The common name of the arboricola is the umbrella plant, and it belongs to the araliaceae family. The botanical name of the plant is the schefflera arboricola compacta. According to GreenPatio.com, this hardy, easy-to-grow shrub makes a nice indoor houseplant in almost any conditions. The plant has one stem coming out of the soil with branches branching off the stem with bright green leaves that resemble an umbrella, which has a shading affect.
The soil should be watered and allowed to dry to about 1/2 inch below the soil line before watering again. During the winter, reduce watering because this plant will not use as much water when it is in a dormant state. If the plant has too much water, the leaf color will fade and fall off the tree. Do not let the plant sit in water. Remove the drainage tray and empty the water after the runoff has stopped.
The arboricola needs indirect sunlight. The ideal location would be in a corner or another area where the light comes through a window, but is not directly shining on the plant.
The branches of the arboricola can grow wild and will need pruning to keep the plant in shape. Pruning shears can be used to cut back the tips of the branches and shape the plant any way you see fit. The plant will not be affected by continued pruning.
Fertilize the plant with a 20-20-20 (nitrogen, phosphates, potassium) product monthly during the growing season, which is spring through fall. You can fertilize every two weeks by cutting the full strength in half and use twice a month instead of once a month.
Spider mites are a common pest to the arboricola and can be treated and prevented by using a misting bottle filled with a soapy solution. Apply the solution to the plant with a light misting. The spider mites will die, preventing them from attacking the plant.
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