Aralia chinensis, the Chinese Angelica Tree, is endemic to China and Vietnam and is a fast-growing hardy deciduous medium-sized tree or large shrub. It has very attractive and rather exotic-looking large bipinnate compound leaves which when mature can be over a metre in length and green yellow flowers borne on a long inflorescence. The clusters of small blackish-purple blue fruits that follow in autumn are themselves attractive and radiate out from the elongated central axis in a spectacular manner.
Aralia chinensis is very quick-growing and can rapidly grow to some size, often suckering from the base to form new growth. In autumn it loses all its leaves to reveal the sharp spines on its stems. Because of this deciduous and spiny habit it is often best sited towards the rear of a planting amongst evergreens so its denuded spiky stems don't look lost and lonely during the winter. Although completely hardy, its young growth is frost-tender so it will benefit - particularly in its first years - from the close proximity of other sheltering plants. In cultivation it is very easy to grow but the one thing it doesn't like is to be over-watered. (info source: tropicalbritain.co.uk)
Genus - Aralia
Species - Chinensis
Common name - Chinese Angelica tree
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 5 - 8
Height - 3.5 m
Plant type - Shrub or Tree
Vegetation type - Decidious
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Shade, Shade
Growth rate - Medium
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average water needs. Water regularly, do not over water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Shade Trees, Street Trees
Germination rate - 86%
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow Green
|Germination||1. Soak in a warm clean water for 12 hours. Plant aralia seeds just under the surface of the medium. Place the seed tray in a clear, plastic, sealable bag, or place a plastic dome on top of the tray.|
2. Cold-stratify the seeds for 60-90 days. Stratification is putting seeds into a cool, dim environment to induce germination. Stratify seeds by sowing them in the late fall or winter and placing the tray in the garage or on the porch. If it is not fall or winter, place the seed tray in the refrigerator. Periodically mist the soil with water to keep the medium damp.
3. Remove any seeds that start to sprout during cold stratification. Transplant the sprouted seeds into individual, small pots, using high-phosphorous soil to promote root establishment. Place the pots in a warm environment with indirect light. After six to eight weeks of cold stratification, remove the tray and place it in the warm area with indirect light. Continue to transplant seeds as more sprouts form.
4. Transplant indoor aralias into larger pots, as needed. Plant aralias in humus-rich soil and keep the soil lightly dampened. Move aralias intended for the outdoors in spring, when the plant is well established. Aclimate plants to the outdoors gradually before leaving outside overnight.
5. Begin a fertilization regimen after the aralias are established. Fertilize aralias with full-strength liquid organic shrub fertilizer monthly during spring and summer. Fertilize aralias with half-strength fertilizer in fall and winter.