Love it or hate it, Fatsia ‘Spider’s Web’ can now be found locally in Southern California. Roger’s Gardens in Corona del Mar is carrying it in affordable one-gallons. Fatsias grow like weeds here in dry shade, so when Southern California bloggers first saw this fatsia in Portland, Oregon gardens at the 2014 blogger meetup, we were, well, a bit indignant. By all rights, fancy cultivars of Fatsia japonica should be readily available at our local nurseries too. Pathetically, it’s taken two years. Let’s step it up, local nurseries! I’ve been told that the succulent craze is hitting nurseries in their pocketbooks, because succulents aren’t killed off as easily as spring/summer bedding, failures which usually bring lots of repeat customers. Succulents endure and don’t require seasonal replanting either, hence less nursery visits. One way for nurseries to stand out is by offering slightly off-the-beaten track plants. Nurseries that source specialty plants like this fatsia will always get my loyalty.
About that variegation. We once hired a painter (hi David!) who used to clean his brushes by whipping them around centrifugally, covering pots and plants in nearest proximity with a stippled whitewash. This plant reminds me of that painter David, and how quickly he was hustled off the job after that whirling dervish brush-cleaning trick. Or maybe the variegation reminds you of a bad case of spider mites. I like how it brightens shady corners and reminds me of heated discussions over controversial variegation with plant friends.
(The Garden Bloggers Fling for 2016 is meeting in Minneapolis July 14-17, 2016.)
I’ve never been able to make up my mind about this one but maybe a closer look will settle things. I appreciate your campaign to push local nurseries to bring in some of the more unusual plants. I wish they’d also start offering more plants in fall when they should be planted, rather than holding off until they’re in bloom but their health and welfare is jeopardized by soaring temperatures.
Love it! My little quart from Peacock Hort. in Sebastopol is taking off like a rocket. It has so much potential for brightening up a boring corner.
These are interesting and kind of fun. I’m glad that the local nurseries are carrying more things like this. I agree that they should do more of it!
I saw that at Roger’s and nearly got one, having thrown out the one I got mail order in a fit of exasperation, because it was green, not stippled. So, the variegation only appears as the leaves age–well now I know. Perhaps Loree is right and the yellow-variegated one is more interesting. I ended up with Begonia luxurians.
My Dad would spin out his brushes–the trick is to do the spinning in a deep bucket, so the splatter stays inside the bucket.
We’ve had it in the PNW for many years now. While I love the looks of the plant, it’s vigor is less impressive than other cultivars of fatsia. Yours is a beauty and your painter story made me laugh!
Years ago I was given one by a couple who took cuttings from theirs. It must of have been first generation, as the variegation was not much to sing about, but I said thank you just the same and planted it. This year the garden where I work is offering it at our annual plant sale, and the crop has much more distinctive variegation, so much so, I may be compelled to replace mine.
It does remind me of spider mite damage…but I love your reasons for liking it!
I was going to leave a comment just like Kim’s, and then I saw hers. I love that you have it as a reminder of the Fling conversations — and of course shade-brightening ability.