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Schefflera Plants
Schefflera Trinette
Schefflera Alpine
Schefflera Arboricola

Easygoing, Fast-Growing Scheffleras

If you’re looking for an eas going, fast-growing plant, then Scheffleras are an excellent choice. Also known as umbrella plant, schefflera gets its name from the look of its long, oval leaves, which grow in clusters and create a large umbrella-like canopy. These highly adaptive plants feature lush, green or variegated foliage and are available in all shapes and sizes. Scheffleras are frequently used in interior decorating and are often seen adorning homes, lobbies, shopping malls, and waiting rooms. With the right care, these plants can flourish for years.

GENERAL CARE REQUIREMENTS

Lighting - Scheffleras do best in well-lit locations. Bright, indirect sunlight is best. Be careful not to put your plant in full sun, since leaves can burn. If you have less than ideal lighting, some of the solid green leaf varieties tend to acclimate better to medium light situations (variegated varieties require more light than green varieties). If the leaves start to droop, the plant may need light.

TIP: Give them a spin every now & then because like all plants, they grow towards the light.

Soil - Choose a light, well-draining, all-purpose potting soil. A good potting soil helps the plant to retain moisture, provide enough air for growing roots to breath (preventing root rot), and supports the plant by providing anchorage for the roots.

WateringScheffleras prefers to be kept on the moist side, but not so wet to promote root rot. They are fairly drought tolerant, so it’s always better to under-water than over-water.

Temperature - Scheffleras prefer the same temperatures that many homes are kept. Nighttime temperatures in the lower 60’s and daytime temperatures in the 70’s are ideal. Avoid placing your plant near a heating or air conditioning vent.

Pruning - Scheffleras are fast growers and respond well to pruning. If you feel that your plant is growing too “leggy”, too tall, or too bushy, prune to acquire and maintain the shape and size that is best suited for your space.

Feeding - Feed once a month with a general all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. You may stop feeding and reduce watering in fall and winter when plant growth slows down.

Pests - Watch for mealybugs, red spider mites, aphids, and scale. Apply insecticidal soap or horticultural oil to control pests.

TIP: Dust-free, well-humidified plants suffer the fewest problems, so frequent misting is recommended.

VARIETIES

Scheffleras are available in many varieties, offering lots of versatility in size, shape and foliage color. Here are a few of our favorite:

Schefflera Amate – is a gorgeous variety that features large, glossy leaves and an upright, bushy habit. As a houseplant, Amate can grow to 10-feet tall. This is not a narrow plant, so make sure you have the space for it. Amate holds leaves well, even under low light interior conditions. When indoors, place in area that receives morning sun, preferably in an east-facing window. When watering, make sure the soil is thoroughly watered and the excess is allowed to drain off. Trim and shape to prevent it from getting too bushy.

Schefflera Alpine - is a hardy variety that tolerates cooler conditions more than most other traditional selections. Alpine has a distinctive, columnar habit, which makes it ideal for growing in narrow spaces. It is an excellent indoor performer that does especially well in low light and well-drained soil. Alpine reaches between 2 to 6-feet tall. Prune to keep it tidy and to the desired height.

Schefflera Trinette – is another variegated variety with a dwarf growth habit that is well suited for indoor growing. Its glossy, oval leaves remain dark green, with showy yellow variegation and tinges of creamy white throughout. Grown indoors, Trinette can reach about 3-feet tall and wide. This variety performs well in both bright or indirect sunlight and prefers well-drained, moist soil. Prune anytime to keep it looking its best.

Schefflera Arboricola Green – is yet another dwarf variety with dark green, hand-shaped leaves and a compact habit. Does best in high light but will usually do just fine in medium light. Water once the topsoil becomes dry. Grown indoors, Arboricola can grow up to 4 to 8-feet tall. Prune and top to keep it to a manageable size.

For information on how to be successful with houseplants click here.

Filed Under: 
Orchid
Phothos
Bromeliad
Succlents
Calathea

Living Room Ready Houseplants

Houseplants have made a big comeback these days, taking over homes, offices, and social media. Cared for correctly, indoor plants can last for many years. But before you bring one home, you’ll need to know the care requirements, so you can give it exactly what it needs. We’ve highlighted a few of our most popular houseplants and tips on how to best care for them.

PHALAENOPSIS ORCHIDS

Phalaenopsis orchid (most common) - also known as moth orchids, are thick-leaved plants with exotic-looking, arching sprays of blooms. Color range includes whites, pinks, lavenders and yellows in both solid colors and mixes of stripes and spots, with blooms lasting as long as three months. These spectacular plants may appear to be fragile and delicate, but they're actually quite durable.

Light - Phalaenopsis are low-light orchids and prefer morning light. Place in an east-facing window or in a shaded southerly or westerly exposed window.

TIP: The color of your orchid leaves can help you determine if the lighting is sufficient. Dark green leaves may indicate there's not enough light and light green leaves may mean too much light.

Watering - Orchids like water (room temperature) trickled down their roots- just like in the rainforest. Orchids grown inside need to be watered about every 7-14 days.

TIP: Orchid roots that need watering will turn white in color. A well saturated root takes on greenish tone.

Pruning- Moth orchids will rebloom on an existing stalk as long as it hasn’t started to brown out (indicative of not enough water). Cut below the lowest bloom that has already fallen off and above the node below it that hasn’t sprouted yet. Other orchids will send up a new spike. Once done, remove the original spike close to the base.

Repotting

  • Just like other plants, an orchid is ready to be repotted into a larger container once its roots are flowing over the sides of the pot.
  • When repotting, simply remove the orchid from the container, prune out any dead roots (these will be brown and thin, not plump and green) and replace along with your new potting medium.
  • Phalaenopsis orchid can be planted in either moss or bark.

BROMELIADS

Bromeliads are available in an array of colors and textures. Foliage can be red, green, purple, orange, yellow, stripes, or spotted. Some of our favorite varieties include guzmaniaave (tall spike in the center) and neoregelia (shorter but have more color on their leaves). Bromeliads bloom for approximately three months.

Lighting - Bromeliads prefer low to medium light but not direct sunlight. A south, west, or east-facing window is ideal. Too much light can cause leaves to burn.

Watering - Follow a wet/dry watering cycle, keeping the soil evenly moist. Misters are great for bromeliads and provide much needed humidity.

Pruning - Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant strong and growing. Bromeliads have a mother plant with a bloom stalk, which forms pups (babies). Once the pups have roots, you can detach and repot them into new containers, or you can leave the pups on the mother plant, allowing them to get full and bushy.

Repotting - Repotted pups will take approximatley 6-9 months to start blooming on their own.

SUCCULENTS

Succulents are one of the most versatile plants on the globe. Because they have shallow roots, they can survive without a great deal of water or care and thrive in drought-like conditions. Succulents come in a variety of pleasing shapes and colors, looking good whether they have blooms or not. Succulents can be used in all sorts of ways; as table arrangements, living sculptures, and as cut flowers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to using succulents.

Lighting - Succulents love bright light in a west or south-facing window. Gray varieties are the exception and tend to not need as much sun.

Watering -Follow a wet/dry cycle (let them completely dry out). Succulents hold water in their leaves and should only be watered once the soil in the container has begun to wick away (pull away) from the sides of the pot. When this happens, it means that the plant has pulled every bit of moisture out of the potting medium and is now ready to be resaturated. Water well and repeat the cycle.

TIP: Different rules apply when watering aloe vera. Only water your aloe once the tips of the leaves are beginning to thin out and become slightly yellow. Any earlier, you run risk of root rot.

Pruning- If your cactus/succulent has become unruly, you can prune it in early spring.

TIP: Take the cuttings from your succulents, plant them in a pot, and wait to see what will grow.

PHILODENDRONS

Philodendrons are one of the easiest houseplants you can possibly grow (great for beginners). Whether you choose upright or trailing/climbing types, they are perfectly happy in a home setting. Philodendrons are very low maintenance and can sit idle for long periods. You can train them up a trellis or leave them to grow naturally. The most common variety is the Philodendron Cordatum that produces small, heart-shaped leaves.

Lighting - Philodendrons prefer medium to bright light.

Watering - All varieties prefer to go slightly dry in between waterings. However, it is important not to go too long, since newly emerging leaves need water to develop properly.

TIP: A lot of people want to know if they can propagate philodendron with just a leaf. The answer is no. While a cut leaf will last about one month in water, you’ll need two nodes and an eye on a vine for a successful cutting.

Pruning - As vining types of philodendrons continue to grow, they can become long and leggy. These plants don’t mind being cut back, so feel free to cut off trailing growth; it will encourage new shoots to form at the point where they were cut. Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant healthy and strong.

CALATHEA

Calathea is an easy-care, tropical plant also known as the zebra plant or zebrina plant (calathea zebrina). These trendy houseplants are loved for their large, oval, distinctly patterned, and vibrantly colored leaves. Leaves can be curved, ribbed, round, oval or pointed and exhibit various unique patterns. Leaf colors range from yellow, rose, white, and even olive.

Lighting - Calatheas prefer medium light.

Watering & Humidity - Keep the soil moist but never soggy. Calathea plants don’t like to be heavily watered. If your leaves are beginning to curl, it’s too wet. A humidity tray is the best way to grow calathea. Brown leaf edges may be a sign that the air is too dry. Humidity can be increased by placing your plant on a tray of wet pebbles (be sure the pot is on the pebbles and not in the water).

TIP: We don’t recommend misting your calatheas. Misting can cause damage to the hairy leaves and allow powdery mildew to occur.

Pruning - Prune your calathea plant regularly to keep it looking beautiful. Remove any yellow leaves to keep your plant healthy and strong.

To learn more about easy-care houseplants click here.
To learn more about the best indoor-blooming plants to enjoy in winter click here.

Houseplants 101: Lighting

Along with water, light is the most essential component of growing healthy plants. Some plants can survive with mediocre soil or without fertilizer, but no plant will live for long without light. And because lighting conditions in your home will have a direct effect on the growth and health of your houseplants, when selecting your indoor plants, it's important to consider where that plant will live before you bring it into your home. Too little or too much light can cause plants to look unhealthy, fail to grow and bloom, drop leaves or die altogether. Here are a few lighting tips to help you create a successful growing environment for your indoor plants:

KNOW HOW MUCH LIGHT IS RIGHT

All plants require different amounts of light. Some plants are adaptive and thrive in a myriad of light environments, while others are more temperamental and thrive best in high, direct light. Understanding which windows in your home will give your plant the best light is a key component of being successful.

East Facing Window (morning sun, gentle, direct sun) - East facing windows receive direct sun in the early morning when the rays are not as hot. Later in the day, the same windows will receive indirect light, avoiding scorching heat. Plants that need bright, indirect light do well in east-facing windows.

West Facing Window (afternoon sun, hot and bright) - Western windows will receive more indirect light in the early morning and early afternoon. The afternoon sun is intense and can increase the temperature near the window, so be careful with plants that could burn easily and move them a few feet away from the window.

North Facing Window (medium to low, indirect light) - North facing windows receive the least amount of light. These windows don’t receive any direct sunlight and work well for plants with low light requirements like ferns. In summer, light provided by a north-facing window is usually adequate for plants requiring bright, indirect light.

South Facing Window (full sun all day long) - South facing windows generally receive the most direct sunlight as long as the window is not shaded by a tree, canopy, or other structure. South facing windows typically provide the strongest and brightest light inside of your home. South facing windows provide a good spot for plants that require ‘direct’ sun indoors.

WAYS TO MAKE LIGHT LESS INTENSE

  • Window Sheers - Window sheers are lightweight, sheer curtains that reduce the light intensity that comes through the window.
  • Window Films - Window films block out varying levels of UV rays. Films are especially helpful in shielding sensitive plants from the harsh rays of the summer sun in south-facing windows.
  • Placement - You may need to move your plants a few feet back from the window to avoid the direct rays of sunlight or closer to a window to provide more light.

TIP: We recommend rotating plants often, so all foliage receives enough sunlight.

Keep in mind that seasonal lighting changes will also change the amount of light coming in through your windows. You may need to change the location of your plants due to the season. In the summer, the sun’s rays are more intense and longer in duration. Consequently, light coming in through your windows will be brighter and more intense for a longer period of time. However, in winter, the days are shorter with fewer hours of daylight and less intense light.

SIGNS OF TOO MUCH LIGHT

Signs of too much light include brown edges or burned patches on leaves. Plant receiving too much light might also drop their leaves.

SIGNS OF INSUFFICIENT LIGHT

Symptoms of too little light include yellow discoloration, stunted leaf growth, elongated stems, plants that look as though they are reaching toward the light source (stretching), and/or a pale, dull green color. Plants getting too little light may also drop their leaves, so this can be a tricky symptom, since yellowing and leaf-dropping can also be caused by overwatering.

TIP: Low light conditions are a constant challenge when trying to select the best plant for your home or office. One way to determine lighting conditions in your indoor space is whether or not you can read a book comfortably without a light on in the location where you are going to place the plant. If you struggle to say yes, then be sure to select houseplants that will thrive in these low light conditions.

To learn more about houseplant care click here.
To learn more about the best indoor plants to enjoy during the winter click here.