How to Care for Polyscias Chinensis Plants


Polyscias chinensis plants belong to a broad family of tropical plants called Aralias. The tree, usually cultivated as a houseplant, is also called Aralia chinensis or the Chinese angelica tree. The young leaves of the tree, which can grow up to 40 feet tall in the wild, are sometimes boiled and eaten as a vegetable in China, according to Oregon State University. Desirable for its feathery foliage and graceful form, the Chinese angelica tree makes a beautiful addition to an indoor or outdoor landscape.

Step 1

Plant your Polyscias chinensis in well-draining soil. Use a container that has a drainage hole and potting soil that is at least 1/3 peat moss or perlite. Amend outdoor soil with peat moss and sand if it is tightly packed.

Step 2

Choose a partially shaded location for your plant if you are locating it outdoors. Note that frost will kill the tree, so do not plant it outdoors if you live in an area that gets freezing weather. Indoor plants will benefit from at least six hours of sunlight. The tree will grow best in bright but indirect light, such as light that comes in from a south-facing window, according to Plant Care.

Step 3

Provide consistently warm temperatures for your chinensis. This plant thrives in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not place the plant near cold drafts, such as near an air conditioner.

Step 4

Let the soil dry out slightly to the touch before watering the plant. Too much water can cause root rot, a fungal disease that attacks roots and causes the plant to die. When watering, let the water run until it drains freely out the bottom of the container. Outdoor plants do not usually need supplemental watering.

Step 5

Fertilize every other week (spring through summer only) with a water-soluble fertilizer formulated for tropical foliage houseplants.

Step 6

Increase the humidity around your plant by placing it on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water) or by misting it with warm water several times a day.

Things You'll Need

  • Container with drainage holes
  • Peat moss, perlite, sand
  • Watering tool
  • Water-soluble fertilizer
  • Shallow tray, pebbles
  • Spray bottle


  • Plant Care: Aralia (Polyscias)
  • Oregon State University: Udo
  • Plants for a Future: Aralia chinensis - L.
Keywords: Polyscias chinensis care, Chinese angelica care, Aralia plant care

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.