Plant Profile: Schefflera - Umbrella Tree
Schefflera, also known as the umbrella tree, is a popular houseplant native to Taiwan and China. It belongs to the Araliaceae family and can grow up to 3 meters tall in the wild. The plant features glossy green leaves that radiate from a central stem, giving it the appearance of an umbrella.
Schefflera can be grown indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate. It can be grown in gardens or pots outside in tropical and subtropical regions. In colder areas, it's best grown indoors to prevent damage from frost.
Overview & Care
Best Position: Schefflera prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sun. Placing it near a north or east-facing window is ideal. However, it's important to avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.
Water: Moderate watering is required. It's essential to allow the top few cm's of soil to dry out between watering to prevent overwatering, which can lead to root rot. In winter, reduce watering as the plant goes into a dormant period.
Soil: Prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Additionally, adding a slow-release fertiliser to the soil mix can provide the nutrients for healthy growth.
Temp & Humidity: Prefers warm temperatures between 15 – 24 °C. Avoid placing it in areas that are too cold or hot, as this can cause the leaves to drop. You can increase humidity by placing a tray of water near the plant or misting the leaves regularly.
Problems that may occur and how to fix: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, while brown tips may indicate underwatering or low humidity. Prune off any affected leaves and adjust the watering accordingly. Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can also infest Schefflera. Wipe down the leaves with a damp cloth and use insecticidal soap to treat the plant.
Overall, Schefflera is a low-maintenance houseplant that can add a touch of tropical flair to any indoor space.