False Aralia

A False Aralia, native to New Caledonia, has many different names depending who you ask: Dizygothica elegantissima, Schefflera Elegantissima, or Spider Aralia. Whatever you call it, this is a beautiful plant with long, narrow, serrated leaves in a palmate (finger-like) arrangement. The color of the leaves starts out as a reddish, coppery green and gradually turns into a lovely dark green. A False Aralia can be used as a table plant when small and, when it matures, as a tall, exotic looking indoor tree.  It’s a great plant to propagate using stem tip cuttings.

False Aralia or Spider Aralia has long, narrow, dark green serrated leaves in a finger-like pattern.

Plant Care


A False Aralia likes bright indirect light, but no direct sun.


Keep the soil barely moist but never soggy. When you water, water well until the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow the top 1″-2″ of soil to dry out before watering again. Wilted leaves usually mean the plant is over-watered. The plant loses leaves if the soil is too wet or too dry. During the winter, when the plant is resting, allow the soil to dry out more before watering.


Feed every 2 weeks in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing with a well- balanced liquid plant food. Feed monthly in the fall and winter. Always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength.


These plants like warm temperatures between 65°-85°F (18-29°C). If the temperature dips below 60°F (15.6°C) a false aralia may drop leaves.


Aralias require moderate to high humidity. If the air is too dry, a false aralia loses leaves.


Spider mites, scale, mealybugs, and aphids can all be aproble. Read more about these plant pests in the Glossary of the website.


Plant disease problems are very rare.


Use a good quality potting soil that retains moisture but still drains quickly.

Pot Size

Aralias like to be a bit root- bound in small pots. Once the roots have filled the existing container, re-pot in the spring to the next size pot (nothing larger). Be sure there are drip holes in the bottom of the pot so excess water can escape.


A False Aralia doesn’t need much pruning. It usually maintains a beautiful shape allow its own. If the plant drops leaves and gets thin, you can aggressively cut it back in the spring to make it bushier.


The best way to propagate an aralia is to use stem tip cuttings. Propagation should be done in the spring. If the stem on the aralia plant is very thick, air layering in another propagation method that works well with this plant. You can read all about various propagation techniques in the Glossary of the website.

Resting Period

Aralias rest during the winter and require less water.

Poisonous Plant Info

A False aralia is a non- poisonous houseplant.


Why Does My Aralia Lose Leaves?

There are several reasons why a false aralia loses leaves: The soil is too wet or the soil is too dry. The air is too dry. The temperature has dropped below 60°F (15.5°C)

How Can I Get My False Aralia to Get Darker Leaves?

The leaves of a schefflera dizigotheca get darker as the plant matures and it is in bright light.