Polyscias: Greenhouse Plants
T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
There are three of these attractive tropicalin cultivation, all with different though interesting leaf shapes. Polyscias balfouriana from New Caledonia has not only white-margined toothed rounded leaves but a speckly stem. P. guilfoylei from Polynesia has a pinnate leaf with several irregularly shaped leaflets. This can very easily make a large plant up to 2 m (6 ft) in a pot, but the stem and leaf structure remains impressive. Fortunately a smaller variety, P. g. ‘Victoriae’, exists for those with restricted space. My favourite is the delicate P. filicifolia from the Pacific islands which is a much more compact plant. As its name suggests the bright green leaves are pinnate and the leaflets themselves finely divided which looks especially effective when the sunlight shines through them. This, more than the others, requires careful attention to watering. A combination of a light peaty and only enough water to keep it just moist will ensure success and a healthy plant. Cuttings of shoot tips taken in spring will take only two to three weeks to root in a temperature of 21°C (70°F). It is possible to acquire these as ‘logs’ or sections of stem which are stood in water to root before being potted up.