Your Guide To: Schefflera

Easily adaptable for your home, small for any space, and a lustrous shine to impress your guests

Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) is a small, no-fuss plant with a graceful, tropical vibe. Its glossy, green leaves, which sometimes sport a creamy pattern, grow in a spoke formation that gives the plant its common name—umbrella plant.  

How To Keep a Schefflera Plant Happy

Scheffleras are among the most popular houseplants you can buy—and that’s because they’re both eye-catching and easy-going. Just give them proper watering and the right amount of sunlight, and they won’t ask for much else. 

How Much Light Does a Schefflera Plant Need?

Schefflera plants do best in medium to bright lighting—just not direct sun, which burns the leaves. Sit them by a window or off to the side, and let nature do the rest.

How Do I Know When To Water My Schefflera Plant?

The worst thing you can do to your schefflera is love it too much. Water it deeply when the soil is dry—and then lay off until it’s dry again. If you’re not sure, stick your finger halfway into the pot and feel around. When it's dry down there, it's time to pour out a drink. Just don’t let the soil remain dry for too long. 

If water drains into the pot’s saucer, dump it out as soon as possible. Water in the tray prevents the soil from draining properly, which leads to soggy soil and rotted roots.

How Do I Use Plant Food For My Schefflera Plant?

Plant food is an important part of fostering healthy growth and new leaves as your plant settles into its new digs. Be sure to follow the directions on the package based on the size of your plant and time of year. In fall and winter your plant will grow more slowly, so you don’t need to feed it as often. Yes, even though your plant lives inside, it still experiences the seasons.

What Is The Ideal Environment For My Schefflera Plant?

Schefflera likes a lot of humidity. Set its pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water, and as the water evaporates, a nice, humid cloud will surround your plant.  

You can even grow Schefflera in a sunny bathroom, where steam from your daily showers will give it the facial it craves. 

Just keep it away from cold drafts and heating vents, and don’t let the temperature drop below 60 degrees. 

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How Do I Prune and Maintain My Schefflera Plant?

Schefflera arboricola is a dwarf version of the larger umbrella tree, so it tops out at just 1-3 feet tall. But if you'd like to keep it even smaller—or encourage it to grow fuller—you can trim its stems back by as much as half their size at any time of year. 

How To Address Common Schefflera Plant Issues

  • Yellow leaves mean you're watering your Schefflera too much. Let it dry out between waterings, and always dump out water that collects in the saucer. 
  • Leaves falling off your plant can mean it's not getting enough sunlight. Move it closer to the window. 

  • Brown spots on leaves mean your plant is thirsty. Be sure to water deeply—not just a sprinkle—when the soil is dry. 

  • Brown, crunchy leaves also point to a watering problem. Go ahead and trim off the ugly parts, and don't water until the soil feels dry. Not sure? Stick your finger halfway into the pot and feel around. When it's dry down there, it's time to water. 

What To Do If You Still Have Questions

If your Schefflera plant doesn’t seem to feel at home in your space, we’re here to help! You can chat with a live Greendigs specialist 24/7 by clicking here. You can also shoot us an email at [email protected]

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