Schefflera Arboricola, or the Umbrella Tree, brightens whatever space it’s planted in. These yellow and green variegated plants will do well inside with bright indirect light from a windowsill or in very low, fluorescent light. Schefflera Arboricola can be grown outdoors as well, anywhere from part to full shade. These sprightly plants can handle very wet to very dry conditions and anywhere in between. Schefflera are surprisingly tolerant plants and are an excellent choice for a first time houseplant buyer. The small, hand-shaped leaves make Umbrella Tree an excellent addition to living rooms, bedrooms or even bathrooms.
Growing Zone: 9-11
Mature Height: 10′-15′
Mature Width: 3′-4′
Classification: Colorful Foliage
Sunlight: Bright indirect light to part sun (if outdoors)
Habit: Branching bush form or can be trained as a tree
Flower Color: Yellow and red, clustered
Foliage: Green and yellow variegated
Soil Condition: Well draining
Water Require: Likes to dry out some between watering
Uses: Tolerant of conditions indoors or outside, brightens spaces
Does Not Ship To: AK, AZ, CA, HI, OR, WA
Schefflera Arboricola hails from Taiwan, where the trees grow upwards of 20 feet tall. Indoors, with limited root systems, the plants typically grow to about 10 to 15 feet tall, and about 3 to 4 feet wide. The brightly colored green and yellow foliage lightens and brightens any room or corner indoors or even any dark, shady spot outdoors. Inside, these plants make excellent bonsai as they are tolerant of being trained and pruned, and like to stay fairly root bound. Alternatively, Schefflera can have the bottom leaves and branches pruned out to form an upright standard or tree, reaching about 15 feet inside. Or it’s possible to let Schefflera have a more natural look and let it branch and stay more compact with leaves and branches.
Outdoors, the variegated Schefflera Arboricola will not tolerate full sun during the hottest part of the day; part to full shade is preferred. Schefflera are commonly planted where hardy as individual shrubs or trees. As they take well to pruning, Schefflera can also be trained to grow together densely as a hedge.
Light Requirement of Schefflera Arboricola:
Indoors, Schefflera Arboricola will tolerate fluorescent light, but prefer bright light from a windowsill for several hours. Eastern or western facing windows generally provide enough light for Schefflera Arboricola to be happy. Outdoors, Dwarf Umbrella Trees do well in part to full shade. They can tolerate full sun but will grow more slowly, and foliage may burn when first planted outside.
Watering Schefflera Arboricola:
Dwarf Umbrella Trees need to dry out some between watering, they prefer to stay moist instead of drying out too much or staying too wet. The soil should be mostly dry before watering again in containers. Outdoors, Schefflera Arboricola needs to be planted in a well drained location.
Fertilizing Schefflera Arboricola:
Any all purpose, foliage fertilizer will work for Schefflera Arboricola. Indoor houseplant fertilizers fall into two groups: water soluble, liquid quick release, and granular, slow release fertilizers. Jack’s Classic Indoor plant food works well as a powder, quick release fertilizer that is mixed with water to quickly provide nutrients to a plant that has been in a container for an extended time. On the other hand, Biotone Starter or Osmocote Indoor/Outdoor is an option as a granular, slow release fertilizer that can be applied while potting and planting. Any type of fertilizer offers nutrients that help plants with the transition to a new environment. We offer a one year warranty on our plants when you purchase Biotone at checkout and use it per label instructions. All of these fertilizers may be used when planting Schefflera Arboricola indoors or outdoors.
Best Growing Soil for Schefflera Arboricola:
Schefflera Arboricola need a rich, well draining soil, and prefer to have moist conditions. Umbrella Trees do not perform well when kept constantly wet or allowed to dry out too much.
History and introduction of Schefflera Arboricola:
Schefflera Arboricola is from Taiwan originally, and Schefflera is a broad group that includes many different varieties. Other varieties are solid green or have longer, thinner leaves or have a larger, looser growth habit. Schefflera Arboricola variegata can be planted outside as a small shrub or inside in a bush form. Alternately, these plants can be trained as trees with careful pruning of the bottom foliage so that only the upper leaves continue. Some tree forms are even trained to grow together as braids or twists, adding more interest to an already colorful plant. Dwarf Umbrella Trees can even be trained as bonsai, which perform very well indoors as they’re already great houseplants, and take well to pruning and confined root systems.
Schefflera Arboricola is the Latin name for Dwarf Umbrella Tree, which refers to a 19th century Polish botanist, J. C. Scheffler and arboricola means tree-like.