Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) care and propagation


Ming aralia is a traditional medicinal plant used mainly for the treatment of ischemia and inflammation. Not only this the plant is very beautiful and graceful and can also be used as an ornamental plant.

It is a perennial dicot evergreen shrub from Polynesia with attractive crinkled foliage. The common name of this plant is Ming aralia and its scientific name is Polyscias fruticosa belongs to the family Araliaceaae. The genus Polyscias means “many shades” which indicates the foliage of this plant.

Botanical description

Polyscias fruticosa plant


Small shrub with medium size and grown mainly as a house plant.


Erect and spreading with a slow growth rate


Polyscias fruticosa leaves

The leaves are 6 inches in length and 3 inches in width. Green, glossy, and three-pinnately compound structures are arranged opposite. the shape of the leaf is lanceolate having serrate margins (1).


The flowers of Polyscias fruticosa are pale yellow to white in color and are in the form of terminal inflorescence.

Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) is an air-purifying plant

Now a day indoor air quality and its effect on human health have become more and more important.  It was surprising to know that indoor air quality is around 12 times more polluted than outdoor air. As we spend more and more time indoors therefore it is very important to check indoor air quality.

Besides air purifiers, plants also play an important role in cleaning harmful pollutants. The plants are the easiest, cheapest, and aesthetically most suitable to deal with indoor pollutants.

A recent study was done on around 28 ornamental indoor plants for their ability to remove mainly five volatile indoor pollutants, aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, and terpenes. Polyscias fruticosa effectively removes octane and studies indicate that this plant can absorb benzene around 1.53 μg·m−3·m−2·h−1 . Thus is classified as having intermediate benzene removal efficiency (2).

Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) care

Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) care


This plant is adaptive to various light conditions. Can grow well under indirect sunlight or full sunlight or heavy shades. But for precaution just avoid direct sunlight as it may scorch the plant (1).


Do not overwater and water only when the top soil dries up. Ming aralia prefers slightly dry soil for its growth.


Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) grows in a small pot of standard all-purpose houseplant soil. Just keep the soil evenly moist. It can tolerate acidic and neutral soil (3).


The monthly feed of 10:10:10 fertilizer is preferable mainly during the growing season.


This plant can not survive in cold temperatures therefore for healthy growth, maintain a warm temperature.


This plant is tropical in origin and thus needs good humidity. Misting on a regular basis helps in maintaining humidity and good growth (6).

Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) propagation

Stem cutting

Propagation of the new plants is mainly via stem cutting (2).

Toxicity to pets

All the parts of the plant are toxic to animals and humans. Will cause low toxicity and skin irritation for a few minutes (6).

Pest and insects

Insects like aphids, scale, mealybugs, and nematodes may affect or attack the plant. The watering should be done in a balanced way as too much may cause root rot and low watering attracts mites (6).

Medicinal importance of Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa)

1. Treats asthama

Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) is used as a traditional remedy for asthma in Ghana. A recent study of the leaf extract of this plant also suggests that it is having anti-asthmatic, antihistaminic, and mast cell stabilization effects making it useful in traditional asthma management (4).

2. Antidiabetic activity

Experiments done on animal models show the hypoglycaemic property of this plant. The extracts of the leaves of Ming aralia (Polyscias fruticosa) are effective in lowering blood sugar levels (5).


1. How to revive ming aralia

It is an easy-growing plant. To revive this plant 10:10:10 fertilizer is preferable mainly during the growing season.

2. How to propagate ming aralia

Propagation is mainly by using stem cutting.

3. How do you care for ming aralia

Keep the plant under good indirect sunlight, water only until the top dries up, and fertilize during the growing season.

4. how to care for ming aralia

Pruning, good indirect sunlight, and water when the top layer of soil dries up.

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