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Everything You Need to Know about Schefflera Care

Schefflera is a member of the tropical plant family that makes wonderful houseplants. These plants are commonly known as “Umbrella Plants” because of their elongated, shiny, oval green leaves that droop gracefully from a central stalk, resembling an umbrella. In cooler climates, they’re grown indoors for most of the year and can be taken outdoors for the warmer months. Indoors, they will thrive alongside other tropical plants. However, this plant is unlikely to bloom inside. They typically have to be grown outdoors to display their show of long red, white, or pink tentacle-like flowers.

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Schefflera Care

Schefflera plants are easy to grow if they get the required amount of indirect light, warmth and humidity. All parts of the Schefflera plant are toxic to humans and pets. Let’s talk about Schefflera care.

Light

Schefflera plants prefer medium-light, meaning they should be kept in bright light, but the light should not be direct. During summer, place the plant outside where it can receive enough bright light, however, do not place it under direct sun. Direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. On the other hand, common complaint about Schefflera plants is that they get leggy and floppy. This problem is caused by too little light. Making sure that you are growing Schefflera in the right kind of light will help prevent leggy growth.

Soil

Pot your Schefflera in slightly acidic, loamy soil that drains well. Make sure to use a pot with drainage holes! Rich, loose potting mix with moist compost will be best. Avoid planting in an outdoor location where the soil becomes too wet or waterlogged.

Water

Water weekly during the growing season and spray the leaves frequently. You can wait until the soil in the pot dries out and then thoroughly soak the soil when you water. Cut back on water during winter. Often, people will over-water a Schefflera plant, and doing so will eventually kill it. Yellow and dropped leaves are a sign that you might be watering too much.

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Temperature and Humidity

This plant thrives in temperatures between high 10 degrees and low 21 degrees Celsius (aka room temperature). As a rule, keep it away from drafts, vents, heaters, etc., to avoid freezing or frying the leaves.

As a tropical plant, Schefflera appreciates a bit of humidity, so consider setting up a humidifier nearby if your space is dry. A humidity tray will also work for smaller plants. An under-watered or cold Schefflera will begin to drop leaves quickly, so take leaf-drop seriously and correct the issue if it occurs. If the plant loses all of its leaves, you can attempt to save the plant by moving it outdoors in the spring and watering generously.

Fertilizer

Feed Schefflera plants twice a week during the growing season with liquid fertilizer, or use two applications of slow-release pellets. They are heavy feeders and will benefit from the extra nutrients.

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Common Problems

  • Symptom: Yellowing Leaves
    Cause: Over-watering.
  • Symptom: Brown spots on leaves
    Cause: Under-watering.
  • Symptom: Leggy/droopy stems
    Cause: Insufficient Light.
  • Symptom: Drooping Leaves
    Cause: Under-watering/cold temperature.

Scheffleras are pretty easy going and they grow up to be stunning plants. The most fascinating thing about this plant is the fact that it acts as a natural air purifier. The leaves expectedly release oxygen and absorb pollutants from the air.

The combination of its attractive leaves and detoxifying powers makes the Schefflera plant a very popular indoor plant. Schefflera plants are fast-growing plants, especially if planted outdoors, where they can add 3 feet per year. Indoor plants are slower-growing, especially if you keep them somewhat confined in a smallish pot. If you are planting a Schefflera in a warm climate garden, they are best planted in spring or fall when the weather is not blazing hot.

Schefflera care reference: TheSpruce