Schefflera species are gorgeous tropical plants. The larger Schefflera which is also sometimes known as the umbrella plant features long, shiny, oval green leaves that droop gracefully from a central stalk resembling an umbrella. A mature Schefflera may have 12 to 16 leaflets from a single stalk whereas an immature Schefflera is more likely to have four to six. These plants are native to Australia, Taiwan, and Hainan. They have to be typically grown outdoors to display their show of long red, white, or pink tentacle-like flowers. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this plant is it acts as a natural air freshener and detoxifier. The combination of its attractive leaves and detoxifying powers makes the Schefflera plant a very popular indoor plant.
Common name: Schefflera, umbrella plant
Scientific name: Schefflera
Size: 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide
Maintenance: Easy to care
Toxicity: Toxic to dogs, cats, and humans since the leaves and the sap contain crystals of calcium oxalate.
Once a week. Water your plant weekly during the growing seasons and mist their leaves frequently. You can wait until the soil completely dries out and then water enough to thoroughly soak the soil. Cut back on watering during the winters.
Indirect sunlight. These plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. During the summer season, move the potted plant outside where they will receive plenty of bright light but do not expose them to direct sun, such as under a patio cover.
Rich, loose. Plant your Schefflera in a rich, loose potting media with moist compost. A well-draining sandy loam soil with an acidic to slightly alkaline pH is ideal.
Warm. Since this plant is a tropical plant, it requires humidity and tropical temperatures. It will suffer in temperatures lesser than 60F.
Heavy feeders. These plants are heavy feeders and will benefit from the nutrients. Feed the plant twice a week during the growing seasons with liquid fertilizer, or use two applications of slow-release pellets.
Leaf cuttings. In the right conditions, Schefflera can be propagated using the cuttings of its leaves but this is not easy. Use a rooting hormone and provide extra humidity and warmth. You must not expect much since this plant is very difficult to work with and has a high failure rate. They can also be propagated by air-layering.