Are you looking for a plant with fantastic-looking foliage and air-purifying capabilities? You should try an Umbrella tree plant. There are 12 types of Schefflera you can decorate your house with.
Schefflera plant is trendy and comes in multiple varieties. The well-known among them are the Umbrella tree and dwarf tree. The reason for being popular is it’s so easy to propagate, but the Schefflera plant does need to care.
The Australian umbrella tree is the most common Schefflera, which can grow up to 12 m. Schefflera Arboricola, also known as the dwarf Umbrella Tree because it has green, glossy, splayed leaves reminiscent of an umbrella.
It is tropical specie native to Taiwan, Australia, and Hainan. It is an evergreen plant that has lovely foliage. Being a resilient and low-maintenance plant makes it a must-have for your home.
Umbrella plants are fast-growing but are readily trimmed into shape, making them adaptable as small plants displayed on a table through to tall, specimen floor plants. Schefflera plants tolerate shade, but in coastal areas, it grows best with either full sun or dappled shade.
If you live in a tropical region, you can grow your umbrella plant outdoors year-round. Schefflera plants can grow in direct sun if they get afternoon shade. In this article, we will elaborate on how to take care of a dwarf umbrella tree and more detailed characteristics of this Schefflera plant. Keep reading
Characteristics of Schefflera Plant
Taiwan, Australia and Hainan
Schefflera, Umbrella Tree Plant, Dwarf Umbrella Plant, Parasol Plant, Umbrella Plant, Octopus Tree
Broadleaf Evergreen Shrub
Moist, rich and moderately watered.
Bright light, no direct sunlight
60 to 75⁰ F
6-15 Feet indoors while up to 60 feet outdoors
Mildly toxic to pets and, in sporadic cases, humans too.
Schefflera Plant Care:
A houseplant can be high or low maintenance, depending on its type, but in both cases, it requires care to help it grow to its full glory.
Here is the dwarf umbrella tree care guide:
The Schefflera plant requires bright but indirect sunlight. We advise that when an umbrella plant is under sunlight, it is covered to receive the bright light but gets shielded from the direct sunlight. If an Umbrella plant is placed under direct sunlight, its leaves will most likely burn. You must know How Much Light Does Your Plant Needs?
Umbrella plant Watering:
The Umbrella plant is quite resilient to drought conditions. This means that it can be adequately sustained without heavy water needs. Insufficient water needs will result in even an umbrella plant withering and dying.
Furthermore, excessive watering can also fatally damage the plant, as heavy water intake can rot its stems and roots away. So, be careful. Use water (at room temperature) and only water your umbrella plant once the soils show signs of dryness, and immediately drain any excess water from the pot.
Moving forward, the most crucial characteristic you should look out for in your brand-new umbrella plant is the soil in its pot. Or more like the quality enhancements of the soil.
In simpler words, the use of fertilizers. Adding these natural composts to the mix adds a lot of potential for your plant’s sustained growth in a healthy environment. Multiple types of fertilizers available on the market can be used in the pot.
The one recommended for use in umbrella plants is the liquid houseplant one. It is essential to add fertilizer to this type of plant twice a week since its growth is heavily fed by the nutrients that a fertilizer compliments it with.
A plant with drought-resistant capabilities can quickly grow in a moderately wide temperature gap towards the upper side of the temperature scale.
Your umbrella plant should be okay during the intense summer heat, as long you water it properly and keep it in a humid environment. Be careful during winters as this plant cannot handle anything below 16°C in the cooler months.
It will help if you keep your umbrella in an environment where the ideal humidity level should be relatively high. This is because this plant grows and prefers tropical settings. Just be sure not to let the humidity fall too much.
Otherwise, the color of its leaves will start to turn from green into brownish-yellow. In such scenarios, a humidifier can help. If you want to know more about humidity, here is a complete guide on What is High Humidity and How to Increase Humidity for Your Houseplants
While looking for soil to use in the pot, remember that your umbrella plant loves moist compost with a slightly acidic pH. Since excess water damages its leaves, planting it outside a pot where water drainage is complex is terrible.
The Umbrella tree is known for increasing; it usually springs faster in springtime. Pruning is advised to keep it from having wild growth phases and a bushier look. You can also pinch the ends so that alternative branches are formed from the nodes giving it a more canopy-style look.
Potting and Repotting of Schefflera plant:
For an Umbrella Plant, a good potting mix is recommended. Usually, the potting mix is advised for 1-part moistened sphagnum moss, 1-part garden soil, and a little sand. It becomes essential to repot a plant to provide it with replenished and fresh soil.
You should report an Umbrella Plant annually. Once the plant is removed from its former pot, the biggest obstacle might be the extensive roots. You can separate them by placing them in water, which helps untangle them.
You can also prune the roots to help keep space in the new pot. The suggested pot mix should be present in the unique pot. If you don’t know how to report a plant, here are detailed instructions on How to Re-pot Your Plant in 15 Minutes Max.
The main issue that may arise while repotting is transplant shock. The soil should be lightly watered to ensure the plant survives, while the plant should not be moved during this period. Only well-diluted transplant fertilizer should be used. This is not a significant problem as the Umbrella Plant is resilient and can quickly adapt to new conditions.
Propagation of Schefflera Plant:
Propagating an Umbrella Tree Plant is a challenging task. You can implore three methods to achieve this. You can bear Schefflera in the spring; it is the best time. It helps to keep your existing plant from being too bushy and provides you with new plants. You can propagate Schefflera plants by cutting.
- You need to cut off a six-inch stem section at a 45-degree angle using sharp pruners and remove four or five leaves at the top of the stem.
- After that, dip the cut end in rooting hormone and place the cut end into a container filled with potting soil.
- To hold in humidity, cover the pot with a loosely secured plastic bag and place the pot in bright indirect light.
- Daily check the container to ensure that the soil remains moist. Water it when necessary.
- Then check for root development by lightly tugging on the stem. After about a month, you can remove the plastic bag if roots have formed and continue growing the new plant.
- If roots don’t develop, discard the cutting and try again with a new cutting.
Types of Schefflera Plants:
The two most common houseplants of the many species in the Schefflera genus are as follows.
The most common Schefflera has oval leaves that grow up to ten inches from a central stalk. It can also be quite a giant 50-foot outdoors, but indoor potted specimens usually reach 15 feet tall.
It’s a smaller version popular in home gardens. It has one- to two-inch leaves that grow in tight clusters. You can grow as tall as 25 feet outdoors, but houseplants are generally kept to no more than six feet.
The popular cultivars include ‘Dazzle,’ a variegated form with nearly white leaves; ‘Gold Capella,’ a yellow and green variegated form; ‘Trinette,’ a white and cream variegated plant; and ‘Dwarf,’ which has dark green leaves and grows to only about four feet tall.
Schefflera Plant Decoration Ideas
An Umbrella plant can either be left to grow or be kept as a bonsai plant.
Corner of the Room:
If you prefer the umbrella plant to grow in length, the perfect spot would be in the room’s corner. The plant can provide an overall aesthetic look with its evergreen properties.
Umbrella plants can also look really good if placed by the entrance of your apartment or house.
If you want to keep it near your workstation. Since the Umbrella plant can be marked as a bonsai plant, it also looks good on the tabletop.
You can also keep the Umbrella plant in a Porcelain pot and give it an earthy look to your Umbrella Plant. Porcelain pots are great for water drainage too.
The Schefflera plant is known to grow up to 50 ft. to easily be kept outdoors, keeping the indirect sunlight component in mind.
Common pests and plant diseases:
They feed on the sap of the Umbrella tree plant, which leaves behind a sticky substance. This causes stunted growth in the plant and the leaves to turn yellow. The most common scale insect is Mealybugs. Usually, spraying them with water and using alcohol to wipe the leaves will rid you of these pests. Insecticide can also be used to exterminate these pests.
Aphids are well known for sucking the sap out of the leaves of plants. The leaves of the Umbrella plant are rich in liquid, making it highly likely aphids might be present. In such a case, wipe the leaves with alcohol or neem oil. An insecticide is also an alternative that can be used.
In conditions when water becomes deficient, spider mites can infest the plant. They usually hide either under the leaves or form webs between the shoots. The easiest way to get rid of them is to spray the plant with soapy water. You can also use neem oil or insecticide as an alternative.
Warm and dry air can be the cause of a Thrip infestation. They are responsible for sucking the nutrients and leaving marks on the plant. They also cause the stunted growth of the plant. If spotted, isolate the infested plant and shower it with warm water quite a few times. This should get rid of the infestation.
Risks pertaining to the Umbrella Plant
According to ASPCA, Schefflera is mildly toxic to cats and dogs if they ingest it. It is known to cause dermatitis but in sporadic cases. It usually does not affect humans, but if by touching the plant you feel irritated, it is advised that you seek help.
If you have pets, it is advised to wash your hands before petting your animals to be safe. All parts of the plant are considered mildly toxic for pets. Proper precautionary measures can prevent this from happening, and you get to keep a cute plant at home with you.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is the Schefflera plant an indoor or outdoor plant?
Scheller is an indoor plant. It requires bright light and moderate water. If you are planning on growing Schefflera outdoors, make sure it has a location that gets plenty of sunlight and is protected from strong winds.
How often should I water my Schefflera Plant?
Water your Schefflera plant as needed, but generally, every 3-4 weeks is fine. They are forgiving plants and will dismiss over watering and under watering.
Why is the Umbrella Plant a great choice?
As discussed above, the Umbrella Plant requires little maintenance, making it a great addition to your workplace or home. The fact that it does not require much attention makes it a great attraction from the get-go.
The Schefflera plant is evergreen, which will keep your office green and clean throughout the year.
The Schefflera plant can survive even if accidentally neglected, so the owner would not have to worry too much. It is resistant to pests too and gets infested only under certain conditions.
The Schefflera plant is known to adapt and adjust to new conditions that it is introduced. If the factor of bright light and indirect sunlight is kept in check, its adaptive nature makes it an easy plant to handle.
If you are an amateur gardener, this plant can be the perfect one to start with. Its adaptive nature makes it quite obedient to the wants of the gardener. Keeping everything in view, the Schefflera plant is not the plant you knew you needed but one you deserve to take care of.