Care For Schefflera Arboricola – Dwarf Umbrella Tree

Schefflera makes a wonderful tropical houseplant. They are attractive and easy to care for. They are also good indoor air purifiers.

Schefflera actinophylla is the “dwarf” sibling of the old-fashioned umbrella plant. Today, one variation of the giant Schefflera planted is named “Amate,” although “Dwarf Umbrella trees” have several kinds and can be found in practically any garden centre or nursery. Here are a number of common Dwarf Schefflera varieties:

Quick Growing Guide

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Botanical Name: Schefflera Arboricola

Also Called: Dwarf schefflera, dwarf scheff, dwarf umbrella tree.

En français: Schefflera

Water: Wait until it’s soil dries out and then thoroughly soak

Hardiness Zones:

  • Arboricola – regular green variety
  • Renate Green variety that has more ripple to the leaves
  • ‘Gold Capella’ variegated yellow or gold and green leaves
  • ‘Trinette’ variegated cream and green leaves
  • ‘Dazzle’ variegated some leaves almost completely creamy white

Others are being introduced and tested at the moment. Several new arboricola varieties are sure to be introduced within the next years.

Dwarf Umbrella Light Levels

The Schefflera arboricola can tolerate a broad range of light levels, but prefers higher light intensities. Their happy place is intense light levels between full sun and full shade.

If the branches and stems are left alone, they can stretch and grow “out of shape.” With little strategic trimming, you can easily maintain them formed.


Pruning the bushes makes them fuller, rounder, and thicker, with leaves 4 to 6 inches broad that resemble a “fingered umbrella.” The dwarf scheff is also cultivated in tree shapes, bonsai, and braided in the same way as Ficus trees are. When properly cared for, a Schefflera/Umbrella tree can live for years.

The dwarf Schefflera can withstand severe pruning and recover quickly. When necessary, don’t be scared to trim the plant. Here are detailed instructions.

Dwarf Umbrella Plant Roots & Water

These plants have a large root system and they do not like to sit in water. Avoid leaving the plant on the saucer after watering; it likes to be damp but not wet. If the leaves turn black and begin to fall off, this is an indication that the soil is remaining too damp or moist. On the other hand, if the leaf tips are excessively dry, they wrinkle.

When cultivated outside, they also seek water.

Clean Its Leaves Regularly

Spider mites are attracted to Scheff. Wipe the plant’s leaves with a moist towel on a regular basis, paying special attention to the undersides, where mites tend to congregate. Your local garden shop may recommend some “safe” prophylactic measures, such as “Safer Soap,” for your area.

Care Summary for Schefflera

Remember with your dwarf umbrella / schefflera care:

  • Don’t keep the plant wet
  • Place the plant in as bright an area as you can
  • Watch out for mites
  • Don’t be afraid to prune when needed

That’s a quick look at one of the most easy to find indoor plants today – the Umbrella plant or Schefflera Arboricola.

Schefflera Arboricola Propagation from Cuttings

Pick a strong stem from your Scheff. Cut about 6 to 8 inches of stem (about 15 to 20 cm) at a 45-degree angle. In a 6 to 8 inch (15 to 20cm) container, add new potting soil. Make a two-inch (5cm) deep hole using your finger or pencil. Dip the cut end of your stem in hormone powder and set it in the hole, carefully pressing the dirt down. Water thoroughly and place the pot in a well-lit but not direct sunlight location. Easy peasy!

You’re done! Keep an eye it as it grows.

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