How to Grow and Care for Fatsia Spider Web

Fatsia japonica ‘Spider Web’ plant

Megan Hansen / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Fatsia spider web is an evergreen shrub that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is popular for producing large, palmate, green leaves decorated with heavy white variegation. These markings change with age and season, making it a unique plant to observe throughout the year. This hardy plant readily adapts to changes in environment and is easy to move indoors or outdoors depending on the season. Fatsia spider web produces round clusters of petite white flowers in fall followed by small black berries. 

Common Name Fatsia Spider Web
Botanical Name Fatsia japonica ‘Spider Web’
Family Araliaceae
Plant Type Shrub
Mature Size 6 ft. tall, 5 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Partial, shade
Soil Type Loamy, moist but well-drained
Soil pH Acidic, neutral
Bloom Time Fall
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones 8-10, USA
Native Area Asia

Fatsia Spider Web Care

These shrubs require partial to full shade outdoors, and bright, indirect natural light indoors. Consistent soil moisture levels, moderate temperatures, and high humidity contribute to the best growing environment.

Fatsia spider web plants are disease-resistant. However, they may encounter problems from a mealybug infestation or scale insects. When given the right conditions, these plants add a tall, unique specimen to your indoor plant collection or outdoor garden.


These shrubs thrive in partially to fully shaded areas. Too much sunlight can burn the leaves, so protect outdoor plants from harsh sunlight. When potted indoors, place them in bright, indirect light, such as near an east-facing window. Do not place them in a very sunny window. 


Fatsia spider web shrubs are not overly picky about soil, though they benefit from nutrient-dense soil that is well-draining. This ensures that the soil maintains healthy moisture levels without holding too much water. A mix of potting soil, peat moss, or coco coir is ideal. 


Fatsia spider web plants require consistent moisture. However, upsetting the balance with soggy soil or very dry soil will spell disaster. Keep a close eye on the soil and when the top several inches feel dry, water the plant and allow excess water to drain away. Wait until the soil begins to dry out before watering again. How often you will need to water depends on the soil mix and humidity levels. 

Temperature and Humidity

Fatsia spider web plants do well in moderately warm temperatures with cooler temperatures during the winter. Anywhere from 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit keeps these plants happy. During the cooler season, temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit are preferred. If kept indoors, keep it away from any drafts. These plants thrive with high levels of humidity. Try placing them on a tray of pebbles and water or placing a humidifier near the plant for best results. 


To keep them vigorous, give the shrubs a well-rounded all-purpose fertilizer on a monthly basis during the growing season. Alternatively, apply a big scoop of compost or slow-release fertilizer in the spring. When winter arrives, stop fertilizing to allow the plant to go dormant.


Pruning is not required even though these plants can grow quite large. If it outgrows its current location, you can easily prune down to a size that suits your space requirements. This helps manage an unruly plant with the added benefit of a fuller growth habit. 

Propagating Fatsia Spider Web

Fatsia spider web plants are propagated through cuttings and air layering. To propagate from stem cuttings, you need a sharp pair of snips, a small pot, well-draining soil, rooting hormone, and a plastic bag. Then follow these instructions: 

  1. Using a clean pair of snips, cut a stem that is around 6 to 8 inches long and has several leaves on it. Snip below a leaf. 
  2. Remove the leaves on the bottom half of the cutting.  
  3. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone and shake off the excess.
  4. Plant the cutting into damp, well-draining soil. 
  5. Cover the cutting with a plastic bag to keep in moisture. 
  6. Place the cutting in bright, indirect lighting. 
  7. Air the cutting by removing the bag for an hour or so daily, and water the soil once it begins to dry. 
  8. Roots should form in 4 to 6 weeks. 

To propagate through air layering, you need a sharp knife, sphagnum moss, plastic wrap, twist ties, a small pot, and well-draining soil. Then follow these instructions: 

  1. It is best to use this technique during the growing season. Select a stem that has several healthy leaves and new growth. 
  2. Using the knife, peel off a 1-inch thick band of bark about 6 inches down from the tip of the stem. 
  3. Wrap the exposed stem in moist sphagnum moss and secure it around the stem with the plastic wrap and twist ties. 
  4. Air out the plastic and add water every couple of days, making sure the wrapping stays moist. 
  5. Roots should appear in 4 to 6 weeks. When this occurs, cut the stem away from the plant below the new root growth. 
  6. Plant the rooted cutting in a small pot of well-draining soil. Place the cutting in bright, indirect lighting.  

How to Grow Fatsia Spider Web From Seed

Fatsia spider web shrubs can also be started from seeds either purchased or collected from the plant’s ripe berries. You need small pots, well-draining soil, and a heating mat. Then follow these instructions: 

  1. Gently press the seeds into damp, well-draining soil mixture, lightly covering them. 
  2. Place the pots in an area with bright, indirect lighting. 
  3. Use the heating mat under the pots to keep them warm, around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  4. Keep the soil moist. Germination should occur in around 4 weeks. 

Potting and Repotting Fatsia Spider Web

Fatsia spider web shrubs are fast growers and may need to be repotted yearly until they reach mature height. When the plant fills the pot, it is time to replant it. Gently tip the pot onto its side and tap it to loosen the dirt and roots. Slide the plant out of the container and place it in its new, larger pot with fresh soil. Choose a container with easily draining holes to prevent soggy soil. 


When kept in ideal conditions, not much is needed in terms of winter care. Simply withhold fertilizer and keep the soil evenly moist. If temperatures get very cold, add a layer of mulch to insulate the roots and consider covering the foliage to protect it from frost.  

How to Get Fatsia Spider Web to Bloom

These plants produce round clusters of white blooms in late fall. They appear more often when kept outside, as indoor plants do not commonly bloom. These blooms turn into small, black berries.  

To encourage flowering, give the shrub receive plenty of humidity and maintain its preferred temperature ranges. A high-quality, well-rounded fertilizer during the growing season delivers the nutrients needed.  

Common Problems With Fatsia Spider Web

Fatsia spider web is a hardy plant not prone to many problems. However, some issues can arise when the environment does not meet this plant’s needs. 

Dry, Brown, Curling Leaves

Leaves that turn dry and brown or begin to curl is a sign of too much direct sunlight, which is burning the leaves. To remedy this, move the plant out of direct light, opting for partial to full shade or indirect lighting. 

Soggy, Drooping Leaves

This is a sign of too much water in the soil and potential root rot. Inspect the roots to look for any brown, mushy sections. Cut them away and repot the plant into better draining soil. Allow the soil to partially dry before watering again.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of too much moisture in the soil. If the soil feels wet to the touch, cut back on watering and allow it to dry out. Consider adding material to improve drainage. On the other hand, older leaves yellow naturally and are replaced by new leaves. If the yellowing leaves are old but new, healthy growth is appearing, nothing needs to be done. 

  • Are Fatsia spider web plants hardy?

    Yes, Fatsia spider web plants are known to be hardy, evergreen shrubs. When given the right conditions, they can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and do not often have many problems. 

  • How do you prune Fatsia spider web?

    It is best to prune in the late spring. To do this, simply cut away any damaged leaves or stems. Feel free to reduce the size of the plant as well. This will keep the plant manageable as well as encourage it to grow bushier. 

  • Can Fatsia spider web be grown indoors?

    Yes, Fatsia spider web is a popular evergreen shrub to add to houseplant collections. Its hardy nature allows it to be grown both indoors and outdoors.