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Schefflera Basic Houseplant Care
Schefflera Basic Plant Care
With a maximum height of four feet, Dwarf Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) plants are popular for their small footprint, convenient small size and ease of care. For Schefflera plants, the ideal environment is warm and evenly moist with bright, indirect light making Schefflera the perfect plant for livening up the house, office or garden.
Schefflera Plant Care - Light Requirements
Schefflera plants flourish in areas with a lot of light. Care for schefflera houseplants by placing them in rooms with bright filtered or indirect light. Protect houseplants that grow in front of windows by placing sheer coverings or adjustable blinds over the window so that the amount of light reaching the plant may be quickly altered. This will also protect your Schefflera from intense heat and direct sunlight which can scorch foliage and cause soil to dry excessively. The foliage of your Schefflera arboricola plants will turn yellow and drop if there is insufficient light.
Temperatures do not greatly affect Schefflera as these plants are native to warm temperate and tropical areas. However, extreme temperatures or exposure to cool drafts may cause difficulties for your plant. Care for Schefflera plants is ideal in most warm areas such as homes, offices or in warm greenhouses.
Schefflera Plant Care - Water Requirements
Schefflera require an evenly moist environment. Water moderately during growth and keep only moist to the touch in winter. During the growing season, allow the soil to dry between watering. However, do not leave the soil dry for too long or allow your Schefflera to sit in water which could lead to many pathogen and performance problems for your plant. Leaves that turn black and drop are signs of excessive water. Too little water causes the tips of the leaves to curl or wrinkle.
Areas with cooler temperatures or drafts may cause the soil to dry especially quickly. Take care to water Schefflera plants more often if kept in cooler areas such as offices, patios, and other areas whose temperature cannot be readily adjusted.
Schefflera Plant Care - Fertilizer Requirements
Schefflera houseplants perform best when a balanced (20-20-20) liquid fertilizer is applied monthly during growth. Another option is to adjust to half-strength fertilizer and apply when watering every 2-3 weeks.
Schefflera Plant Care - Pests & Diseases
Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola) plants are susceptible to pest and pathogen problems. Pests that may affect your plant are spider mites, scale insects, thrips, and mealybugs. The most common of these are spider mites which can be avoided by spraying your Schefflera plant once weekly with a mist of soapy water. Increase to twice daily if spider mites occur or consult your local garden center for insecticidal soaps and other options.
Pathogen (fungal and bacterial) problems are less likely to affect your Schefflera plant but common problems caused by overwatering such as root rot are possible.
Schefflera Plant Care - Propagation & Potting
Grow Schefflera houseplants in soil-based or standard potting mix. Continue to pot on in spring. However, allow the plant to become accustomed to the new soil before continuing any fertilization routines. Schefflera arboricola plants can also be grown outdoors in moist, humus-rich soil.
Propagate Schefflera plants by seed in the spring at 66-75oF. More mature plants may also be air layered in the spring. Another option is to root semi-ripe cuttings in the summer using bottom heat.