The Schefflera Plant, known as the umbrella plant or arbicola, is an indoor plant known for its beautiful veined leaves. Because of its tolerance and beauty, the plant is wonderful for the beginning plant parent. Plant lovers are also fond of it because of its air purifying capabilities! The plant is native to Taiwan and Hainan, where they grow in their natural habitats. Though information about its lifespan is scanty, various sources insinuate the plant can live for more than twenty years.
Watering significantly determines the health and growth rate of Schefflera, so start by allowing the top inch or two of the plant to dry out between waterings. Soak the soil thoroughly in water. Wait for water to drain before returning it to its usual place. Scheffleras can be easily overwatered, so take care! Yellow leaves that fall off the plant may be an indication of overwatering. Watering intervals vary according to the size and type of the pot.
Light and Humidity
Schefflera are medium light plants, so like most plants they grow best in bright, indirect light. Growing the plant in dark rooms can make them leggy and floppy, an indication of light deficiency – however, direct light can burn its leaves. The plant thrives in high humidity conditions. Experts suggest the humidity levels should be at least 60 percent. The average household temperatures in the range of 60°F-75°F are perfect for the plant. It is noble to ensure the warmth level does not fall below 55°F.
Soil and Fertilizer
The plant can grow in a soil-based or standard potting mix, as it is not fussy about soil. Though it does not necessarily need fertilizer, giving it some food once a month can make a huge difference. Standard diluted indoor plant fertilizer is perfect. It is advisable to water plants before fertilizing.
Pruning and Cleaning
Schefflera growing in low light environments may require frequent pruning. The pruning process is quite simple. Just cut off overgrown or leggy parts back to a size or shape you like. These plants rebound quite quickly and will be fuller and lusher shortly after pruning. Use a soft damp cloth to clean leaves and stems in a wiping motion. Alternatively, you can clean the plant by dusting it with a feather-like tool, or even just set it outside when it rains to let nature handle it! When handling the plant, protect your mouth as it is poisonous.
The Schefflera is propagated from stem cuttings. The process involves cutting a mature stem, reducing each leaf on the stem by half to limit water loss through transpiration, rooting the cuttings in a water medium, and transferring them into a potting mix. The rooting hormone powder can be used to hasten the rooting process. When the plants grow new shoots on top, nip them off to encourage branching. Another popular method for propagating is layering.
Schefflera is repotted to encourage growth and, in some cases, when the soil mixture is depleted. Repotting should be done during spring or summer. Before repotting, soak the entire root ball in water to ease the entanglements. After one hour of soaking, remove the plant from its pot, prune the roots, and plant it in a new pot with well-drained, quality soil. After repotting, give the plant intensive care until it recovers. During the period, do not apply any type of fertilizer.
The Schefflera is an easy-care plant that grows in bright, indirect light. Cleaning the plant with dilute insecticidal soap not only helps your plant to shine but also averts possible pests infestation. This plant is toxic, so keep away from kids and pets.