How To Grow An Umbrella Plant Indoors In Your Apartment

6 Min Read

Umbrella plants aren’t top of list for popular houseplants these days, but they’re a low-maintenance, easy-to-care for plant that can add graceful foliage to a room. Perhaps these underappreciated gems are ripe for a revival in home.

The Dwarf umbrella tree is also another name for the Umbrella plant. Although these plants do not bloom, there are variations with distinctive leaf patterns. The long leaves of the Schefflera plant resemble the form of an umbrella.

The Umbrella houseplant is a popular plant with a wide range of colors. Schefflera plant care is one of the reasons the plant is so popular. These plants are easy to care for, but improper care can be harmful.

Umbrella Plant

The Umbrella plant (Schefflera or Heptapleurum) is a large tropical plant genus that includes two species that make great houseplants. The longer, lustrous, oval green leaves of Schefflera actinophylla drape gracefully from a central stem, resembling an umbrella.

Schefflera arboricola is a flowering plant native to Taiwan and Hainan Province, China, in the Araliaceae family. Dwarf umbrella tree is its popular name because it resembles a smaller form of the umbrella tree.

Schefflera plants are usually grown outside to show off its long red, white, or pink tentacle-like flowers. Indoor plants rarely produce flowers. Schefflera plants grow quickly, when planted outside; they can reach three feet per year.

A mature Schefflera can contain 12 to 16 leaflets on a single stalk, but an immature Schefflera will have four to six. Schefflera arboricola has smaller, glossier leaves with creamy variegation.

These Indoor plants grow slowly, especially if kept relatively confined in a tight-fitting container. To humans, all portions of the Schefflera plant are mildly toxic, while to dogs, cats, and horses, all parts are very toxic.

Plant Overview

  • Common Name: Schefflera, umbrella plant, umbrella tree
  • Botanical Name: Schefflera spp.
  • Family: Araliaceae
  • Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen
  • Mature Size: 4 to 6 feet. tall, 3 to 6 feet wide (indoors); up to 25 feet tall (outdoors)
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, indirect light
  • Soil Type: Rich and moderately moist
  • Soil pH: Slightly acidic (6.0-6.5)
  • Bloom Time: Summer (outdoors)
  • Flower Color: White, pink, or red (indoor plants rarely bloom)
  • Hardiness Zones: 10–12 (USDA)
  • Native Area: Taiwan
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic humans, toxic to pets

Types of Umbrella Plants

There are mainly two species of the Schefflera genus which are common houseplants:

  • Schefflera actinophylla: The oval leaves of this common Schefflera grow up to 10 inches from a central stem. Outdoors, it may grow to be a 50-foot specimen, although indoor potted plants often reach 15 feet tall.
  • Schefflera arboricola: This smaller variety, popular in home gardens, has one- to two-inch leaves that grow in tightly clustered clusters. Outside, it may reach a height of 25 feet, but indoors, it is usually kept to no more than six feet.

Growing Guides of Umbrella Plant

Schefflera arboricola is a popular houseplant due to its tolerance of neglect and poor growth conditions. In milder regions where frosts are less severe, it is often planted as a garden plant.

The umbrella plants are simple to grow indoors, they may have some difficulties. The first thing to keep in mind, especially if you have pets, is that this plant is mildly harmful to dogs and cats.

When putting an indoor plant out, keep it out of direct sunlight. It is used to reduce light at home and cannot adjust to bright sunlight outside.

These plants need both heat and humidity to thrive. Keep the plant away from draughty windows and doors, and heating and cooling vents. If the plant is dropping leaves because it is too cold, move it to a warmer area.


Schefflera may also require pruning on occasion, especially if it is not getting enough light. Remove all that appears to be overgrown or leggy. Schefflera houseplants recover rapidly from pruning and will appear fuller and lush soon.

It is best to prune Umbrella plants in the spring, but always keep an eye on the plant and remove any unhealthy or drooping parts are as possible. Cut long shoots by up to two-thirds, but make sure to cut above leaf buds.


There are several methods for propagating Umbrella plant. The Umbrella plant is best propagated in the spring. This prevents the plant from being overgrown and provides new plants. Cuttings can be used to propagate Schefflera.

  • Remove all but four or five leaves from the top of the stem by cutting a six-inch length of stem at a 45-degree angle using sharp pruners.
  • Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, then set it in a potting soil-filled container. To keep humidity in, cover the pot with a loosely secured plastic bag and set it in bright indirect light.
  • Check the container daily to ensure the soil is wet, and water when needed. Gently pull on the stem to check for root formation.
  • If roots have formed after a month, remove the plastic bag and continue growing the new plant. If no roots form, discard the cutting and try again with a new cutting.

Umbrella Plants Care

Umbrella plants are simple to grow if they are given lots of indirect light, warmth, and humidity. Bottom heat may be required in coldest regions. Pruning leggy Schefflera will produce a fuller plant.

The plant likes greater light levels, but it can adapt to a wide range of light levels. As a tropical plant, it prefers wetness, but avoids leaving it in water after watering. It like damp but not wet soil, so let it dry between watering.

Basic care and maintenance will ensure that this plant looks healthy and lives a long life inside. It’s a plant which require less, concerning watering and feeding much will cause plant problems.

Soil and Fertilizer

Umbrella plant is in a rich, loose, well-drained potting soil if growing indoors. A well-draining, sandy loam soil with a slightly acidic pH is good for outdoor growth. Planting in an outdoor setting where the soil becomes damp is not advised.

During the growing season, feed Umbrella plants with liquid fertilizer twice a week, or use two cases of slow-release pellets. They are heavy feeders and will profit from the extra nutrients.

Light and Water

Umbrella plant loves indirect light that is bright. Move potted plants outside in the summer where they will receive bright light but not direct sunlight. A Schefflera plant becomes leggy or floppy may be lacking in light. Never plant a Schefflera in full sun since high heat might scorch the leaves.

During growing season, water often and sprits the leaves with water. Wait until the dirt in the pot dries up before giving it a good bath. Reduce water use in the cold months. Overwatering will eventually destroy a Schefflera plant. Yellow and fallen leaves indicate that may be overwatering.

Temperature and Humidity

Umbrella plant, as a tropical plant, requires high humidity and tropical temperatures; it will suffer in temperatures lower than 60 degree F. Keep these plants away from drafts and dry heating vents.

The leaves of an under watered or chilled Schefflera will drop fast, so treat leaf-drop and rectify the problem if occurs. If the plant loses all leaves, try to rescue it by putting it outside in the spring and giving it plenty of water.

Pests and Diseases

Umbrella plant is affected by both bacterial and alternaria leaf spots. These diseases are readily treated by avoiding overhead watering, not watering in the evening, and applying a copper fungicide if these watering habits do not work.

Aphids, which produce a honeydew secretion that leads to sooty mould, are an issue for Schefflera indoors; treat for aphids with an insecticidal soap spray. Outdoors, the plant is prone to pests such as mealy bugs, spider mites, and scale insects.

Common Problems with Umbrella plant

Umbrella plant is a low-maintenance plant, although it may have issues from time to time. Here’s how to determine what the problem is.

Yellowing and losing leaves

Overwatering is often the cause of yellowing Schefflera leaves. To see if it helps, try watering less. If not, your plant may be getting less light, so move it to a brighter spot.

An umbrella plant will naturally shed its lowest leaves in to encourage new growth. If it’s losing upper leaves, it might be due to various factors, including over-watering, under-watering, much heat, rapid temperature decreases, or a lack of light.

Brown Spots on Leaves

Spots on your Schefflera are most likely caused by underwatering. Water your plant more often since the growth season if this is the case. It is best to water the plant well and then let the soil to dry before giving it another deep watering.

Hope you enjoyed reading the Planting guide of Umbrella plant. If you think we missed something or have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments section below.

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