Umbrella plant Care Indoors

Schefflera is native to Australia.Schefflera is native to Australia.

Schefflera, also known as umbrella tree, is a large evergreen shrub with glossy dark-green leaves. Schefflera grows well in warm climates, and it typically reaches a height of 10 to 15 feet, though smaller dwarf varieties are also available. Sunset's climate zones 14 through 26 can support schefflera plants.

Growing Conditions

Schefflera grows best in well-drained sandy loam soils with an acidic to slightly alkaline pH. It will tolerate shade, but in coastal areas it grows best with either full sun or dappled shade. Avoid planting it in a location where the soil becomes wet or waterlogged after a rain. Schefflera is also heat-tolerant, but it should not be exposed to temperatures below freezing.

Plant Care

You can water schefflera as needed, but avoid over-watering it. Schefflera is drought-tolerant, but does not grow well in soaking wet soil, so it's better to err on the side of too little water than too much. In an outdoor setting, schefflera generally doesn't need to be fertilized, though adding mulch around the shrub will help control moisture and add nutrients to the soil. You can prune schefflera by cutting just above the leaf to control this plant's size.

Schefflera is native to Australia.

Indoor Growing

Since they don't tolerate freezing temperatures, schefflera is a good candidate for indoor container growing if you live in zone 13 or below. Schefflera grows well in pots or other containers with a loose, all-purpose potting soil. As with outdoor schefflera plants, they can tolerate sun or partial shade indoors. Fertilize container-grown plants occasionally with a water-soluble or a time-release houseplant fertilizer, though plants in shade require less frequent fertilization than those in full sun.

Pests and Problems

When grown in proper conditions, schefflera rarely develops pest or disease problems. Spider mites and scale can occasionally become an issue for indoor schefflera plants, but insecticides are available for these pests. Outdoor plants tend to be fairly pest-free, although excessive water can cause root rot and make schefflera more susceptible to infestations.


Schefflera is toxic if ingested, and its leaves and plant sap can cause minor skin irritation on contact. Toxicity is generally low and skin irritation rarely lasts longer than a few minutes, but Schefflera may be a plant to avoid if you have children.

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