Fatsia japonica: an exotic-looking shrub, perfect for adding textural interest

Fatsia japonica is a wonderfully useful plant at any time of the year, but in November it really shines with a profusion of delightfully unusual flowers. An evergreen shrub originating from Japan, F. japonica (commonly known as the false caster oil plant) is often used as a ‘background’ plant. With large palm-like glossy leaves and an interestingly-architectural growth habit, it is a great plant for providing textural contrast. Growing to heights of 2.5-3m, and happy enough in full sun, partial shade or even quite dense shade, it is hugely versatile.


It can cope with most soil types providing they are not too wet, but prefers some shelter from strong winds because of its large foliage leaves. Despite its exotic appearance, F. japonica is sufficiently hardy to survive all but the worst of our winters, although it can shed leaves if subjected to long periods of heavy snow.


Versatile, evergreen, interesting and unusual foliage and happy to grow in the vast majority of locations including those in tricky shade. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? But, I mentioned flowers earlier and this is why Fatsia is such a wonderful plant for late autumn and early winter. Whilst few other plants are flowering at this time of the year, F. japonica chooses November to ‘do its thing’. Clusters of small white flowers ‘explode’ into a really unusual display. I say ‘explode’ because they always make me think of fireworks…but maybe that’s rather apt in November. These attractive flowers tend to last for a few weeks, or until the frosts really start to become a little too regular.


From a garden designer’s point of view, F. japonica is a ‘must have’. I regularly use it to provide evergreen texture and interest at the rear of a mixed border or in a difficult shady corner. I love to contrast it with colour, either in the form of foliage with plants such as Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ or with the bright red winter stems of Cornus ‘Sibirica’. It can also be rather fun alongside some of my favourite ornamental grasses. The tall and graceful Stipa gigantea is a particularly effective companion.

Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest


Company registration number: 12941915 (registered in England & Wales)

Registered office:Tythorne Lodge, Oasby, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 3NA

Our principal designer, Ian McBain MSGD, is a Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers

and an Accredited Garden Designer with the Association of Professional Landscapers.


Tythorne Garden Design Ltd is an established garden design and landscape design practice based in South Lincolnshire. Serving GranthamStamfordNewark & surrounding areas (including Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Lincoln, Nottingham, Peterborough, Oundle, Sleaford and Oakham), we are qualified, experienced and professional. We help our customers enjoy their gardens more by providing beautiful and practical garden design solutions. Information presented on this site is accurate at the time of production, but may be subject to change without notice. 

Tythorne Garden Design Ltd is committed to respecting and protecting our customers' privacy.

© 2021 Tythorne Garden Design Ltd

All contents of this site are the copyright of Tythorne Garden Design Ltd and may not be reproduced without prior written consent.