Tips for Care - Schefflera Plant (Elephants Foot Plant, Umbrella Plant)
Schefflera is also known as the Umbrella plant due to the shape of its leaves. Schefflera is easy to grow. It is a popular house plant because of the beauty of its dark green leaves, which form "fingers" in a circle. It can also be made into a bonsai and is called a poor man's Bonsai. The plant is an air purifier and features in Dr. Wolverton's list of air purifiers.
Potting - Use well-drained, sandy, slightly acidic potting soil for potting. For potting mix, use one part perlite or coarse sand, one part humus or peat, one part garden soil, and a pinch of agricultural lime. While repotting, fill a pot 2 inches in diameter larger than the current pot for the plant with two inches of sterile potting soil.
Watering Requirement – Water it, only dampening the soil. Give water once every two days during summer and once a week in winter. Schefflera requires very less water. If the soil is moist even one inch below the surface, then it should not be watered. Overwatering results in root rot & yellow leaves, which droop. The plant loves a humid environment around it; hence keeping with a group of plants together or adding a water-filled tray at the bottom helps. The plant needs an evenly moist atmosphere.
Light Requirement – It requires bright light but also does not survive direct sunlight. Under low light conditions, the stems become droopy. So it should be grown either indoors near a window or outdoors in the shade of a larger tree.
Propagation – To propagate Schefflera, the stem cutting method is the best. Cut the stem slightly below the leaves. The stem should be flexible. Remove the bark from the stem in a ring form at the bottom. Bend the stem down to force it into the soil in another nearby planter. Bury the cut part, but leave the leafy end above the soil.
Fertilization – Not much, Balanced liquid fertilizer to be given monthly.
Maximum Reachable height: 12 to 15 ft.
Common name(s): Umbrella tree, dwarf umbrella tree, parasol plant, octopus tree, Hawaiian schefflera, dwarf schefflera, Australian schefflera.