How Do You Care For Aralia Spinosa?

What Is An Aralia Spinosa?

Aralia spinosa, sometimes referred to as devil’s walking stick, is a plant endemic to eastern North America. It is a woody plant that belongs to the genus Aralia and family Araliaceae.

The viciously spiky and spiny stems, petioles, and even leaf midribs are the focus of several of the plant’s common names. Angelica-tree is another name that has been used for it.

The unrelated Zanthoxylum clava-herculis also goes by the popular names “Hercules’ club,” “prickly ash,” and “prickly elder,” therefore this species may also be referred to by any of those names.

Because of this, the Aralia spinosa plant is sometimes mistaken for the Zanthoxylum clava-herculis species and referred to in error as the toothache tree; however, unlike Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, it does not have any medical uses.

Because of its exotic, tropical look and enormous, lacy compound leaves, Aralia spinosa is sometimes produced for the purpose of being grown in gardens.

It shares a close genetic relationship with the Asian species Aralia elata, a more popular garden plant with which it is easily mistaken.

Aralia spinosa is a fragrant deciduous shrub or small tree that may grow between 2 and 8 meters (7 to 26 feet) tall.

It has a simple or occasionally branching stem with extremely large bipinnate leaves that are between 70 and 120 centimeters (30 and 45 inches) in length.

The trunks can reach a diameter of up to 15–20 centimeters (about 6–8 inches), and the plants have an umbrella-like habit with open crowns.

The juvenile stems are stocky and densely coated with spines that are sharper than needles. The plants will often develop in clusters of trunks with no branches on them; however, stocky branches with a broad spread will occasionally be generated.

The blooms have a creamy white color, and although they are individually quite small (approximately 5 mm or 3/16 in across), they are produced in vast composite panicles that are anywhere from 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters) long. The flowers bloom in the late summer.

The fruit is a berry that is purplish-black in color, with a diameter of between 14 and 5/16 of an inch, and matures in the fall. The roots are thick and fleshy in appearance.

How Do You Care For Aralia Spinosa?

Caring for Aralia spinosa is not difficult, but it requires special attention for the plant to live a long and healthy life.

Aralia spinosa plants are often grown outdoors in areas that receive full sunlight every day. This means they should be in an area with good air circulation and as dry as possible during the summer months to prevent rot.

Aralia spinosa needs the following to thrive:

Sunlight Requirements

An ample amount of sunlight is required in order to keep Aralia spinosa happy and vigorous. If they are exposed to too little light, they will slowly begin to suffer from stunted growth, leaf spot infections, and die.

To avoid this problem, it is ideal for them to be located in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight daily during the summer months.

Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day) and Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours) is ideal.

Water Requirements

Aralia spinosa also needs adequate water to stay healthy. The plant should be watered thoroughly whenever the soil feels slightly dry; however, it should never be allowed to sit in water or become too soggy.

If the plant is allowed to get too dry and wilt, it will begin to lose its vigor, but if it is overwatered or allowed to sit in water, it will rot and eventually die quickly.

Soil Requirements

Aralia spinosa needs a well-drained soil to thrive. This can be achieved by using a potting mix that is composed of 50% peat moss, 50% perlite, and 10% sand or gravel.

However, this need not be the case. If a potting mix is used that is well-adapted for the plant itself, it will be able to perform better and live longer.

This plant does best when grown in soil that is somewhat damp. Loamy soil, sandy soil, and loamy clay soil are all suitable environments for the plant’s growth.

Temperature Requirements

Aralia spinosa will tolerate a wide range of temperatures; however, it can grow more quickly and be more active when warm weather is present.

In most areas of the United States, it is possible to grow this plant outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. Ideally, it should be planted in areas that are between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fertilizers Requirements

Aralia spinosa also needs fertilizer. The plant will grow faster and better when fed with a complete fertilizer. A weak solution of 1/2 of an all-purpose fertilizer is sufficient for one month.

When the plant grows, it will require at least 1/2 of a balanced, organic liquid fertilizer every two weeks to maintain vigor. To ensure the best results, leave the soil moist after watering to prevent drainage problems.

How Do You Propagate Aralia Spinosa?

Propagation is by seed, sucker-division, or root cuttings, and plants are easily transplanted. It would be good to have a native alternative to the ever-popular nandina shrub, a more compact kind of this plant that does not have thorns.

Seeds Propagation

Seed propagation is one of the easiest methods of propagation. To do so, it is first necessary to gather mature seeds and fully dry them out.

After this has been completed, the seeds can be planted into a well-drained medium such as coarsely-terraced sand.

The seeds should be sown at a depth of around 4 millimeters (about 1/6 of an inch) and left to sit in the warm, bright conditions of a greenhouse.

The seeds will sprout within two to three weeks and should be transplanted into containers between 8 and 10 inches (20 and 25 centimeters) in size. This is enough to accommodate a new plant.

Sucker-Division Propagation

Sucker or division is another method of propagation that can be used to multiply a favorite Aralia spinosa.

It is first necessary to find a branch on the parent plant with many active buds and shoots. This means that it will have a healthy supply of stored energy in order to quickly grow into a new plant once cut off of the parent.

Once cut, the parent plant can be placed into a 3 inches (7 centimeters) pot, filled lightly with a well-drained medium such as coarsely-terraced sand, and left to recover for a few days.

After this period of time, the cutting can be planted. It should be kept moist and fertilized with a weak all-purpose fertilizer once per month for a couple of months in order for it to gain vigor.

Root-Cuttings Propagation

Another method of propagation that can be used is root cuttings. During the summer, you may take softwood cuttings, also known as green-tip cuttings, from an aralia plant by using the top ten inches of the plant.

Remove the bulk of the leaves from the lower portion of the stems, and then position the stems so that they stand in damp and sandy soil.

After a few days have passed, the stems will start to develop roots. When the plant becomes larger, transplant it to a new container or your garden.

Are Aralia Spinosa Berries Edible?

If the young leaves are picked and harvested before the spines have fully developed, they can be consumed. After that, they are minced to a very fine consistency and cooked like a potherb.

Raw consumption is recommended for the younger leaves. The leaves are often cut up and used as a cooking herb in various dishes.

The fruits are also consumed, and they are excellent for one’s health. Numerous avian species and other frugivores, such as the black bear, make use of the fruits as a source of nutrition.

These plants may be grown from either seeds or root cuttings to reproduce them.

What Is The Medicinal Use Of Aralia Spinosa?

The characteristics of several medicines may be found in the bark of the plant. The bark has a pleasant aroma and has a somewhat astringent taste.

  • A tincture prepared from the bark is applied to the skin to cure a variety of conditions, including rheumatism and syphilis.
  • The eye drops made from the decoction of the dried cambium are used to treat irritated eyes and to stimulate the production of saliva.
  • A poultice made from the root can be applied topically to the area to treat skin eruptions and edema.
  • A tincture made from the berries can be used topically to relieve discomfort.

What Is The Health Benefits Of Aralia Spinosa?

There are some health benefits that one can enjoy from this plant.

  • The bark is effective in the treatment of coughs and colds.
  • Consuming the leaves might help lower the likelihood of being impacted by hypersensitivity.
  • The dried leaves are also utilized as a treatment for blood that has sub-anemic levels.
  • People suffering from depression may relieve their symptoms by consuming the aralia plant’s dried leaves, which contain an antidepressant.
  • Aralia leaves are the most effective treatment for wheezing.
  • It is recommended that those who are afflicted with persistent bronchitis consume dried Aralia leaves on a daily basis.

Is Aralia Spinosa A Rare Plant?

The Iroquois admired this tree because of its usefulness and for its rarity.

In order to protect the precious fruit from being consumed by animals, the Iroquois would remove the seedlings of the tree and place them close to their settlements and on islands.

The locals used the fruit into a variety of their traditional dishes.

Because of the fresh lemon scent, the ladies would pick the blooms and wear them in their hair.

Additionally, the blooms might be bartered in exchange for monetary value.

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