Schefflera is a tropical plant that is commonly kept as an indoor plant. They are sold in many different varieties today and can even be kept as a bonsai tree! The Schefflera is relatively easy to care for and makes a great house plant.
The Schefflera is native to Malaysia and is often referred to as the umbrella tree. There are two main varieties of this tree, the Arboricola and the Actinophylla. The Arboricola is the most common type that is kept today and is found in several different forms. The regular Arboricola just has the normal green leaves. The Arboricola Renate has green leaves, but they are rippled. The Arboricola Gold Capella has green leaves as well as yellow or gold leaves. The Arboricola Trinette has green leaves and cream leaves. New varieties of this plant are constantly being introduced so you are bound to see other types as well.
The Schefflera needs lots of light to grow, but it must not be kept in direct sunlight. During the summer, it is especially important that no direct sun reaches the plant, even through the windows. Windows can make the sun even more dangerous. If kept in direct sun, the leaves of this plant will get burned.
It is important that you do not over water this plant or it will develop root rot. Only water it when the soil is dry. You can water this plant from the top or the bottom. If you water from the bottom, put the pot in water for about ten minutes and the plant will take up the water that it needs. If you water from the top, water it until the water drains through the bottom. If the leaves are turning black, this means that the soil is staying too wet. If the leaves are wrinkling up, then the plant is too dry.
Because this is a tropical plant, it needs to have moisture in the air. You can mist the leaves regularly to provide water but often this is not enough. This plant is used to a very humid environment and you will need to supply this water. The best way to create the humidity for your plant is to get a tray and put some pebbles and water in it. Then set your plant on the pebbles. Make sure that the level of the water is below the level of the pebbles and that your plant is not sitting in water. The water will evaporate and the leaves will get the moisture they need.
Make sure you use a good quality soil that contains plenty of nutrients. You should also use fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. If you want to make sure your leaves do not turn yellow, you can add some liquid iron two to three times a year.
The Schefflera is very prone to getting mites. You need to clean the leaves regularly to prevent this. They especially like to live on the underside of the leaves, so be sure you check there. Cleaning the leaves will also prevent dust build up and allow the sun to adequately reach the leaves. To clean it, use a warm, damp washcloth.
This plant is not that hard to keep. The main things to remember are: don’t keep the plant wet, place the plant in a bright area and watch out for mites. Also, don’t be scared to prune the Schefflera. It will do fine after pruning.