Types of Umbrella Trees (AKA Schefflera Plants)
Schefflera plants, also known as umbrella trees or umbrella plants, are members of the Araliaceae family and may be either shrubs or trees, depending on the species. Scheffleras have been popular houseplants since Victorian times and can bring a modern, tropical feel to any indoor environment.
The numerous species of Scheffleras range in size from small trees to large shrubs. Some of the most common varieties are the Octopus Tree (Schefflera actinophylla), the Dwarf Umbrella Tree, and the Australian Umbrella Tree. Here, we'll take a closer look at these three umbrella trees and discuss their unique characteristics.
1. Alpine Schefflera
The Alpine Schefflera is a relatively rare house plant that is more tolerant of cool temperatures than other species on the market. It has a compact habit and attractive red-tinted new growth.
This indoor plant, like other Scheffleras, is a hard worker when it comes to purifying the air. It can grow happily in low-light situations and prefers soil watered thoroughly and left to dry.
2. Madame De Smet Schefflera
The Schefflera 'Madame De Smet' is a beautiful plant with glossy green and gold foliage. It grows up to 2 meters or 7 feet in height and 1 meter in width, making it a compact shrub. This plant thrives in full sun or partial shade and is a great addition to tropical gardens or as an indoor plant. This plant needs a warm, sheltered location with bright, indirect light. Avoid putting it in direct sunlight, as it can cause the leaves to get burnt.
3. Marble Schefflera
The Marble or Dwarf Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) is a compact shrub that grows up to 4 feet tall. It has glossy green foliage with yellowish-green undersides, which you may find attractive enough to use as an accent plant in your home.
You can grow this dwarf Schefflera plant indoors or outdoors. The Marble Schefflera plant thrives in areas with either bright direct sunlight, where the light enters directly, or bright indirect sun exposure, where the light is scattered.
4. Octopus Schefflera
The Octopus tree, also known as the umbrella tree or ivy palm, belongs to the Araliaceae family. This variety blooms pink blossoms, typically grows up to 40 feet tall, and can have single or multiple stems. It is important to provide partial shade, about 70%, to outdoor plants during summer to prevent leaf burn.
In winter, it does not require any shade and needs about 4 hours of direct sunlight per day to grow well. The color of the leaves is highly affected by the amount of sunlight it receives.
5. Gold Capella Schefflera
Gold Capella Schefflera, when grown indoors, has a medium growth rate and can reach a height of 3 feet with a 3-feet spread at maturity. It has a lifespan of around ten years under optimum conditions.
To take care of a Schefflera plant, water it often during the growing season and spray the leaves with water regularly. Make sure to let the soil in the pot dry out before giving it a deep watering. During winter months, reduce the amount of water given. Overwatering can be deadly for the Gold Capella Schefflera.
6. Janine Schefflera
Schefflera arboricola 'Janine' is a smaller, cultivated type of Schefflera arboricola plant with mid to dark green leaves. This particular plant has a dense, upright growth habit suitable for use as a small shrub or a tall bush in tropical gardens. It is perfect for growing in containers and indoors; this plant is ideal for adding color to any room or outdoor space.
In terms of care, Schefflera 'Janine' requires bright, indirect sunlight and moist, well-draining soil. Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every two to four weeks throughout the growing season. You can prune it at any time of the year to maintain its desired shape.
7. Australia Umbrella Tree
The Australian Umbrella Tree, also known as Heptapleurum actinophyllum, is a type of tree that belongs to the Araliaceae family. It can be found in tropical rainforests and gallery forests along the coast of northern and northeastern areas of Queensland, as well as in the Northern Territory of Australia, New Guinea, and Java.
To care for your Australian Umbrella Tree, Water your plant when the top of the potting mix becomes dry, and wait for the soil to dry before watering again. While Umbrella plants are adaptable to different watering amounts, they prefer dry soil over being overwatered.
8. Amate Schefflera
The Schefflera Amate is a beautiful plant with stunning leaf structures and bright glossy green leaves that add a tropical vibe to any space. The Amate Schefflera can grow up to 65 feet tall in its natural environment. It requires bright direct light for optimal growth and should be kept at room temperature, between 60˚F and lower 70s (15˚C to 23˚C). Avoid exposing the plant to cold or dry air from sources such as AC or heating vents, fans, space heaters, drafts, etc.
9. False Aralia
The False Aralia, also known as Plerandra elegantissima, is a type of flowering plant from the Araliaceae family and is indigenous to New Caledonia. Its leaves are bigger than those of the average Schefflera houseplant. False aralias, like most houseplants, can grow well in medium-light conditions, but they will grow quicker and become fuller and lusher if placed in brighter areas. To water them, wait until the soil dries up at a depth of 1 inch.
10. Trinette Schefflera
The Trinette Schefflera is an evergreen shrub with large, glossy, compound leaves and a bushy growth pattern. It needs bright, indirect light to thrive and can tolerate some shade. The Trinette Variegated Schefflera typically grows to be 3 feet tall and wide and has a medium growth rate. It can live for around ten years with proper care.
This plant can thrive in almost any well-lit room or location, requiring bright or indirect sunlight and strong artificial light to live a long life. It prefers averagely moist soil and should be watered once or twice a week to avoid the soil's surface drying out completely.
This plant, also called Schefflera heptaphylla, can grow up to 8-15 meters tall and 2 meters wide. It's an evergreen tree or shrub with thin leaves ranging from coppery red to dark green. The leaves have toothed edges and are made up of 7-11 leaflets, which are much broader on fully-grown plants.
The minimum temperature for growing this plant in temperate zones is 13-15 °C (55-59 °F). It is often grown as a houseplant and tends to be more compact, growing up to 2-3 m (7-10 ft) in height. If you plan to cultivate it, ensure it's exposed to plenty of light and humidity. Also, let the soil dry out before watering it again.
12. Taiwanese Schefflera
The Taiwanese schefflera can grow into a single-stemmed small tree or a multi-stemmed shrub. Its evergreen leaves are glossy and dark and have up to 11 narrow, pointed leaflets that resemble the spokes of a wheel. These are found on long, dark red stalks, with silvery hair covering the young foliage.
To protect young Schefflera taiwaniana plants from frost, ensure they are planted in a sheltered area with surrounding foliage to maintain a humid environment. Once they mature, these plants can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°C to -10°C. It is recommended to provide dappled light and sufficient strong light for healthy growth.
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Scheffleras are attractive houseplants with unique shapes and sizes, allowing them to fit in any space. From the Schefflera Amate to the Marble Schefflera and more, with the right care, they will thrive and stay healthy for years to come. easyplant’s online offers a wide range of Schefflera plants that are easy to maintain and look great indoors or outside. Browse our selection today and add an exotic touch to your living space!