Proper Schefflera plant care and propagation help plant owners get good looking healthy plants. Schefflera plants originated from China but, a few varieties originated from Australia. Schefflera are trees and might mature at 66 feet.
Schefflera Plant Care and Propagation
If cared for correctly, the Umbrella Tree can remain alive for years. It can also be propagated several times to provide many baby plants.
Schefflera tree is also often known as Umbrella Tree or Star-Leaf tree. It’s also referred to as the Seven Fingers tree named after its leaves with seven leaflets. Eight leaflet leaves can also be spotted from time to time.
Schefflera Tree Varieties
- Dwarf Schefflera has round leaves. Preferred by plant owners who intend to grow the plant indoors.
- Normal Schefflera that has pointy leaves.
- Variegated Schefflera variety is preferred by gardeners who grow the plant outdoor and provides it with enough space and light.
Keep the Umbrella Tree in the sunniest location in your home. Keep it next to an East facing window to provide them with lots of Sun. The plant loves direct sunlight which helps it thrive.
An excessive amount of direct sunlight during the summer months can cause leaf burn especially for a few of the delicate varieties. The variegated types tolerate direct sunlight better.
The plant can become leggy when kept in locations without enough light. The stems become long, tall, and lean towards the sunshine source.
The plant does well when established in a well-draining soil mix. Schefflera trees don’t like sitting in soggy soil and planting them in well-draining soil helps prevent the issue. The plant can be successfully grown in most soil types and there’s no special soil mix for Umbrella plants.
Keeping up with watering Schefflera plants is not complicated. The most important thing is to avoid overwatering the trees.
The ideal watering time is when the top few inches are dry. Check the moisture content in the soil by sticking your finger in the soil.
One of the most common problems for Schefflera plants is yellow leaves which are caused by overwatering. If you overwater consistently, the yellow leaves will drop and the plant will eventually die.
The best fertilizers to use for Umbrella trees are compost or warm casting. Mix them well within the soil as you’re using for first time potting or repotting the tree. The trees will have sufficient nutrient supply for the next two-three months.
Gardeners and plant owners also limit fertilizer applications to prevent the trees from growing large. This is especially the case with Umbrella trees that are grown in pots and containers.
Any follow up feeding can be done using diluted liquid fertilizers that can be applied once a month during the growing months.
Pruning Umbrella Trees
Pruning is important for both indoor or outdoor Schefflera plants. Pruning helps keep the trees in shape.
Pruning is also helpful when promoting lateral growth which helps give the plant a full and bushy look.
Pruning also comes in handy when dealing with leggy Schefflera plants. It is the primary way of getting rid of stretched branches and leaves.
Use pruning to get your overgrown plants back down to size. Pruning is also useful when you want to give your tree a certain shape.
Soil and Water Propagation
The easiest way to propagate Umbrella trees is through cuttings. The trees have woody stems at the bottom which don’t make good propagation cuttings.
The best propagation cuttings are from the new growth which is pliable. New growth is also green, luscious, and fleshy.
Make cuttings next to a bud and root them in water. If you use the young stems, they will produce roots faster compared to the older stems that are woody.
Compared to other plants, Schefflera tree cuttings take longer to root. It can take up to a couple of months for roots to form.
Be patient and change the water often. When the roots form and grow to about 3 inches, establish the cutting in soil.
Schefflera plant cuttings can also be established directly in the soil mix. Select and get healthy cuttings from the mother plant. Deep them in rooting hormone powder to promote rooting.
Establish the cuttings in soil. Water immediately and place them in a location where they will receive sufficient sunlight. Water them regularly to ensure the soil remains moist and not soggy.
Schefflera trees can grow to maturity and remain healthy for several years without being attacked by pests and diseases. They are not susceptible to pest attacks compared to common houseplants.
However, the trees can still get attacked by common spider mites and mealybugs. Especially if other plants in the same space get attacked.
Check your Schefflera tree regularly to identify any pest cases early. As a preventative measure, spray neem oil on the leaves once in a while.
Schefflera plants require to be re-potted when they outgrow their current pots. If you’re growing the plant directly in the ground you don’t have to worry about moving it. However, if you want to relocate the tree for whatever reason, you can move it and it will still grow.
Choose a pot or container with a proper drainage hole. As noted above overwatering can be a problem for Schefflera. Having a good drainage hole helps get rid of excess water.
Carefully remove the tree from its current pot and break up the roots. Teasing the roots helps loosen the bound roots. Re-pot the tree in a larger pot and fill it with enriched soil.
Poisonous to Pets
The Schefflera tree isn’t safe for pets. The plants produce toxins and saponins including calcium oxalates and terpenoids that are poisonous for both cats and dogs.
When ingested, the plant causes most pets to experience diarrhea and vomiting. The pets may also show other symptoms such as burning of the lips, tongue, and mouth.
Whether you are a beginner or expert plant owner, you should consider getting a Schefflera tree. As long as you can provide them with sufficient sunlight and space, they will thrive.
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