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How to Plant Schefflera

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

Whether you are planting the large Brassaia actinophylla or the smaller Schefflera arboricola, both have the same requirements. The only difference will be the amount of space given to grow. Brassaia actinophylla or umbrella tree can grow 12 feet tall and requires more planting space, or a larger container, than the Schefflera arboricola, that grows 8 feet tall when planted outside. Planting and growing Scheffleras is not difficult, and even a novice gardener will have success.

Planting Schefflera Outdoors

Grow Schefflera outdoors in the warm, tropical and subtropical areas of the country. Plant the Schefflera outside in zones 9 and 10, as they will not survive in freezing temperatures.

Consider the variety of Schefflera when selecting a planting site. Larger varieties can grow 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and smaller varieties can reach 8 feet tall with a width that can be the same.

Select a location in your landscape that receives either full sunlight or partial sun. Schefflera will grow best if planted in areas that receive at least 4 hours of sunlight each day.

Select a planting site where the soil drains well and does not hold water. Amend the planting site with compost, manure or peat.

Dig a hole that is several times larger than the size of the Schefflera’s root ball. Place the plant in the hole and fill it up halfway with soil. Firm the soil up with your foot or hand. Fill the remainder of the hole up with soil and firm again.

Water the Schefflera well. Water the Schefflera twice a week for the first 3 weeks. Continue watering once per week, once the plant has established itself.

Fertilize in the spring, summer and early fall with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer.

Planting Schefflera in Containers

Select a container that is large enough to house the variety you are growing. Larger Scheffleras will require a 5- to 7-gallon container. Smaller varieties will grow in 3- to 5-gallon containers. Choose a container with drain holes.

Fill the container half full with a lightweight potting medium that contains organic material. Select a potting medium that drains well and does not hold water.

Place the Schefflera into the container, planting it no deeper than it was in its original container. Fill the remainder of the container with potting mix and press down to firm the soil up around the plant.

Water the container until water runs out through the drain holes in the bottom. Continue watering the Schefflera once per week, keeping the soil lightly moist but not soggy.

Situate the Schefflera outdoors on a porch or inside by a sunny window or door. Fertilize every other week with a water-soluble 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Peat moss
  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting mix
  • Water soluble fertilizer


  • Prune the Schefflera as needed to control its size and shape.
  • Pests are usually not a problem for plants grown outdoors. Indoor Scheffleras may be plagued with mealybugs, various scales and spider mites.

About the Author


For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.