Umbrella Plant - S. Actinophylla - Araliaceae Schefflera

What You Need to Know About the Umbrella Plant – S. Actinophylla – Araliaceae Schefflera

With their delicate, umbrella-like leaf formation, these are some of the most attractive indoor foliage plants. They are easy to grow, provided the atmosphere is kept humid rather than dry (which will cause brown edges to the leaves) and will add height and structure to a massed arrangement.

In its native habitat of Australia and New Guinea, this plant can become a tree up to 40 ft. (12 m) high, but indoors it is more usual to see it as a pretty, bushy shrub with leaves borne in terminal rosettes resembling the spokes of an umbrella, hence the common name, umbrella plant. The upright stalks can reach as long as 32 in. (80 cm), bearing 7—16 glossy, bright green leaflets, which grow to 12 x 4 in. (30 x 10 cm). It looks equally attractive as an individual specimen or in a group display, where the lush foliage softens outlines.

Size: Height eventually 6 ½— 7 ft. (2-2.2 m).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room.

Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent soil drying out. Feeding: Apply standard liquid fertilizer once a month from spring through to fall.

Propagation: Take tip cuttings in summer, use rooting hormone, and seal in a plastic bag at 70°F (21 °C). Special needs: Increase humidity by placing the pot on a tray of moist pebbles and by misting when temper­atures are high.