How to Save your Fatsia Japonica from Drooping and Yellowing

Fatsia Japonica plants are beautiful and popular evergreen shrubs that can add a touch of elegance to any landscape. But like all plants, they need proper care to stay healthy and look their best. Unfortunately, many plant owners fail to provide Fatsia Japonica with the proper care, which can lead to the plant to start drooping.

The leading causes for a Fatsia Japonica to start drooping include overwatering, poor soil quality, low light, improper pruning or nutrient imbalances. It’s essential to keep it under indirect bright light and provide the plant with well-draining soil rich in nutrients and moisture. You should also be careful not to overwater the plant; they are susceptible to root rot if they receive too much water.

Closeup of the leaves on a Japonica Spider Web plant.

While the suggestions shared above might be enough to help Fatsia Japonica recover from drooping, you may also need to take additional steps to restore your plant’s health. In this article, we’ll look at what might cause Fatsia Japonica to droop and how to save them if they start to sag.

Fatsia Japonica drooping causes and how to address them

WateringAvoid overwatering or underwatering
LightPlace your Fatsia under indirect bright light, avoid excessive direct sunlight
PruningUp to one third of a Fatsia Japonica’s foliage at a time
PestsTreat it with organic pesticides or fungicides
Soil quality Consider repotting your Fatsia Japonica if the soil quality is poor and not providing them with the necessary nutrients

Let’s review in detail some of the common issues that can cause Fatsia Japonica to droop, as well as some tips on how to address them.

1. Overwatering or underwatering

This is by far the most common reason Fatsia Japonica droop. Fatsia Japonica is sensitive to overwatering and underwatering, so it is crucial to monitor the soil moisture carefully. Fatsia Japonica thrives in well-draining soil that is kept moist but not saturated. This can vary depending on how much direct sun the plant gets each day, as Fatsia Japonica exposed to more sunlight may need more frequent watering than those in the shade.

If your plant is overwatered, you may need to reduce the amount of water you give it or allow it to drain completely before adding more. Fatsia Japonica plants can recover easily from overwatering, but if they remain soggy for too long, they may start to rot and eventually die. In general, Fatsia Japonica shouldn’t be watered more than once or twice per week, but again, this will depend on location.

Fatsia Japonica should also be planted in a container or pot with drainage holes so that water can drain away from the plant and its roots.

On the other hand, Fatsia Japonica can also droop due to underwatering. If your plant is not receiving adequate water, its leaves will start looking dry and wilted. To address this issue, check the soil moisture regularly and apply more water as needed.

Last but not least, remember that Fatsia Japonica plants should have a regular watering schedule, as they are susceptible to changes.

2. Poot light care

Another common reason Fatsia Japonica droop is due to improper light exposure. Fatsia Japonica plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight for most of the day, though they can tolerate some shade. Therefore, if your Fatsia Japonica is not receiving adequate amounts of light or it is experiencing excessive direct sunlight throughout the day, it may start to sag and look faded.

To address this issue, you should ensure that your Fatsia Japonica is always in a location with plenty of indirect sunlight and move it away from any windows that receive a lot of direct light.

Fatsia japonica, also glossy-leaf paper plant, fast, paper plant, or Japanese aralia, native to southern Japan, southern Korea and Taiwan.

3. Improper pruning

Pruning Fatsia Japonica is important for keeping them healthy and looking their best. However, if you prune Fatsia Japonica incorrectly, it can cause the plant to start drooping or even die. Fatsia Japonica are fast-growing plants that should be pruned regularly throughout the year. But you should only remove up to one third of a Fatsia Japonica’s foliage at a time, as this can stress the plant and lead to drooping.

In addition, Fatsia Japonica prefers not to have its leaves removed in late spring or early summer when they are making new buds for next season’s flowers. If you need to trim Fatsia Japonica during these times, be sure to remove any old or damaged leaves and prune lightly.

4. Poor soil quality and nutrient imbalances

Another common reason Fatsia Japonica droop is because they lack proper nutrients or have poor soil quality. Fatsia Japonica are heavy feeders requiring plenty of nutrients to thrive. To help Fatsia Japonica recover from drooping, you may need to give them a dose of high-quality fertilizer or add some compost to their soil.

In addition, Fatsia Japonica plants prefer acidic soil with a pH between 5.0 and 6.2. Hence, it is important to regularly test the pH levels of your plant’s soil using a home pH testing kit. You can adjust the soil pH by adding peat moss or other acidifying materials if necessary.

Also, consider repotting your Fatsia Japonica if the soil quality is poor and not providing them with the necessary nutrients. Moving Fatsia Japonica to a better-draining potting mix can help improve their health and vitality and prevent future drooping issues.

5. Pests and fungal infections

Fatsia Japonica are also prone to pest infestations and fungal infections, which can lead to drooping and other health problems. Common Fatsia Japonica pests include spider mites, aphids, scale insects, and mealybugs. Fatsia Japonica may also be affected by leaf spots or rot if they are exposed to excessive moisture.

To prevent these issues from affecting your Fatsia Japonica plant, you should regularly inspect the leaves for any signs of pests or diseases and take action as needed. You can treat Fatsia Japonica with organic pesticides or fungicides that are specifically designed for use on houseplants.

Can Fatsia plants recover from drooping?

Yes, Fatsia plants can recover from drooping if you take the necessary steps to address the underlying cause. This may include providing them with more water, adjusting their light exposure, pruning them correctly, improving their soil quality, and treating any pest or fungal infections that may be affecting them. If you are able to identify and treat the root cause of Fatsia drooping promptly, your plant should be able to bounce back and return to its healthy, vibrant state in no time.

Why are my Fatsia Japonica leaves turning yellow?

While leaf drooping may signal issues with your plant, yellowing Fatsia Japonica leaves is another potential concern. This may signify that your Fatsia Japonica lacks certain essential nutrients, such as iron or zinc. Also, some owners report that Fatsia Japonica leaves turn yellow due to overwatering or excessive exposure to direct sunlight.

Fatsia Japonica (Japanese Aralia). Close-up of leaf with yellowed edges. Background with trees and green leaves. Winter in Fuji City, Japan.

Similar to what we mentioned in the previous section related to drooping leaves, to prevent Fatsia Japonica from yellowing, be sure to provide your plant with plenty of indirect sunlight and avoid overwatering it. Additionally, adding compost or a high-quality fertilizer to the soil may help improve Fatsia Japonica health and vitality. Finally, if you are unsure why your Fatsia Japonica leaves are turning yellow, consult a professional plant care expert for advice on restoring its health.

How to detect issues with Fatsia Japonica

Here are other common issues you should keep an eye on while growing a Fatsia Japonica:

  1. Your plant’s leaves may begin to brown and curl if the humidity is too low or the temperature is too high, especially if it’s in direct sunlight.
  2. Pale or patchy foliage could be another sign.
  3. Uneven growth, yellowing stems, and wilting of lower leaves are also common indications that your plant isn’t healthy.
  4. Mealybugs often attack plant leaves, feeding on their sap like scale insects. If mealybug numbers are high enough, they can cause new leaves to twist and shrink.
  5. Mealybugs also produce large amounts of honeydew, which promotes the growth of sooty mold and may further damage plants.
  6. Dry soil is a common root cause of plant decay.
  7. Relocating this plant to a new, unsuitable environment often results in environmental shock, resulting in hindered development and increased leaf loss.
  8. Fatsia placed in shady or dark areas is especially susceptible to mold growth on the soil surface.
  9. Additionally, the flowers of this plant attract many pollinating insects, reducing populations of harmful insects such as parasitic and predaceous wasps.


Fatsia Japonica plants can droop for several reasons, including pests, diseases, and environmental shock. If your Fatsia plant starts drooping, you should inspect it for any signs of pest or disease activity and take action as needed. Treating the root cause of Fatsia drooping quickly can help your plant recover and return to its healthy state.

Martin Duran

Hey y'all! My name is Martin Duran and I am from Cali, Colombia. Since 2018 I have been learning about plants and how to take care of them. Here's is my journey... “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

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