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Fatsia japonica - Castor Oil plant

I have a very shady alley at the side of my house which is has a wooden walkway  I think a couple of Fatsia wold survive OK there in pots  but the advice I have seen is that they each need 50cm (20 inch) high and 50cm wide containers. This seems rather big for a max 3m (9 foot) plant. That would be very expensive and heavy to move  if necessary  Could I use anything smaller ?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536
    If you want them to get to 3m I'd say that size is actually too small.I'd think , if they ever got to that size,they'd topple over.
    You could use something smaller, but it will have an effect on ultimate height. A smaller pot will require more regular watering as there will be less of a "reservoir" than a larger pot.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,918
    Three feet, not three metres,  would be more like the size of plant for that size of pot.
    If you want them to be 3 metres, and healthy,  they need to be in the ground, or a big raised bed of some kind.
    That size of pot wouldn't have the resources needed for a plant that size, as Hosta indicates.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks. I was told by Garden Express that if I bought their : "Acer Palmatum Skeeters Broom Japanese Maple Tree 5-6ft"  it would be supplied in a 7.5 Litre Pot" and that
    "Anything above a 30L would be good" for potting on in the garden. Thats works out at roughly 36cm high and 40cm wide. Smaller than the one recommended for the similar height Fatsis. You reckon both would be too small ?

    I am happy if they are slightly smaller in height but I need to keep them both in pots. Just  dont want to endanger them. They will be sheltered and can be tied into a trellis if necessary. 

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,120
    Every time I see the name Castor-Oil plant I think of an old auntie I had in Nottingham many years ago whilst I was at school .
    She had (thinking back) a Fatsia japonica in a terra-cotta pot outside for many years ; being totally reliant on whatever rainfall happened to 'hit' the pot , her sole contribution to the plants welfare was a tablespoon full of Castor Oil once per week (seriously!!) .............I don't really think she had the 'gist' of it at all! ;)
  • Fran IOMFran IOM Posts: 2,560
    @Paul B3 I thought you were going to say that your auntie dosed you with Castor Oil. :) Quite a common thing in days gone by. 

    @Unionworkeruk I planted a Fatsia Japonica (Japanese Aralia) about a year ago as I wanted something that would do well in shade and that was recommended. It has really taken off and is flowering at the moment. I don't think it would have done so well in a pot no matter big it was and feel they need plenty of room to perform well. You may be lucky. 
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,210
    edited December 2018
    Just to make it clear. Fatsia is the False
    Castor oil plant not the true Castor Oil plant, that honour belongs to Ricinus communis.
  • We have both here Berghill, this is our Ricinus communis pictured.  They die off at the end of the year here. They grow to approx. 4 feet and look stunning,- in fact it is just about hanging on now against the wind and the rain, it finished growing in October. It has red flowers which produce bean shaped seeds.

  • I really need something I can grown in the shade in a pot or container up to about four (120cm) or five foot (150cm)  Any other suggestions ?  Thanks
  • Fuchsia 'Riccartonii' (the one which grows wild on the west coast) might fit the bill.  There's one growing in a shady spot next to my road.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,918
    You could try Osmanthus, Unionworker. I have 'burkwoodii' which is in a smallish raised bed, north west facing, and gets very little sunlight at any time of year. 
    Evergreen, and with little drooping flower clusters in creamy white at the end of winter. I find it very easy and very useful. It's where I have my bird feeding cage, and the birds use it for perching  :)
    Sorry it's not a great pic, but you can see the general idea. I just prune off bits if they get wayward. It would be about five feet by about three by now if I didn't have it pruned and guided round the cage.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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