All about the Schefflera
The foliage of the leaves is 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.
The most famous nickname of this plant is the Umbrella tree. The term Umbrella suits it the most, like the shape of the plant is an umbrella. The Schefflera is also called a Finger tree.
Different types of the Schefflera
Although there are quite a few varieties of the Schefflera, the two most famous ones are arboricola and actinophylla. Arboricolas are actually considered to be smaller or dwarf-like versions of actinophylla. The size of the leaves is smaller, as well as the height of the plant is shorter. They're more coveted as indoor houseplants because of their packed stature.
How to take care of a Schefflera?
During the growing season, from Spring to Autumn, you can water the plant once every week. Try to wait until the soil has completely dried out, and then soak the soil with water. From late Autumn till early Spring, you can ease up the watering. This plant is sensitive to overwatering. The leaves will either turn yellow or shed; this will be their way of telling you to give watering a rest for a few days.
As the Schefflera prefers light, the best kind of spot is where there's bright but indirect sunlight.
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.
Since the Schefflera originates from tropical regions, try to avoid exposing it to temperatures below 15°C. The Schefflera isn't friendly towards drafts nor frost.
Similarly, it also likes high humidity levels. If your home doesn't have high humidity, you can increase it through various means. You can plug in a humidifier nearby or place the pot on a pebble/gravel tray. Furthermore, you can regularly spray the area around the plant with a water mist or place more plants around it so they can create humidity.
A Schefflera doesn't require fertilizer, however it will still benefit from them. You can feed the plant every couple of weeks with a liquid fertilizer at half strength. This will provide the Schefflera boost during the growing season. During the dormant months, you don't need to feed it as it stops absorbing nutrients.
Not only does the Schefflera give out oxygen like every other plant, but it also absorbs harmful toxins in the air. This makes it a natural purifier to have in the house. Moreover, Schefflera plants also absorb cigarette smoke from the air, making it a great plant in your house to have if someone is a smoker.
Although ingesting the leaves of the Schefflera isn't fatal, you'll still have breathing difficulties, burning sensation, and difficulty in swallowing. It's better to be safe than sorry and keep your children and pets away from the Schefflera.
Propagation of a Schefflera
You can easily propagate the Schefflera using cuttings. All you have to do is cut off a 10 cm stem from your tree and remove the leaves, leaving only the top two. Dip the bottom of the stem in a rooting hormone; this provides the stem with s boost before it starts to grow.
Finally, place the stem at least a couple of cm inside the pot and keep the soil moist during the first few months. Try to conduct this process during the growing months, preferably Spring. Furthermore, to help the cutting, you can place a bag on top of the plant in order to trap the moisture in it.