Schefflera Plant Care: What You Need to Know

Welcome to the ultimate Schefflera plant care guide! Schefflera, also known as the umbrella plant, is a popular houseplant with a casual and fun vibe. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to help your Schefflera thrive and maintain its beauty.

Schefflera Plant Care Guide

Quick Reference Table: Caring for Schefflera Plant

Aspect Details
Sunlight Bright, indirect light
Soil Well-draining, fertile potting mix
Watering Keep soil evenly moist, but not soggy
Pruning Prune to maintain shape and remove dead leaves
Temperature 60-75°F (16-24°C)

Schefflera Plant Sunlight: Do They Need It and How Much?

Schefflera plants love bright, indirect sunlight. Although they can tolerate lower light conditions, their growth may slow down and their foliage may lose some vibrancy. A spot near an east or west-facing window with filtered light is perfect for these plants. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.

Schefflera Plant Soil Tips

For optimal growth, use a well-draining, fertile potting mix for your Schefflera plant. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and loam works well. Good drainage is essential to prevent root rot, so make sure the pot you use has drainage holes at the bottom.

Schefflera Plant Watering and Frequency

Keep the soil of your Schefflera plant evenly moist, but not soggy. To achieve this, water the plant thoroughly and then wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering again. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rot.

Pruning Schefflera Plant Properly

Prune your Schefflera plant to maintain its shape and remove dead or damaged leaves. You can also trim leggy growth to encourage bushier foliage. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts just above a leaf node or branch junction.

Optimal Schefflera Plant Temperature: Can They Tolerate the Cold?

Schefflera plants prefer temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C). They do not tolerate cold temperatures well, so avoid placing them near drafty windows or doors. If temperatures drop below 50°F (10°C), your Schefflera may suffer damage or even die.

Common Schefflera Plant Problems

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering or poor drainage. Check the moisture level of the soil and ensure your pot has proper drainage. Adjust your watering routine accordingly to prevent further yellowing.

Brown Leaf Tips

Brown leaf tips may indicate underwatering or low humidity. Make sure the soil stays evenly moist and consider increasing humidity around your plant by using a humidity tray or placing it near a humidifier.


Schefflera plants can be prone to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation and treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil as needed. Maintaining good plant hygiene can help prevent pest problems.

Schefflera Plant Outdoors vs Indoors

Schefflera plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors, but there are some pros and cons to consider:

Location Pros Cons
Indoors Easier to control temperature and humidity; less likely to be damaged by weather May need supplemental lightingin low-light areas
Outdoors Can benefit from natural sunlight and fresh air More susceptible to pests and weather-related damage; may need to be brought indoors during colder months

Best Pots for Schefflera Plant

When choosing a pot for your Schefflera plant, opt for one with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot. A ceramic or terracotta pot is a great choice, as these materials are porous and allow excess moisture to escape. Make sure the pot is large enough to accommodate your plant’s root system, and repot every couple of years as the plant grows.

Schefflera Plant Facts

Schefflera Plant Benefits

  • Air-purifying: Schefflera plants are known to help purify the air, removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.
  • Low-maintenance: These plants are relatively easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginner plant enthusiasts or those with busy lifestyles.
  • Attractive appearance: With their glossy, umbrella-like leaves, Schefflera plants add a touch of tropical beauty to any space.

Growth Rates: How Fast Do They Grow?

Schefflera plants have a moderate growth rate, typically adding 1-2 feet of height per year when grown indoors. With proper care, they can reach heights of 4-6 feet or more over time.

Schefflera Plant Lifespan

With proper care, Schefflera plants can live for many years, often exceeding a decade. To ensure a long and healthy life, provide your plant with the appropriate light, water, and temperature conditions, and be proactive about addressing any issues that arise.

Are Schefflera Plants Safe?

Schefflera plants are considered toxic to cats, dogs, and humans if ingested. They contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation in the mouth, throat, and stomach. Keep your plant out of reach of pets and children to avoid accidental ingestion.

Schefflera Plant Flowers

Schefflera plants rarely flower indoors, but when grown outdoors in their native habitat, they can produce small, greenish-white flowers. These flowers are generally considered insignificant and are not a primary feature of the plant.

Schefflera Plant Types and Varieties

Schefflera arboricola

Schefflera arboricola, also known as the dwarf umbrella plant, is a smaller variety of Schefflera with smaller, more compact leaves. It’s a popular choice for indoor spaces, as it typically reaches heights of 4-6 feet. Its leaves are dark green and glossy, with a dense, bushy growth habit.

Schefflera actinophylla

Schefflera actinophylla, commonly known as the umbrella tree, is a larger variety that can reach heights of 10-15 feet when grown indoors. Its leaves are larger and more elongated than those of Schefflera arboricola. This variety is best suited for spaces with high ceilings or for outdoor growth in warmer climates.

Schefflera Plant Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Low-maintenance Toxic if ingested
Air-purifying Rarely flowers indoors
Attractive foliage Requires adequate light

Schefflera Plant Cost

The cost of a Schefflera plant will vary depending on the size and variety. Expect to pay anywhere from $15 for a small plant to $50 or more for a larger specimen.

Where to Buy Schefflera Plant

Schefflera plants can be found at local nurseries, garden centers, and big-box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s. You can also purchase them online through retailers like Amazon, Etsy, and specialized plant websites.

Is Schefflera Plant Propagation in Water Possible?

Yes, Schefflera plant propagation in water is possible. Simply take a stem cutting with at least 2-3 leaves, remove any lower leaves, and place the cut end in a jar or vase of water. Change the water every few days and watch for root development. Once roots are established, transfer the cutting to a pot filled with well-draining soil.

Additional Resources

For more information and support on Schefflera plant care, check out the following resources:

FAQ for Schefflera Plant Care

Are Schefflera plants toxic to cats?

Yes, Schefflera plants are toxic to cats due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. Ingestion can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth, throat, and stomach.

Are Schefflera plants toxic to dogs?

Yes, Schefflera plants are toxic to dogs for the same reasons they are toxic to cats. Keep the plant out of reach to prevent accidental ingestion.

Are Schefflera plants toxic to kids?

Schefflera plants can be toxic to kids if ingested. It is best to keep the plant out of reach of children to avoid any potential health risks.

How tall do Schefflera plants get?

Schefflera plants can grow to be 4-6 feet tall indoors, with some varieties reaching even greater heights in the right conditions.

Can Schefflera plants live outside?

Schefflera plants can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, where temperatures do not drop below 30°F (-1°C). In colder climates, they can be grown as container plants and brought indoors during the winter.

Are Schefflera plants poisonous?

Yes, Schefflera plants are considered poisonous due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. Keep the plant out of reach of pets and children to prevent accidental ingestion.

How often should I water my Schefflera plant?

Water your Schefflera plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s important to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

In conclusion, Schefflera plants are attractive, air-purifying, and low-maintenance houseplants that can add a touch of tropical beauty to your home. Keep in mind their toxic nature and ensure they are out of reach of pets and children. With the proper care and attention, your Schefflera plant can thrive and grow into a stunning addition to your indoor garden.

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