Plant care library / Schefflera

How to Care for Schefflera Plants

About Schefflera Plants

Schefflera is a tropical wonder, known for its resilience and ease of care, making it a favorite among plant lovers. This versatile plant comes in both variegated and solid green varieties. The variegated version features clusters of striking gold and green oval-shaped leaflets, while the green cultivar has lush, deep green foliage. Both forms of Schefflera are often nicknamed 'Umbrella Tree' due to their leaf clusters that hang playfully to form little canopies. Native to the subtropical forests of Asia and Australia, this evergreen shrub effortlessly brings the jungle indoors and brightens up any room.

Other common names

  • Umbrella Plant
  • Dwarf Umbrella Tree
  • Parasol Plant
  • Octopus Tree
  • Schefflera Actinophylla
  • Schefflera Arboricola

How Often Should I Water My Schefflera Plant?

Getting your plant on a consistent watering schedule can be challenging, especially with multiple plants. However, with easyplant, watering your Schefflera is simple. Make sure to check the easyplant reservoir once a month and fill it when empty, and you're all set!

Water every 1 Month
If you don't have an easyplant to make watering convenient, you'll have to know how to water your Schefflera independently. Regular watering during the spring and summer months, or growing season, is necessary. Be sure to wait until the soil in the pot has almost completely dried out in between watering. During the winter, cut back on watering. If you see yellow or dropped leaves, that may be a sign that you're overwatering. Overwatering can eventually kill Schefflera plants due to stem or root rot.

Schefflera Light Needs

Schefflera grows best in a space with bright direct light, where the sunlight streams inside directly, and can also adapt to spaces with bright indirect light, where the sun rays are diffused. Avoid placing it in spaces with low light or spaces without natural sunlight.

An east-facing window works great for bright indirect light. You can also place the plant in a south or west-facing window, but avoid putting it directly in the path of the sun's rays. Intense, full sunlight can scorch the leaves. You can always use a sheer curtain to diffuse the light.
Light requirement ab

Schefflera Plant Care

On your Schefflera's first few days at home, you may see yellow or dropped leaves; this is no reason for concern. Simply shake off or cut the leaf, and look forward to new and better-adjusted leaves growing. To help it grow optimally and evenly, occasionally dust the leaves and rotate the pot by a ¼ turn once a month. To maintain its aesthetic shape and height, you may periodically prune it to your liking.

How Big Do Schefflera Plants Grow?

Schefflera is a tropical plant that has evolved to live under the cover of thick tree canopies, so it can adapt to the light conditions inside the home and thrive. Schefflera is a steady-growing plant when kept indoors and fast-growing when planted outdoors. There are two main species of Schefflera that are commonly used as houseplants, called Schefflera Arboricola and Schefflera Actinophylla. The first one is the more popular of the two and can grow as high as fifteen feet tall, three to four feet wide indoors, and up to fifty feet outdoors. Schefflera Actinophylla is the smaller of the two and reaches no more than six feet indoors and twenty-five feet outdoors. Depending on the species, it typically takes this plant between three to fourteen years to reach full maturity, adding between 13 and 24 inches to its growth every year.

Temperature & Humidity

The ideal temperature for the Schefflera is room temperature, between 60˚F and lower 70s (15˚C to 23˚C). Avoid placing the plant in locations that will be too cold or dry out, like AC or heating vents, near fans, space heaters, drafts, etc. If the Schefflera is too cold, it will start dropping leaves. Since this plant is native to tropical climates, the Schefflera enjoys fairly high humidity. You should be fine if you can maintain at least 60˚F temperatures in your home. To create a humid environment for your plant, try placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier. You can also group it with other plants or place it in a bathroom or kitchen where there is naturally higher humidity.

Are Schefflera Plants Toxic for Pets & Kids?

Some plants add a pleasing aesthetic to the home and can adapt well to the indoor environment but are unsafe to keep in a house with pets and kids. When considering a houseplant, it's important to know if there is anything toxic about the plant that could harm children or animals if touched or ingested. If ingested, Schefflera may be moderately toxic, so keep away from curious children and pets. Schefflera could cause mouth numbness, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues if ingested. The plant is equally toxic to both dogs and cats. In pets, you may also see excessive drooling, mouth irritation (including the lips and tongue), and difficulty swallowing. The sap of the Schefflera contains calcium oxalate crystals, a possible skin irritant. If you experience irritation when handling the leaves, try wearing gloves.

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Schefflera Plants

Part of plant care is observing how your plant is fairing in its environment so you can make adjustments if needed. Every houseplant will have different signs or tells when they aren't doing well. If you notice your Schefflera plant is overgrown or too leggy, you may want to prune it periodically to encourage fuller growth. If your plant has yellowing leaves, it could be a sign of overwatering or insufficient sunlight. First, make sure you're not over-filling the water reservoir of your easyplant. If that does not produce the desired results, consider relocating to a more brightly lit area. If you notice tiny brown dots, sticky residue, small holes, or webbing on your plant, you may have a pest problem. Treat the plant with neem oil, warm, soapy water, or insecticide soap.

Frequently Asked Questions about Schefflera Plant

  • Do umbrella plants like to be misted?
    Open Do umbrella plants like to be misted?

    Umbrella plants, also known as Scheffleras, prefer to be kept in humidity levels between 40-60%. Misting the leaves can slightly increase the humidity around the plant, but it should not be misted frequently or too heavily, as this can lead to fungal or bacterial growth on the leaves. It's best to use a humidifier or place a tray of water near the plant to increase humidity levels. Misting may not be necessary during the winter when watering is pulled back to allow more time for the soil to dry out.

  • Are Schefflera plants easy to care for?
    Open Are Schefflera plants easy to care for?
    Schefflera plants are moderately easy to care for, provided you follow the proper care instructions. They are a bit temperamental to watering, so you must strike the right balance to avoid yellow or browning leaves. They are also temperature sensitive, so be sure not to keep them near an a/c or cold drafts.
  • Why are the leaves falling off my Schefflera plant?
    Open Why are the leaves falling off my Schefflera plant?
    There could be a few reasons your Schefflera plant is dropping leaves. It could be going through its adjustment period if it has just been brought into the home or if you've just relocated it. Allow it to adjust to its new location and avoid moving around too much. The dropped leaves could also be due to cold temperatures. Schefflera needs a minimum of 60˚F to thrive. If your home's temperature is adequate, ensure the plant isn't near a draft, vent, fan, or heater. Make sure your marble schefflera plant is located in a space with enough sunlight. If not, it might be the main reason for the leaves to fall off.