How to Look After Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Tree/Plant) - A Care Guide

Updated: Mar 8

Here's some tips on how to care for your Dwarf Schefflera, so that you can keep your Umbrella Tree a happy and healthy houseplant.

Schefflera arboricola (Umbrella Tree) being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
Schefflera arboricola at the Garden Geeks store

The Umbrella Tree


A large genus of tropical plants, Schefflera are commonly referred to as an Umbrella Tree / Plant due to their iconic umbrella of leaves circling out from a central node.


Schefflera arboricola, also known as Dwarf Schefflera is the shorter, smaller and glossier leaved family member of the Schefflera genus.


Native to Australia and Southern Asia, they make for a relatively easy to care for evergreen houseplant - perfect for adding splashes of colour to a room.

Light


In the wild, Schefflera arboricola grow in the bright, dappled light that's filtered through the trees. A Spot offering bright, indirect sunlight will suit your Schefflera well.


If your Umbrella Plant is growing leggy, or starts going floppy, it probably isn't getting enough light. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight as this might sunburn your houseplants leaves.


Soil


Your Dwarf Schefflera will enjoy nutrient rich, loose, moist and well draining soil that is slightly acidic if possible. A sandy loam is ideal and adding some perlite and sand to a compost mix will do well too.


Avoid a potting medium that is too compacted or gets waterlogged easily as you don't want your umbrella tree to get root rot.


Watering


Depending on the time of year and conditions, your Umbrella tree may need watering weekly during the growing season and less so in winter.


Wait until the soil has begun to dry out mostly then give your Dwarf Schefflera a good soak, letting excess water run out of the pot's drainage holes.


Overwatering is the main route to an Umbrella plant's untimely end as this can cause root rot. If your plant's leaves are turning yellow, you may be overwatering it.


Schefflera plants drop their leaves when they're unhappy, so if you are leaving the plant dry for too long, or soaking it too much, dropping leaves may be an indication of what's going wrong.

Humidity


Native to tropical regions, Schefflera arboricola enjoy some humidity. While your Umbrellas Tree can tolerate average household humidity, providing more humid conditions will help your houseplant do better.


Misting your plant's leaves with lukewarm water (rainwater if possible) or using a pebble tray will help your Schefflera thrive.


Temperature


Native to Australia and South Asia, Schefflera arboricola are a tropical plants and as such prefer things a bit warmer. You umbrella plant should do fine in temperatures between 15°C - 24°C. If it gets colder it may starter to show signs of unhappiness by dropping leaves.


Avoid placing your Umbrella Tree in areas where cold drafts occur or near dry heat vents that will suck humidity away from the plant.


Toxicity


Schefflera arboricola / Dwarf Schefflera / Umbrella Plants / Umbrella Trees are mildly toxic to humans and more so toxic to pets if ingested. Keep them away from prying paws and don't be inclined to eat their pretty leaves yourself or you'll be granted with an upset stomach.

Growth


In the wild or when planted outdoors in optimal conditions , Schefflera are fast growers, the larger varieties reaching up to 3 feet per year. Dawrf Umbrella plants can grow up to/around 10 feet tall.


Indoors your Umbrella Tree will grow more slowly and growth will also be dependant on the size of the pot that your Schefflera arboricola houseplant is confined to.



51 views0 comments