The Encyclopedia of House Plants

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Family: Araliaceae.

Schefflera arboricolla Common name(s): Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree
Schefflera Genus of about 900 species of mostly evergreen shrubs, trees, and climbers (some epiphytic when juvenile) from warm-temperate and tropical areas of S.E. Asia to the Pacific islands and Central and South America. In subtropical gardens Schefflera is known as the Octopus Tree because of its spectacular tentacle-like flowers. Shefflera is not difficult to grow. The number of leaflets per stalk increases from 4 to 12 with age.
Growing conditions Watering and misting Propagation
Average or above average warmth in summer. Keep fairy cool in winter - minimum temperature 50 F. Bright light - avoid direct sunshine. Water freely from spring to autumn - sparingly in Winter. Use tepid water. Mist leaves frequently, especially in hot weather. Take semi-ripe stem cuttings in spring or summer. Use a rooting hormone and provide bottom head. Air-layer in spring. Sow seed at 66-75 F (19-24 C) in spring.
Schefflera actinophylla
Queensland Umbrella Tree, Octopus Tree, most common species, large leaves of 7-16 large ovate to oblong leaflets to 12" long, leathery, glossy and rich green; fewer and smaller leaflets on juvenile plants which are usually grown.
Schefflera arboricola
Dwarf Schefflera, leaves divided into 7-11 obovate, stalked, short-pointed leaflets to 4" long; leaflets on juvenile plants have short, broadly spaced teeth; 'Green Gold' has leaves variously splashed golden yellow. Schefflera arboricola

User-submitted additions and corrections:

Virginia USA
26th Oct 2004
I took 8" cutting 2-yrs ago, stripped all but top (one stem) leafs. Put it in potting soil and 8" pot. I now have a single one stem plant loaded with leafs that stands 7' 10" that must be supported because of its weight and is still in that 8" pot. -dft-
20th Nov 2004
One month ago I posted about the 7' 10" Schefflera I have. Today it has gone thru the hung ceiling tile and is standing at 8'6" tall. It has to wighted now by using fish sinkers & twine on a pully for counter weight to keep it standing. Today there is four more side branch which should add another 4" to 5" in the next 2 weeks. DFT
17th May 2006
Have 25yr. old plant. 13'tall (support branches along ceiling with tea-cup hooks)Beautiful showpiece. Last month I was in near-fatal car accident and contractors put it outside during kitchen renovations (I was in hospital). It was exposed to chilly april frosty nights...all leaves died. Sadly, I had to prune it down to just 3-4' (no leaves left) just 5 stems. Hoping it will resurrect as I did from my own terrible accident...
30th Jul 2006
Our schefflera is planted outside and has grown a lot taller than the house. Every once in a while a freeze will knock it down, but it always comes back on its own. It is 23 years old.
3rd Jun 2007
We were given our plant 10 years ago. It had been in my mothers home not doing to well. It stood approx. 5' at the time. We have placed it in an open area where it recieves indirect bright light. It has grown to be 12' high. An absolutely beautiful plant. When we first were given the plant, it had two branches, now it has three, with eight leaves on each stem. We will be moving across country this summer and hope to move it successfully.
23rd Nov 2007
i have had two of these plants, one for 37 years and the other 12. both are quite large, 8 and 12 feet. i put them outside in the shade in the spring (they love this), and return them to the house before it get cold. they have been fine down to 40 degrees. seem to like it.
8th Nov 2008
My Schefflera is about 20 years old. I have had to cut it back the last few years to contol its size. It has never been outside but has produced blooms last year and the year before, around the end of November. They are long stems covered with very small cream colored blossoms that give out a rather pungent oder. As a matter of fact, the oder is what called my attention to the flowers the very first time it bloomed.
Georgia- USA
7th Dec 2008
I've grown these for about 5 years now, and they're wonderful. The biggest is about 7 feet tall now. They seem not to mind cold, I had mine out for all but the coldest nights, and it took mid 20's with ease. They actually seems to grow much more in spring and fall than in summer, popping out new leaves all over the place. I haven't had any problems other than scale
28th Feb 2009
My guess-you overwatered it or it isn't getting enough sun. Make sure the water drains from the bottom, and check the roots for root rot by pulling the plant out of the pot.
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