Schefflera Plant Care is super easy and rewarding if you follow the right tips and tricks! Keep on reading for the best ones!
With its striking, umbrella-shaped leaves and the ability to thrive in various lighting conditions, this plant offers the perfect blend of beauty and ease of care. Step into a world where lush foliage meets elegant design, all within the comfort of your home. Meet the Schefflera Plant – a stunning indoor shrub that promises all this and more. Keep scrolling to discover everything about Growing Umbrella Plant Indoors!
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Schefflera Plant Information
The Schefflera plant is native to various regions, but most commonly it is found in the subtropical and tropical areas of Taiwan and Australia. Its natural habitat includes rainforests and mountain regions where the climate is generally humid and warm. Over time, it has been cultivated and hybridized, leading to different varieties that can thrive in various conditions including indoor settings.
- The hallmark feature of the Schefflera plant is its leaves, which are arranged in groups of 7-9 leaflets radiating from a central point, giving them an umbrella-like appearance.
- The leaves are generally glossy and come in shades of dark green. Some varieties offer variegated leaves featuring shades of cream, yellow, or even a mix of colors.
- The Schefflera can be grown as a compact, bushy shrub or be trained into a taller tree-like form, depending on the variety and your specific care regimen.
- Young plants are usually more bushy and compact, offering a lush appearance suitable for small spaces. On the other hand, mature plants, especially when grown outdoors, can achieve significant heights.
- Among the most popular varieties are Schefflera Arboricola, often used as a houseplant, and Schefflera Actinophylla, which is generally larger and better suited for outdoor gardens.
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Propagating Schefflera Plant
- Prepare Tools: Sterilize scissors or pruning shears.
- Cut Stem: Cut a 4-6 inch stem with at least two leaf nodes from a healthy parent plant.
- Root Hormone: Dip the cut end into rooting hormone powder.
- Plant: Insert the cut end into a pot with well-draining soil.
- Water: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
- Humidity: Place a plastic bag over the cutting to maintain humidity.
- Quick root development
- High success rate
- Select Stem: Choose a healthy, mature stem.
- Make Incision: Cut a small incision into the stem.
- Apply Hormone: Rub rooting hormone into the cut.
- Wrap: Surround the cut with moist sphagnum moss.
- Seal: Wrap the area with plastic wrap and secure it with twist ties.
- Cut and Plant: Once roots appear in the moss, cut the stem below the roots and plant it.
- Allows for larger plant sections to be propagated
- Minimal shock to the parent plant
Choosing a Pot for Umbrella Plant
If you have brought the plant from a nursery, then it is advisable to move it in size or two bigger pots. As the plant can reach an impressive height of 5-6 feet indoors, keeping it in one size bigger pot will help it grow. Also, the pot needs to have drainage holes!
For new plants, choosing an 8-10-inch container is going to be a good starting point.
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Requirements for Growing Schefflera Indoors
Bright, indirect sunlight will make the plant grow like anything! The spot should also be away from exterior doors, and air vents, so the tree won’t be exposed to blasts of hot and cold air.
A north or east-facing window is going to be a great place. As it is a tropical plant, you can also keep it in a humid room, like a bathroom or kitchen but make sure it receives indirect light all the time.
This tropical plant prefers well-draining, aerated soil that retains moisture without getting waterlogged. Here’s what you could use:
- Provides essential nutrients and serves as the base.
- Use a high-quality, organic potting soil as about 40-50% of the mix.
Perlite or Pumice
- Enhances drainage and aeration.
- Make this 20-30% of your mix.
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Orchid Bark or Coconut Coir
- Adds aeration and structure to the soil.
- Incorporate about 10% into the mix.
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- Helps with drainage and odor control.
- Add a small amount, about 5%, if desired.
While it loves the slightly moist growing medium, it’s better to wait until the topsoil in the container dries out before watering again. Mist the plant regularly or run a humidifier sometimes, if it’s located in an indoor spot that has low humidity.
Overwatering will cause root rot, and keeping the foliage wet may promote powdery mildew to develop on the plant–so avoid both the things. Look for yellow, mushy, and dropped leaves as they’re a sign of overwatering.
Being a tropical plant, it loves to stay in warm surroundings and does best between 57-90 F (14-30 C). Just make sure that it is not exposed to sudden temperature fluctuations and freezing air and it’ll do fine.
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Humidity found in homes will aid in the growth of the plant. However, if you notice that the leaves are not as healthy as they should be and turning brown and flaky, then you can mist the foliage with a fine spray of water.
Alternatively, place the plant on a tray of water with pebbles.
Schefflera Plant Care
Fertilize once a month during the growing season with a balanced (20-20-20) liquid fertilizer by diluting it to half of the recommended dose instructed on the packet.
Do make sure that you are not feeding the plant from mid-fall to winter in colder climates. If you live in a tropical environment, continue fertilizing the plant with a reduced rate in winters.
Schefflera will need re-potting once every 1-2 years. If you want the plant to grow taller, you can re-pot it to a larger container to increase the height. Keeping it root bound will limit its growth.
When to Prune
- Late winter or early spring is generally the best time to prune, as the plant is about to enter a period of active growth.
- Occasional light pruning can be done throughout the year to remove dead or diseased leaves and stems.
- Identify the branches that are overgrown or detracting from the plant’s shape.
- Cut these branches back to a joint or to the main trunk.
Removing Dead or Diseased Growth
- Carefully remove any yellow or brown leaves and dead stems.
- For diseased areas, make the cut a few inches below the affected zone to ensure that the disease does not spread.
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- Pinch back the tips of young branches to promote branching.
- For older plants, cut back long, leggy branches to a joint to encourage denser growth.
- After pruning, wipe the shears with a disinfectant to prevent the spread of any potential diseases.
- Ensure the plant gets adequate light and nutrients to aid in quick recovery and new growth.
- Look for fine webs and yellowing leaves
- Treatment: Wipe leaves with soapy water and use a miticide spray
- Manifest as tiny green or black insects on the undersides of leaves
- Treatment: Use insecticidal soap or neem oil spray
- Appear as small, brown, shell-like bumps on stems and leaves
- Treatment: Remove manually and apply horticultural oil
- Look like tiny white cottony masses usually at leaf joints
- Treatment: Wipe off with alcohol-soaked cotton or use insecticidal soap
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- Signs include yellowing leaves and a foul smell from the soil
- Cause: Overwatering and poor drainage
- Treatment: Repot in well-draining soil and cut back on watering
- Manifest as brown or black spots with yellow halos on leaves
- Cause: Fungal or bacterial infection
- Treatment: Remove affected leaves and apply a fungicide
- Appears as a white powdery substance on leaves
- Cause: High humidity and poor air circulation
- Treatment: Reduce humidity and apply a fungicide
Natural Air Purifier and Freshener
Schefflera acts as a natural air purifier and room detoxifier. The large leaves absorb pollutants and release fresh oxygen back into the air. It’s also important to note here that after some time its leaf pores become clogged with dust particles and leaves lose their shine and begin to droop.
To cure this, wipe the dust off leaves once or twice in a month with a soft, damp cloth, this will also improve the plant’s ability to photosynthesize.
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Schefflera Plant – How to Use it for Decor
The Schefflera plant, with its lush green leaves and striking umbrella-like shape, isn’t just another houseplant; it’s a versatile decor element that can dramatically transform your indoor space.
- Small Varieties: Opt for dwarf Schefflera varieties for tabletop displays.
- Accentuate: Pair it with stylish ceramic or metal pots that match your room’s color scheme.
- Grouping: Combine with other small houseplants like succulents or air plants for a multi-texture look.
- Tall Varieties: Use taller Schefflera plants as a natural room divider.
- Pot Selection: Choose a tall, slim pot that complements the vertical height.
- Add-ons: Incorporate hanging planters or vines to create a green wall effect.
Bathroom Focal Point
- Humidity Loving: Since Schefflera plants thrive in humidity, they make a good choice for bathrooms.
- Corner Placement: Use a corner shelf or plant stand to elevate the plant, adding vertical interest.
- Lighting: Make sure the bathroom receives enough natural light, or supplement with LED grow lights.
- Ambience: A Schefflera plant can add coziness to your reading nook or home library.
- Plant Stands: Use wooden or metal plant stands that match your furniture.
- Layering: Layer with other plants of varying heights for a more inviting space.
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- Air Quality: The Schefflera helps purify air, making it ideal for the kitchen.
- Counter Display: Place a small Schefflera in a colorful pot on a kitchen counter.
- Hanging Planters: If countertop space is limited, opt for hanging planters from the ceiling.
According to the ASPCA, the sap in the leaves contains calcium oxalate crystals, which makes the plant mildly toxic to dogs and cats. Chewing may cause nausea, vomiting, irritation, and a burning sensation in the mouth.
Schefflera Plant – FAQs
Q: How often should I water my Schefflera?
A: Water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
Q: What type of soil is best?
A: A well-draining potting mix is ideal, often one made for tropical plants.
Q: What light conditions does it need?
A: Schefflera prefers indirect bright light but can tolerate some shade.
Q: Can I propagate Schefflera from cuttings?
A: Yes, Schefflera can be propagated from stem cuttings or through air layering.
Q: When is the best time to propagate?
A: Late spring to early summer is the most favorable time for propagation.
Q: How can I manage pests on my Schefflera?
A: Insecticidal soap or neem oil can help control pests like aphids and spider mites.
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Q: What are the common diseases affecting Schefflera?
A: Root rot and leaf spot are common issues, usually caused by overwatering.
Q: What type of fertilizer does Schefflera need?
A: A balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half the recommended strength, works well.
Q: How often should I fertilize?
A: Fertilize every 6–8 weeks during the growing season.
Q: Should I prune my Schefflera?
A: Yes, pruning helps in maintaining shape and encouraging bushier growth.
Q: How do I shape my Schefflera?
A: Cut back long, leggy branches to a leaf node to encourage branching.
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Q: When should I repot my Schefflera?
A: Repot every 2–3 years or when the plant becomes root-bound.
Q: What size pot should I use?
A: Choose a pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot.