What is This Plant? “Celery” Aralia-Polyscias scutellaria

Hi Judy,
My friend gave me a houseplant because she had no idea how to take care of it and it apparently wasn’t happy where she had it.
I’m struggling to identify what it is! See attached pictures. It seems to have a scent of celery!
Thanks for your help.



Hi Lila,

Your plant is a type of aralia plant (Polyscias scutellaria). It’s nickname is the “Celery” Aralia plant.

How to identify and care for a Celery leaf Aralia

Aralias have very fine roots and are easily over-watered. Always allow the top 1/2 of the soil in the pot to dry out before watering. During the winter when plants are resting, they need even less water.  Aralia plants do best in bright, indirect light but can survive in lower light if you are careful not to over water. Feed an Aralia plant every other month with a plant food high in nitrogen. Always dilute the fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. to 1/2 the recommended strength.

You can read all my care tips for an aralia in the Popular Houseplant section of the website. The picture is of a slightly different variety, but the care is the same.