There are many varieties of the Schefflera houseplant, these plants are quite popular in the houseplant universe. The two most popular varieties are the umbrella tree plant and the dwarf umbrella tree. The fact that this plant is easy to care for is probably one of the main reasons why it has become so popular as a houseplant. But if you are interested in having Schefflera indoors in your home there are a few Schefflera care tips you will want to know, which will help you to have a very healthy growing plant. So read on to get all the instructions you will need.
Umbrella Plant Care Instructions
There are two main things that are crucial for the proper care of a Schefflera plant. First the light, important to offer it the correct amount of sunlight, and second watering, knowing the right amount of water to give to your plant.
- Light conditions. Schefflera plants are plants that do well in medium light, this means that they do like bright light but it should be indirect. Many people get disappointed because their Schefflera plant becomes floppy and leggy, but this is likely a result of the plant not getting enough light. If you make sure that your Schefflera is growing in the proper kind of light condition, this leggy growth can be prevented. On the other hand, if you leave your Schefflera exposed to bright direct light, their leaves will get burned. So choose a spot where it will get the bright light it needs but it will get it indirectly.
- Watering. Watering your Schefflera properly is key for it to grow strong and healthy. The proper way to water an umbrella plant is to wait for the soil in the pot to dry out and then soak it thoroughly when watering it. You must be careful not to overwater your plant because this can eventually cause it to die. If you notice that the leaves are becoming yellow and are falling off it means that you are giving it too much water. During winter reduce the amount of water you give your plant. For the duration of the growing season, you will probably need to water your plant weekly, and you can also moist the leaves a bit by spraying them with some water.
- Soil conditions. Schefflera should be planted in a potting mix that is loose and rich, with moist compost added. The best will be sandy loam soil, which drains well, and with a pH level slightly acidic. Can Schefflera be planted outside? Yes, it can, just make sure that if you do so, you don’t choose a location where the soil tends to become too wet. Or you can choose to just have a Schefflera tree indoor.
- Humidity and temperature. The Schefflera bush is originally a plant of tropical climates, so it needs high humidity levels and warmer temperatures. It won’t do very well in temperatures below 15 degrees celsius. These plants should be protected from drafts and heating devices, which tend to dry the air. Leaves can start dropping fast if the Schefflera plant is not getting enough water or is cold. So if you notice that the leaves on your plant are dropping pay attention to understand what is causing it. If all of the leaves fall out of your plant, don’t give up, when spring comes try to move it outdoors, and water it generously, there is a chance it will recover.
- Fertilizer. You don’t necessarily need to use fertilizer in your umbrella plant care, but it can help them grow. During the growing season, you can feed your plant twice a week, with a liquid fertilizer, or you can choose to use a slow-release one. Extra nutrients will definitely bring benefits to your Schefflera plants.
- Do Schefflera plants bloom? Schefflera plants usually bloom in the summer.
- Pruning. From time to time you might need to prune your Schefflera plant. Especially if the amount of light it’s getting isn’t enough. You can cut off parts that you feel have grown too much or look leggy. After being pruned, Schefflera plants tend to recover quickly and beautifully. And this process will give you a more lush and full plant.
- Is Schefflera toxic? Schefflera plants have calcium oxalate crystals that are insoluble. This is not exactly a poison, but the ingestion of these can cause very strong irritations inside the mouth and digestive system, which can go on for up to two weeks. You should consider all the parts of this plant toxic. But this plant is set in the category of plants with minor toxicity. Poisoning symptoms, which are caused by ingestion of any part of the plant, are swelling, burning sensation, and difficulty swallowing. But honestly, it is unlikely that a human will ingest an amount large enough to cause severe problems. In pets, the symptoms can be vomiting, drooling, lack of appetite, and pain in the mouth.
- Pot and repot. It is good to repot your plant every year, or whenever you notice it needs more space. If you wish to have a slower rate of growth and avoid your plants getting too big, what you can do is have a longer time between repotting, which will cause the plant to become more rootbound.
- Diseases and pests. Schefflera plant is most commonly affected by mealybugs and spider mites. In the case of a light infestation, there is a good chance you can eliminate it by washing your plant thoroughly with soap and water. In the case of more heavy infestations, there’s a chance your plant will need a stronger treatment, a good option is to use neem oil. Usually, plants become more susceptible to pests when they are stressed, so if there are pests on your Schefflera it might be a sign that it is not getting enough light or that it’s getting too much water.
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