Schefflera Umbrella plant care guide that will help you get a beautiful healthy plant. Umbrella trees originated from China but, some other varieties and species originated from Australia. Schefflera are literal trees and can grow up to 66 feet. If cared for properly, the Umbrella Tree can remain luscious for years. It can also be a great mother plant that is propagated to produce many other plants.
Schefflera Plant is commonly referred to as the Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree, or Starleaf Plant. It’s also known as the Seven Fingers plant because the leaves have seven leaflets. However, you can still get some leaves with eight leaflets from time to time.
Although they are technically trees, they can be successfully grown as indoor plants as well as outdoor plants.
Umbrella Tree Varieties
Two primary varieties are in people’s homes; Dwarf Schefflera and normal Schefflera. The Dwarf Schefflera has rounder leaves as opposed to the normal Schefflera that has pointy leaves. Dwarf Schefflera is preferred by people who intend to grow the plant indoors in pots and containers.
There is also a variegated Schefflera variety. This variety is preferred by people who intend to grow the plant outdoor and give it enough space.
Umbrella Tree Light Requirements
I have had great success by keeping the Umbrella Tree in my sunniest area in the house. It is next to a window that faces the east and so it gets a lot of Sun. The plant is not averse to direct sunlight so that’s why I think that it’s grown so much.
However, you should be aware that too much direct sunlight during summer can cause leaf burn especially for some of the varieties. The variegated variety tolerates direct sunlight better.
In the past, I have moved it to rooms that don’t have much light and it tends to become leggy. Although it can tolerate lower lighting conditions, it will get etiolated. The leaves grow long, tall, and lean towards the light source.
Umbrella Tree Soil
The plant does thrive in well-draining soil. Umbrella trees hate sitting in water and establishing them in well-draining soil helps prevent the problem. The plant can do well in most soil types and there is no special soil mix for the plant.
Watering Umbrella Tree
Watering requirements for the Umbrella tree are generally simple. Avoid overwatering and keeping the soil soggy. Check the top few inches to see if they are dry by sticking your finger in the soil. Schefflera Umbrella plant care includes watering when the top layers are dry.
Overwatering the Umbrella Tree can cause the leaves to turn yellow. It can also cause the leaves to drop. If the situation is not remedied, the plant will experience root rot and death of the plant.
Fertilizing Umbrella Tree
The best way to feed the Umbrella tree is by using compost or warm casting. Mix it well in the soil as you’re repotting the plant and you’re good to go for two-three months. Some people also avoid fertilizing the plant because they don’t want it to grow too large.
If you want to fertilize, you can use a diluted liquid fertilizer once a month during the growing season.
Pruning Umbrella Trees
The pruning process is necessary when growing Umbrella Trees as both indoor or outdoor plants. Pruning helps keep the plant in shape. It is also used to promote lateral growth which makes the plant look bushy.
If your Umbrella Tree gets leggy probably from limited light you can also consider pruning. The process of pruning can also help you get it back down to size if it gets overgrown.
Propagating Umbrella Tree in Soil and Water
Umbrella tree is propagated using cuttings. The plant has very woody stems at the bottom which are not ideal for propagation. The new growth is light green, fleshy, and pliable. The new growth provides cuttings that are ideal for propagation.
Take clippings and root them in water. However, this is not to say that some of the more mature stems won’t root in water, it’ll just take a lot longer than if you just cut some of the younger growth.
It takes about a month or two for roots to form on cuttings being propagated in water. You need to be patient. Once the roots form, establish the cutting in soil.
You can also propagate the Schefflera plants directly in the soil. After making the cutting, deep it in rooting hormone powder to promote root formation.
Umbrella Tree Pests
The Umbrella Tree is not prone to pest attacks compared to some other houseplants. However, it can still get attacked by spider mites and mealybugs.
Schefflera Umbrella plant care also includes checking your plant regularly to spot the pests early. You can also spray neem oil solution on the plant once in a while which will keep the pests away.
Repotting Schefflera Plant
Schefflera plant repotting becomes necessary when the plant outgrows its current pot. Remove the plant from the current pot, tease the roots, and break the roots. This step is especially important if the plant is root-bound.
Repot it in a larger pot and fill it up with soil. When choosing a pot, make sure it has a drainage hole. Proper drainage holes will help get rid of excess water and save your plant incase you overwater.
Umbrella Tree Pet Safe
The Umbrella Plant is not safe for pets. It has toxic saponins, calcium oxalates, and terpenoids that are poisonous for both cats and dogs. Most pets experience diarrhea and vomiting when they ingest parts of the Schefflera plant.
Other symptoms include difficulty swallowing, burning of the lips, mouth, and tongue. It can also cause oral irritation and drooling.
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The Schefflera plant or Umbrella plant is one of the easiest plants to grow and care for even for beginners. Many people even those who have had problems keeping plants alive find success with the Umbrella plant.
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