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Schefflera, a very easy leaf plant


Schefflera is a plant common in houses, apartments and offices. Its main assets are the beauty of its foliage and its great ease of care.

Summary of Schefflera facts

NameSchefflera arboricola
Type – indoor plant

Height – 10 feet (3 meters) indoors, 100 feet (30 meters) in its native environment
Soil – indoor plant soil mix
Exposure – bright light but no direct sunlight

Foliage – evergreen

Care, pruning, watering and treatment, follow this advice to grow a beautiful schefflera and avoid having it fall sick.

Short background facts about schefflera

Schefflera careSchefflera is one of the shrubs most often found as an indoor plant for the beauty of its leaves and its resilience.

It is appreciated for its aesthetic appeal but also for its highly adaptive survival traits that let it thrive in the most varied settings of our homes, apartments and offices.

It is also often present in office spaces because of its care-free growing and capacity to survive even when people ignore it.

Caring for schefflera

Schefflera is quite tolerant as regards exposure, watering and temperature levels of where it stands.

Indeed, it does just great in a room where temperatures might range from 55 to 72°F (12 to 22°C). Best still to avoid brutal temperature shifts.

  • It must be set in a luminous room but cannot be exposed to sunlight.
  • It can tolerate veiled light but dotes most on bright light.
  • Watering is needed when the soil is dry, but not abundantly and preferably with water at room temperature.
  • Lastly, avoid moving it too often, since this tree needs time to adjust to its new setting.

Every 2 or 3 years, you must repot your schefflera.

Pruning schefflera

It is important to prune schefflera stems for it to branch out.

This means pinching the tip of the main stem so that new lateral shoots may develop.

  • You can renew this step several times.

Diseases & problems when growing schefflera

Schefflera losing its leaves

Schefflera diseasesQuite common for schefflera, this is normal as long as leaf loss is regular and not too many are falling.

In case of leaf loss, check that it is well watered, and eventually proceed to topdress the pot.

  • This may also be a result of a change of pots or of place.
  • It may also lack light, in which case you must provide more light to it.

It should quickly bounce back more vigorous than ever.

Schefflera leaves turn yellow

This is often due to a mite attack.

  • Simply treat it with organic mite killer sold in horticulture stores.
  • Avoid other chemical products, especially for an indoor plant.

White powder appears on leaves which get all sticky

This is usually due to mealybugs or scale insects.

Watering schefflera

Watering a scheffleraIts preferable to wait for the soil to have dried up before watering again.

Consequently, water on average once a week.

If the air indoors is quite dry or if it is summertime, it’s possible to water more often, but always wait for the soil to have dried up in the surface layer.

Of course, in winter or if surrounding moisture levels are high, you may space the watering somewhat.

Feel free to mist the leaves on a regular basis, this will increase leafage quality and keep the leaves from drying up.

Propagating and multiplying schefflera

Schefflera cuttingsIt’s actually easy to propagate your schefflera – simply prepare cuttings from the stem.

How to prepare schefflera cuttings

  • Snip pieces of woody stems about 4 to 6 inches long and remove leaves (mark which side goes “up”).
  • In a pot of moist soil mix, make a hole with a finger or pencil and slide the bottom of the stems in.
  • Keep the soil mix moist but not waterlogged.
  • Roots should sprout within a few weeks
  • Leaf buds should form at junctions where you removed the leaves from earlier, within a month.

Variegated scheffleraCuttings is a sure way to replicate your favorite schefflera.

This is especially relevant if you want to keep mutations such as the particularly variegated schefflera, shown below.

Variegated schefflera plants require more sun than the more conventional, green varieties.

Smart tip about Shefflera

With a pot or garden box and regular topdressing, your schefflera can grow to reach a magnificent 6 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) tall!

Images: CC BY 2.0: Dave Hosford, CC BY-NC 2.0: Marcel Hoyer; iStock: Viktoriia Bondar; Pixabay: abubibolabu, Маргарита Харитонова, Светлана Гурьева