Schefflera Care

Caring for a Schefflera plant, commonly known as Umbrella Tree, is a rewarding experience. This tropical plant adds a touch of greenery to your indoor spaces. With its glossy, umbrella-like leaves, it’s not only visually appealing but also purifies the air. By understanding its needs, you can help your Schefflera thrive. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced plant parent, following these straightforward care guidelines will keep your Schefflera healthy and beautiful.

Scientific Classification

When you look at a Schefflera plant, you’re seeing a living thing that scientists have sorted into groups. This grouping helps to know more about where it fits in the plant world. Here is the scientific classification of a Schefflera:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Angiosperms
  • Class: Eudicots
  • Order: Apiales
  • Family: Araliaceae
  • Genus: Schefflera
  • Species: Depends on the specific type of Schefflera

It’s important to know that different types of Schefflera might have different species names. This list tells you how the plant is related to others in a big family tree of plants.


Schefflera plants, also known as umbrella plants, enjoy bright but indirect light. They do best when they get plenty of sunshine, but not directly. The leaves can burn if exposed to too much direct sunlight. Imagine wearing sunglasses on a sunny day; Schefflera plants need a similar kind of protection. They are happy near a window that’s covered with a sheer curtain. This filters the light, softening the sun’s rays. Too little light will slow down the growth of your Schefflera. The plant may become leggy, with long stems and fewer leaves. To keep your Schefflera growing well, find a spot that has just the right amount of light. This helps the plant stay healthy and look its best.


Your Schefflera plant loves water but in the right amount. It’s like Goldilocks; not too much, not too little, just right. Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Stick your finger into the soil near the plant; if it’s dry, give it a drink. If there’s still moisture, wait a bit longer. Over-watering can lead to root rot, a serious problem for these plants. But, if you underwater it, the leaves might droop and fall off. Aim for balance. Use room-temperature water as cold water could shock the roots. Let the water soak in until it starts to come out of the drainage holes, then stop. This method lets the roots get all the moisture they need without sitting in water, which can cause harm. Remember, your Schefflera prefers consistent watering to stay healthy and happy.


For your Schefflera to thrive, you need the right kind of soil. Choose a well-draining potting mix. This mix lets water flow through easily. Your plant hates sitting in soggy soil. It could cause the roots to rot. A mix with peat, perlite, and vermiculite works well. These ingredients keep the soil light and airy. Make sure to repot your Schefflera every few years. Fresh soil gives it new nutrients to grow. When you repot, use the same type of soil to make the transition smooth for your plant.


Schefflera plants need the right temperature to grow well. They like it warm, much like the tropical places they come from. You should keep your Schefflera in temperatures that range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. At night, they can handle a slight drop but try not to let it get below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too cold, like near freezing, the plant can be hurt. It’s best to keep them away from drafty windows or doors during the cold months. Also, keep them away from air conditioners in the summer. If you give your Schefflera the right warmth, it will thrive and bring a bit of the tropics into your home.


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Schefflera plants like the air around them to be somewhat moist. Imagine the air in a bathroom after someone takes a hot shower; that is what we mean by “humid” air. Scheffleras come from tropical places where the air is like that most of the time. In your home, if the air is too dry, your Schefflera might not grow well. You’ll notice the leaves might become brown or crispy when there’s not enough moisture. To keep the humidity right for your plant, you can mist the leaves with water from a spray bottle. Another way is to place a tray with pebbles and water under the plant’s pot—just make sure the pot is not sitting directly in the water. This creates a small bubble of moist air around the plant, which it really likes.


Fertilizer is like food for your Schefflera plant. Just as you need nutrients to grow, your plant needs fertilizer to grow leaves and stems. You should feed your Schefflera with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Do this once a month during the spring and summer when the plant is growing. But, in the fall and winter, your plant takes a break from growing. So, you can stop giving it fertilizer during this time. Always remember, too much fertilizer can harm your plant. Imagine eating too much candy; it’s not good for you, right? The same goes for your plant. Stick to the right amount and your Schefflera will stay healthy and happy.

Size & Growth Rate

Schefflera plants, also known as umbrella trees, can grow quite tall. In your home, they usually reach up to 4 to 6 feet, but they can grow taller with the right care. If you let them grow in their natural habitat, they can soar up to 40 feet high. The growth rate of Schefflera plants depends on their environment. They grow faster when they get plenty of light and proper care. Generally, these plants have a moderate growth rate, which means they won’t become huge overnight. During the growing seasons of spring and summer, they’ll add to their size more quickly. It’s important to give them space to spread out as they grow. You’ll see new leaves popping out regularly if they’re happy with their conditions.

H2: Common Issues

When you care for a Schefflera plant, you might face some common problems. These issues can affect how your plant grows and looks. Pests, like spider mites and mealybugs, love to make homes on your Schefflera. They can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off. Overwatering is another issue that can lead to root rot, where the roots get too wet and start to decay. Underwatering can make the leaves wilt and brown at the edges. Sometimes, the leaves might drop because they don’t get enough light or the air is too dry. Remember, each problem has a sign, and when you see it, act fast to help your plant.


Toxicity refers to how poisonous a plant is to humans and animals. Schefflera plants contain a harmful substance called calcium oxalate crystals. These crystals can cause pain and swelling if you eat the leaves or stems. It can also irritate your skin upon touch. If pets chew on the plant, they may show signs like drooling, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing. Therefore, it’s important to keep Schefflera out of reach of pets and young children who might accidentally eat it. If someone does eat part of the plant, they should get medical help right away. Remember that Schefflera isn’t safe to have around if you have pets or little kids who like to put things in their mouths.

Pro Tips

When you care for your Schefflera, keep these tips in mind:

  • Place your plant in a spot that gets indirect sunlight.
  • Water it when the top inch of soil feels dry.
  • Use well-draining soil to prevent root rot.
  • Keep the room between 60-75°F for a happy plant.
  • Schefflera prefers a humid environment, so mist it occasionally.
  • Feed it with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Expect steady growth; it can get large with proper care.
  • Watch out for signs of distress like yellow leaves.
  • Remember that the plant’s sap can irritate skin—it’s toxic.
  • Clean its leaves gently to keep them dust-free and shiny.
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