use liquid simply for the convenience of use. We also dilute the fertilizer and use a small amount every time we water so there is a constant stream of nutrients being fed to the plants.
Balfour Aralia Disease and Insects
Balfour Aralias are susceptible to insect infestation when grown indoors. The most common problems that can occur are aphids, mealy bugs and spider mites. All of these issues can be resolved quite easily if spotted early and treated properly. In most cases, a simple treatment of insecticidal soap or a solution of rubbing alcohol and water will do the trick. If you are having problems with your Aralia and not sure of the right solution, contact us and we will be happy to provide the best product for your issue.
Do you have a question about Balfour Aralias or any other plant that was not answered here? Please feel free to contact us at 201-794-4747 and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members. We would be happy to help.
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