Could you help me identify this plant?

My friend owns this plant and asked me to help with leaves that are turning brown and crunchy. I’m worried she may actually be watering it too much (once or twice a week), but neither of us can find its name to learn more about its care. I’ve searched online and through your identification page, but I can’t seem to find a match. I have found similar color patterns, but the jagged leaves throw me off. Unless I am overlooking it on your site, I can’t find an example of this anywhere online. Any help would be much appreciated!

Hi Joe,

Green and cream colored variegated Ming Aralia
Variegated Ming Aralia

Your plant is a variegated ming Aralia. (POLYSCIAS FRUTICOSA). It sounds like the plant is  definitely being over- watered. Too much water, resulting in root rot, is the main reason Aralia plants die. Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering  In low light conditions, an Aralia may need water as little as every 2-3 weeks. Aralia plants can survive in low light conditions, but grow faster and produce more leaves in medium to light, especially this variegated variety that your friend has. An Aralia  requires very little fertilizer. Feed every other month when it’s actively growing with a plant food high in nitrogen at 1/2 the recommended strength. You can read all my care tips for a Ming Aralia in the Popular Houseplants section of the website. The picture is of the solid green variety, but the care is the same.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.