Schefflera is a tropical plant that is commonly kept as an indoor plant. Today they are sold in many different varieties and can even be stored as a bonsai! Schefflera is relatively easy to care for and makes a great home plant.
Schefflera originates from Malaysia and is often referred to as the umbrella. There are two main varieties of this tree, the Arboricola and the Actinophylla. The Arboricola is the most common type that is preserved today and is found in different forms. The normal Arboricola has only the normal green leaves. The Arboricola Renate has green leaves, but they are rippled. The Gold Capella Arboricola has green leaves and yellow or golden leaves. The Trinette Arboricola has green leaves and cream leaves. New varieties of this plant are constantly being introduced, so you are forced to see other types as well.
Schefflera needs a lot of light to grow, but it should not be kept in direct sunlight. During the summer, it is particularly important that no direct sun reaches the plant, even through the windows. Windows can make the sun even more dangerous. If kept in direct sunlight, the leaves of this plant will be burned.
It is important not to water this plant or it will develop root rot. Water it only when the soil is dry. You can water this plant from above or below. If you water from the bottom, put the pot in water for about ten minutes and the plant will absorb the water it needs. If you water from above, water until the water flows through the bottom. If the leaves turn black, it means that the soil remains too wet. If the leaves shrivel, the plant is too dry.
Since this is a tropical plant, it must have moisture in the air. You can mist the leaves regularly to provide water, but it is often not enough. This plant is used for a very humid environment and you will need to supply this water. The best way to create moisture for your plant is to take a tray and put pebbles and water in it. So put your plant on the pebbles. Make sure the water level is below the pebble level and that your plant is not sitting in the water. The water evaporates and the leaves will get the moisture they need.
Make sure you are using good quality soil that contains a lot of nutrients. You should also use the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package. If you want to make sure your leaves don’t turn yellow, you can add some liquid iron two or three times a year.
Schefflera is very prone to contracting mites. It is necessary to clean the leaves regularly to avoid this. They particularly like to live on the underside of the leaves, so be sure to check back there. Cleaning the leaves will also prevent the accumulation of dust and allow the sun to adequately reach the leaves. To clean it, use a warm, damp cloth.
This plant is not that difficult to maintain. The main things to remember are: do not keep the plant wet, place the plant in a bright area and be careful of mites. Also, don’t be afraid to prune the Schefflera. It will do well after pruning.
by Michael Russell