How to Care for Shefflera Plants


Sometimes called umbrella plants, the schefflera (Schefflera actinophylla) is a popular houseplant that tolerates a lot of neglect and still thrives. Scheffleras are native to Australia and the Pacific Islands where they grow to more than 30 feet tall, have multiple trunks and foliage only at the top of the tree, according to the Australian Native Plants Society. In the home, pruning the schefflera will keep it compact and within a reasonable height.

Step 1

Place the schefflera in an area of the home that receives bright light, but not direct sun. The temperature should be between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Water the schefflera when the soil is dry. Add only enough water to the soil to barely moisten it.

Step 3

Fertilize the schefflera once every two months with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the rate recommended on the label. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength during the winter. Water the soil before fertilizing.

Step 4

Prune the schefflera to produce more foliage on the lower portions of the plant. Stalks without leaves can be cut to within 3 to 4 inches of the soil. Cut stalks with foliage to just below the lowest one. This may force the schefflera to produce foliage lower on the stalk.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Australian Native Plants Society: Schefflera Actinophylla
  • Colorado State University: Schefflera
  • North Dakota State University: Questions on Schefflera
Keywords: care of schefflera, umbrella plant care, grow schefflera plant

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.