How to care for: Umbrella plant (Schefflera)
The Schefflera is a favorite among many owners as it's an easy plant to take care of. Leaves of the Schefflera are shiny and long, in an oval shape. They're so shiny that they give a glossy effect and can liven up an interior with their existence. It really brightens up the interior.
Water once a week
How do you take care of a Schefflera?
The Schefflera likes to be placed in a spot with lots of light. It is best to place the plant in medium bright light. The Schefflera prefers a spot next to a window on the west or east. A spot near the south is of course also possible. Make sure that the plant is at least 2 metres away from the window. A spot near the north probably has too little light. Your Schefflera will tell you if it's not receiving enough light by turning limp and floppy. However, abstain from giving them direct sunlight as the leaves will scorch and burn.
Schefflera plants prefer a balanced level of moisture, not too wet nor too dry. Therefore, the best way to check if your plant needs water is to check the top centimeters of the soil. If it's dry, then you can water the plant. From spring to summer you can add some water every 5 days. From autumn to winter every 10 days is enough.
The Schefflera uses a lot of energy from spring onwards to make new leaves. As a result, the plant needs extra nutrients. You can provide these nutrients by means of plant nutrition. We recommend giving plant nutrition once every month. From spring until autumn. After autumn and in winter it is better not to give extra nutrients. In the autumn, plant nutrition can actually be harmful for the Schefflera!
Repotting the Schefflera isn't necessary every year. We recommend repotting the Schefflera every 2 to 3 years. This gives the plant new nutrients and more room for root growth. The airier soil is also very good for the water flowing through. The best period to repot is spring.
Schefflera plants are air-purifying plants. They remove toxins from the air, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
Is the Schefflera toxic?
The Schefflera can cause irritation. This irritation mainly occurs on the skin and mucous membranes. This can be dangerous for both a child and an animal. The juice can be released during propagation, but also as soon as the leaf is eaten. Do you see that bites have been taken from the leaf? If so, pay close attention to symptoms, and contact a doctor to be sure.
Diseases and peculiarities
If the air is too dry, the Schefflera can suffer from mealy bugs. To prevent mealy bugs, it is best to use the plant sprayer once a week. Mealy bugs are an infection on plants. If you have come across mealy bugs, it is best to place the plant outside. Wind and moisture from outside will quickly keep the mealy bugs away.
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Frequently asked questions about the Schefflera
How large can the Schefflera get?
In nature, Schefflera plants can grow up to 30 metres tall. Indoors, the plant will fortunately not grow as tall, but 2.5 metres should certainly be possible.
Why does my Schefflera suffer from leaf loss?
Falling leaves are usually a sign of too little sunlight. Especially if the leaves first start drooping and then fall off, this is a sign of leaf loss.
Why are the leaves of my Schefflera yellow or brown?
Brown and yellow leaves on a Schefflera are usually not related to the watering. This is usually a sign of the living environment: light requirements, humidity and draught.
Why are the leaves of my Schefflera curling?
If the leaves of a Schefflera curl, this is often a sign of incorrect watering. Certainly if the leaves feel crunchy, this is a sign of too little water.
Can you propagate a Schefflera?
Yes, you certainly can. See our tips on how to propagate the Umbrella plant.