Information About Schefflera Plants

Information About Schefflera Plants

Schefflera Repotting: Transplanting A Potted Schefflera Plant

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

In the wild, in-ground plants can reach 8 feet (2 m.) in height but you can easily keep it smaller by tip pruning. Transplanting a potted Schefflera will encourage new growth and keep the root system happy. Learn how to repot a Schefflera plant in this article.

Outdoor Schefflera Care: Can Schefflera Plants Grow Outside

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Can Schefflera plants grow outside? Sadly, the plant is not reliably hardy below United States Department of Agriculture zones 10 and 11, but it will make an interesting container specimen that can be moved indoors. Learn more in this article.

Sticky Schefflera Plant: Why Is My Schefflera Sticky

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Schefflera plants are remarkably tolerant houseplants and do well in a variety of situations; however, they are also prey to insect pests. Sticky Schefflera leaves are likely a symptom of some hitchhiking bugs that are sucking the life out of your prized plant.

Is Direct Sun on My Schefflera Plant Causing It to Become Yellow?

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Schefflera arboricola, commonly called umbrella plant or dwarf schefflera, forms a compact mound of glossy, evergreen leaves. It is a tropical plant and can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12. In colder climates, an umbrella plant is usually grown as a houseplant, or kept outdoors during warm weather and moved indoors during cold weather. Direct sun, as well as other environmental conditions and diseases, can cause yellow leaves.

Schefflera Species, Hawaiian Umbrella Tree, Dwarf Umbrella Plant, Arboricola Tree


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

North Billerica, Massachusetts

North Augusta, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Mar 19, 2013, nathanieledison from Santa Rosa, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Ours was outside in the mid 20 temps of december-january nights, but didn't bat an eye. In fact, it was still growing leaves! It lives underneath a deck where it hardly gets any light but some frost protection. Love it for the tropical look. Wish I had room for more!

On Nov 1, 2009, stephenp from Wirral, UK, Zone 9a,
United Kingdom (Zone 9a) wrote:

A tough, durable plant well capable of withstanding neglect. A very fast grower too, had it in the ground since late winter/Spring and since then it has looked perky and happy (even through some light ground frosts). It grew a foot in height in that time.

We get about an average absolute minimum temperature of -3C in the winter, about 5-7 times in a winter. It will need fleece protection in the worst nights but it's been subtantially 'hardened offf'

The snails try it but tend to stay away from it, I think it has poisoned quite a few unsuspecting insects!

Lovely plant for an exotic plant border (where applicable)

Edit: The plant got a bit of damage in our worst Winter in a few year so I dug it up, and a year later transplanted it. read more into a more sheltered border where it's been romping away since. Looked extremely healthy all Winter, though it was a fairly mild one.. it is around 6 feet tall now, so becoming quite large.

On Jun 17, 2009, puremagick from Brisbane,
Australia wrote:

This plant is awesome, I live in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and this plant grows great, never had any dramas with it. Also used to have one in Sydney, Australia too, same thing grow great. Mine both were in Full sun in the garden.

On Jan 10, 2008, ivytucker from Cape Coral, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is such a fun plant. I have a bonsai specimen that is thirty years old. I started it in Illinois and it moved here with me to southwest Florida, It now thrives in my garden in a large clay pot. This plant is easy to grow here and lends itself to a variety of uses. It is wonderful for informal topiary and if allowed to flower it produces beautiful fruit that is yellow orange red and purple. The mockingbirds in my back yard like the fruit. This plant makes a great braided specimen. I am going to try the all green "species" and create a standard topiary and see if I can get it to develop into a small landscape tree. I think the dwarf variegated forms Goldfinger or Trinette would make a fantastic espalier. There are several beautiful cultivars and I try to collect any different ones I fin. read more d. They seem to be somewhat drought tolerant but they can't stand parched or arid conditions for long. This plants self sows in my garden if allowed to set fruit.

On Jun 26, 2007, macybee from Deer Park, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

My husband planted the pot in the ground and it really took off. A year or so ago it even had little yellow fruit.
Never seen that!
Will try to figure out how to add a picture.

On Jul 30, 2006, matt5797 from Gallatin, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is a nice plant as a window specimen in areas like mine in the 6b range. Definately needs an open window with the 6+ hours of sun. The leaves usually have some defects when purchased at the store and also when new leaf octets set, but they always turn out nice when they get big. I purchased mine about 25 or so days ago and it already is putting new leaf octets (can vary but usually are about 8 leaves) on. I first noticed it a few months back as a novelty plant at a grocery and I had to buy one. It now sets by my Dieffenbachia on my window.

On Jun 18, 2006, eurokitty from Seattle, WA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Like its cousin the Schefflera actinophylla, you should exercise caution if you plant this in the ground, especially in a warm, humid area. (Schefflera actinophylla is on the noxious hit list for the state of Florida.)

The roots are known to cause damage to plumbing, buried electrical lines and other infrastructures. This one is probably OK if you plant it well away from other large trees, any structures or any kind of buried pipes.

On Mar 29, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had my plant for years now. I transplanted it a couple weeks ago for the first time since I bought it, and now Im seeing little yellow scale things on the leaves and trunk. I sprayed it down with neem oil, hoping that will do the trick. I think Im going to take it outside and soak it down thoroughly, and let it sit for a while, then neem it again. I would be crushed to lose this plant it has become part of the family!
Other than the recent pests, I have not had a single problem with it. It will tell you what it needs, thats for sure.

On Nov 30, 2005, fluffygrue from Manchester,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

I inherited an established 5 foot plant and had it outside in part-shade during summer, where it was happy. Thought I'd see how it coped with our first frosts so left it out for about a week where night temperatures were dropping to minus 8 Celcius ish. It wasn't too impressed and some foliage died back, but bounced back into life after a few weeks. Nice little plant, seems robust and low maintenance.

On Sep 24, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

The all green form is very cold tolerant-takes 18-20 degrees, at least it did in 1992. I'm starting to see the variegated ones more and more outdoors. It's one of those "common plants" that stands out when grown large or uncommonly well. All make great Bonsai banyon trees that can live for decades.

On May 2, 2005, Dave_in_Devon from Torquay,
United Kingdom (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've been growing the golden variegated form 'Gold Capella' outside, here in the coastal SW of England for a couple of years. Temperatures can fall to around minus 2C in winter for very short periods, but the plant gets overhead protection from a nearby evergreen tree to prevent 'radiational freezing' on clear nights. Generally the average winter temp (Dec - early March) is around 9C with very few nights falling below zero. In summer it gets early morning sun, but dappled shade for the rest of the day. The soil is usually moist and very humus enriched, but being sharply drained, it can dry out in hot weather. The pH is about 6.2 - slightly acid.

Feeding is by way of a couple of handfuls of pelleted poultry manure in spring and summer, plus an occasional dose of a bal. read more ance liquid feed. Growth in the first year was steady with about 20" being added by the end of the growing season. Since the stems were a bit 'leggy' (it was not the best looking of specimens when planted) all of the stems were cut very back very hard in early autumn 2004 and it has made nearly 12" of bushier growth since then (May 2005).

On Feb 18, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mine is growing in the front entrance way of my house, filling in the hallway around the fountain with tropical looking foliage. It gets light from the (window?) above the front door and watering about once a month if I remember.

The plant always looks great with barely any care.

On Jan 28, 2005, angelam from melbourne,
Australia wrote:

We inherited a 4 ft plant in a large concrete pot with our house. Too heavy to move, out of sight and forgotten it survived 8 years, on only rain-water and no feeding except what roots growing through the drainage hole found. These were broken occasionally by us to protect the path. I then needed something to go at the base of a new retaining wall, in significant shade and with likely tree root competition.

It seemed a tough position so I decided it would cope best. It was finally liberated from the pot. I had to savage the roots, they were so curled round themselves. I put it in the ground and it has never looked back. 3 years later it is at least twice as wide and about 5ft high, glossy, and now with dense foliage, green and still living on only rainwater, in a clay soil . read more on a steep slope. I have never met such an uncomplaining plant.

On Nov 27, 2004, azsunnygrl from Tucson, AZ wrote:

I have had a plant growing on my patio all summer and it pretty much doubled in size in six months. It currently is 3-1/2 feet tall x 3-1/2 feet wide. I had some problems with aphids in the spring, but after spraying with a fungicide/insecticide I had no further problems. The trick growing it in Southeastern Arizona is to keep it moist without getting it too wet. I had a large plant several years ago I killed with too much water during the hot dry summer. My current plant seems to like the morning sun on the east side of my house. I've brought it inside now that we are close to freezing at night and my patio is being renovated, but will return it outside as soon as construction is completed. It doesn't seem to mind the cooler weather. It never seems to go dormant here.

On Aug 5, 2004, Carapss from Olhгo,
Portugal wrote:

I've had it for a year now. I've passed the fungi phase, the insect phase, and the falling leaf phase. All with success. Now, I'm in a very worried period, because it looks like it's definitely going away. The majority of its leafs are dark brown. and falling. I just don't have a clue of what happened.

On Jul 31, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This is the first plant we had at home, when I was quite young (7-8 years old). My mom kept it inside, in a partially shaded place. It did somewhat well until it got attacked by insects of all kinds and associated fungi. It was a disaster, and the plant rapidly died. Several years later, thereґs another plant growing near here, and I am noticing the same thing happening to it. I guess itґs just too vulnerable to insects, specially aphids and relatives.

On Jul 31, 2004, punaheledp from Kailua, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

I've had two potted, flanking my exterior door for years. It's a light, airy spot but they only get a bit of early morning sun. Usually light water and they don't mind going dry in between. Very easy care for an attractive effect. An occasional trim keeps them full and bushy.

What they seem to like best is, a few times a year, I will put them out when we have a heavy rain, and they always immediately put out new leaf. They also liked the bit of menehune magic I added to their pots. Have had scale sometimes, but have trimmed out infected areas and plants do fine. They also will do well as an indoor plant.

On Jul 23, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have the variegated form of this plant (Schefflera arboricola) growing in my front yard in a row in front of one of the bedrooms in my house. They get full sun, and our house is positioned North/South in direction. They get brownish leaves that are covered in mold if you don't water them for about a week or more but recover when sprayed with the hose. They are native to Taiwan and the Pacific Islands. I have the hybrid form, which has golden yellow and green leaves. They are not trees, unlike the pest plant Schefflera or Queensland Umbrella Tree, which is also called the Octopus Tree (its a pest because it clogs up your pipes and ruins driveways with its water-guzzling, thick and agressive roots). So far the Schefflera Arboricola "Trinette" hybrid I have shows almost no signs of invasive. read more ness and grows well in its position. They like to be watered a few times a week and love full sun. If you know any more about it and how to take care of it, please tell me! Also see the image for this plant I'm sending in, which should appear in the gallery very soon!

On Jun 15, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had mine for about four months and it's putting on so much new growth! Started out as a two and a half foot tall plant. It's now over three feet tall. I'll be repotting it soon I imagine. I have it on my porch where it gets all day full shade and sun in the evenings.

I water it once it almost dries out, soil, foliage and all.

Size and growth rate:
It can grow up to 10-12 feet, and can be 3-4 feet wide. Given the best conditions it can grow 10 inches per year.

Light and Temperature:
Ideal temperature is 60-70 degrees F. during the day, and not below 50 degrees F. at night.

Watering and Feeding:
Scheffleras need lots of water during the summer, and should be watered thoroughly once or twice a week with an occasional misting (but only once every 2 weeks in the winter). Feed once per month during summer.

Soil and transplanting:
Schefflera is not a very demanding plant as far as soil is concerned, but is FUSSY about wet feet. DO NOT allow water to remain in saucer underneath. Use regular potting soil mixed with a little sand to ensure g. read more ood drainage. If the plant is growing well, it may need transplanting every spring in a pot 1 size larger than the previous.

It may be necessary to cut back the Schefflera from time to time if it is getting too large or leggy. Do this in the fall when it has stopped growing for the year. This can also be done in early spring. When grooming in spring, it is a good time to take cuttings.

Professional gardeners usually prefer to propagate from seed, but the seeds soon lose their ability to germinate. There is a better chance of success by taking cuttings. Plant the cuttings in a sandy soil mixture and cover with plastic until they have taken root. Can also take root in a glass of water.

Common problems:
The plant gets thin, long and leggy- It is too warm and not getting enough light. Move to cooler and brighter spot.

Yellow, falling leaves- This is often the result of too much water, or water that has been left in saucer below. It does NOT like "wet feet"! Let it dry out and water less in the future. Empty that saucer.

Scale on the leaves and stems- This must be dealt with immediately. If the attack is small, dab each insect with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol and scrape them off with a small knife.

Schefflera is frequently attacked by spider mites. Misting can help keep them at bay. Combat with pesticides. Always read and follow label instructions.

Buying tips:
Make sure it has healthy, shiny leaves. The leaves should not be yellow, but undersides should have a matte appearance.

The Schefflera can live many years if looked after right. It is often lack of room that leads to its demise.

Easy to look after.

On Aug 8, 2001, tiredwabbit from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Leaves usually grow in sections of 8. Can get a bit leggy, a good pruning will solve that problem. Plus it will reward you with a lot of new growth.

How to Prune Variegated Arboricola Trinettes

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The "Trinette" schefflera variety (Schefflera arboricola "Trinette") features dark green, yellow and white variegated leaves with color intensity that varies depending on the amount of sunlight. "Trinette" is hardy outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9B through 11, but is grown commonly as a houseplant in cooler climates. While the standard species can grow up to 25 feet tall, "Trinette" only grows to 6 feet tall, but can be pruned to maintain a height of about 3 feet tall. Light pruning also might be required to maintain shape and encourage bushy growth.

Disinfect the blades of your pruning tools with a solution of diluted bleach, using one part chlorine bleach to nine parts water. "Trinette" schefflera has very narrow, soft stems, so the only pruning tools required are a pair of bypass pruners and hedge shears.

Pinch back the new growth tips and the end of a branch of leaves to encourage a bushy growth habit in new "Trinette" plants. The new growth tips simply are the point through which new leaves emerge pinch off the developing leaves.

Cut back individual plant stems that grow outside the basic shape of the the plant, making the cut just below a leaf. This pruning method works best if you allow the schefflera to grow generally in its natural shape, but want to control very long stems that affect the balance of the plant.

Trim the entire plant with hedge shears if you want to maintain a uniform shape across the entire plant. Use this method to make a perfectly round plant or when you use "Trinette" schefflera as a hedge. Hedge shears allow you to cut multiple stems at once, rather than wasting time cutting individual stems with bypass pruners.

Remove dead, damaged and diseased foliage as they occur. Cut back to just below the nearest healthy leaf, or cut the entire stem back to the point of origin on the parent stem or back to the ground. Always disinfect your pruning tools immediately after cutting through a diseased stem so you don't spread disease to other parts of the "Trinette" schefflera or to other plants in your garden.

  • Spring and fall are the best times to prune scheffleras because the weather is cooler than the hot summer months. Hot weather and drought conditions already put plants under stress without the added stress of recovering from pruning.
  • If you want to trim the plant with hedge shears to reduce the size, remove no more than one-third of the total plant height at once. Wait a few months up to one year before cutting back another third of the plant.

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.