Tips for care - Variegated Schefflera
Schefflera is a popular houseplant because of the beauty of its dark green plus golden-colored leaves with a variegation effect, which forms "fingers" in a circle. Schefflera is known as an umbrella plant due to the unique shape of its leaves. It can also be made into a bonsai and is called a poor man's Bonsai. Schefflera has air purification properties and features in Dr. Wolverton's list of air purifiers.
Potting- Well-drained, sandy, slightly acidic potting soil is best for Schefflera. 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 that is 2 inches in diameter more significant 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 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 also the stems become droopy. So it should be grown either indoors near a window or outdoors in the shade of the 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
Air purifier: Yes, Dr. Wolverton's list of air purifiers
Common name(s): Umbrella tree, dwarf umbrella tree, parasol plant, octopus tree, Hawaiian Schefflera, dwarf Schefflera, Australian Schefflera