Schefflera arboricola:Care and Propagation

Schefflera arboricola commonly known as Dwarf umbrella tree or Umbrella shrub, Star leaf, or Hawaiian elf belongs to the family Araliaceae. This plant is native to Taiwan and is tropical. Schefflera arboricola is well known for its attractive dark green palmate leaves which are glossy in appearance (1). This plant is a popular house plant and relatively very easy to care for.

Botanical description

The plant Schefflera arboricola is a shrub or a small tree and attains a maximum height of 10-15 feet and spreads 6-15 feet. It has a symmetrical canopy with a regular outline and looks like an umbrella.


The leaves are a palmate elliptical shape having entire margins. They are arranged alternately.


The flowers are green in color and are not showy.


The fruits are round fleshy and orange in color.

Schefflera arboricola care


Place the plant in a fairly bright position but shaded from the direct sun. although it will grow in reasonable light, it cannot abide by direct sun or even too much indirect light. Too much indirect light makes the plant leggy.


A minimum temperature of 18°C is vital for the plant Schefflera arboricola. This plant will do better in the range of 18-27°C (65 to 80 °F).


This plant can tolerate a moderate range of humidity. To maintain a better humidity mist your plant with water or just put the pot in a saucer or tray of water making sure the bottom of the pot never sits directly in the water by raising the pot on pot feet or pebbles.


Water whenever the top of the potting medium becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch.


Use any good organic well-drained potting medium, general-purpose potting soil that incorporates organic fertilizers microbial fungi, and beneficial microbes.


Use any organic fertilizers or liquid formulations with a higher concentration of nitrogen (N). Apply once a month.


Schefflera arboricola is easy to propagate from stem-cutting.

Common problems of Schefflera arboricola

This plant like any other house plant is susceptible to pests, spider mites, and aphids. If you see any sign of infestation just clean the plant with mild soap solution and wipe the leaves properly. In case of more infection just cut the leaf off or change the potting soil.

Another issue with this plant is root rot and sprawl which tends to lean on one side as they have weak stems that can not be able to handle the weight of the foliage. The best method to avoid this problem is pinching off the growing tips of the stems while these plants are young and forcing them to be bushier therefore stronger and able to stand straighter.

Overall, Schefflera arboricola is a popular and relatively low-maintenance houseplant that can add a touch of tropical beauty to indoor spaces. With proper care, it can thrive and provide years of enjoyment for plant enthusiasts.

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