umbrella plant

Umbrella Plant Care and Propagation (Comprehensive Guide)

Umbrella plant is an interesting indoor plant that attracts great attention from a lot of individuals. The process of care for and propagation for an umbrella plant tree is not difficult, and in return for your efforts, the plant will flourish and produce leaves with a glossy appearance. Find out more here about the requirements and concerns of your Schefflera.

umbrella tree plant
umbrella tree plant

What is Umbrella Plant?

The umbrella plant tree, also known as the tiny umbrella tree, parasol plant, or octopus tree, is another indoor plant with several names (Schefflera or Heptapleurum). 

As an outdoor multi-trunk tree, the umbrella plant has to be periodically clipped and topped in order to maintain a reasonable height within the house. It may reach heights of over 15 meters. Its near cousin Schefflera Actinophylla must be planted with caution due to its invasive behavior and perception as a weed in certain areas.


There are three primary varieties: variegated (Gold Capella), plain green-leafed, and dwarf-sized trees just known as Schefflera, and umbrella plants sold in garden supply shops. As bonsai trees, they are also grown. Whether you want to buy a plant but aren’t sure if it’s an S.arboricola or S.actinophylla and it simply goes by the name Schefflera, there are a few minor distinctions, however, the care requirements are the same, so I’d advise you to buy it if you like it.

How they look

They may have one stem, but they usually have two or more and several branches with palmate compound or whorled leaves (like fingers extending from the stalk) that have four to twelve leaflets or more, giving them the appearance of an umbrella spoke. The almost oval-shaped glossy leaflets are a few inches in length and width and are shiny.


The umbrella plant, sometimes known as the octopus tree, is a tropical outdoor plant that has vivid red blossoms that resemble tentacles and rise above the leaves. Unfortunately, umbrella plant indoor cultivation prevents us from getting them to blossom.


Types of pets such as cats and dogs that swallow the umbrella tree feel ill since it is moderately harmful to them. If you’re considering whether umbrella plants toxic to cats or not, the answer is YES.

umbrella plant toxic to cats
umbrella plant toxic to cats

Level of care

This plant will look beautiful and live a long life inside with little care and upkeep. With regards to watering and feeding, this plant is one where less is more since too much of either can result in issues. When a tree reaches maturity, unless it is trimmed and pinched, it is probable that it will need to be supported by a stake or moss stick (if it has reached sufficient maturity and generates aerial roots). 


Its adaptability continues with the option to keep it short and compact on the coffee table or have it as a tall, thin specimen set at floor level and reaching towards the ceiling. It may be used in a wide range of postures and will adjust to different environments.

Umbrella Plant Care Guide

umbrella plant care
umbrella plant care

How to care for an umbrella plant? There are several factors you need to consider as below:

Umbrella Plant Light

If you want the greatest results, choose a location with excellent light but no direct sunshine; over time, this will produce a tidy, bushy plant that will grow relatively straight up and tall and “tree” like.

However, Schefflera is generally a tolerant plant, so even if you choose a somewhat darker location for it, everything ought to still work well. Although since the leaves will be more widely spread apart, they could develop more slowly and seem lankier. In order to maintain the pot upright and prevent it from leaning and bending toward the light source, you will also need to rotate it slightly once a week or so.

Direct sunshine in the early morning or late afternoon will be tolerated, but more than a few hours each day will burn the leaves.


For very excellent development to happen, the umbrella plant likes to be growing in damp soil, although it will easily tolerate some underwatering. Therefore, it should be understood if you neglect to water it for a week or two after the soil has last dried up.

dwarf umbrella plant
dwarf umbrella plant

Though being overwatered may cause root and stem rot, it is less forgiving. To get around this issue, pour away any extra water that has accumulated in the drip tray. Generally speaking, larger plants need more water, with the exception of the winter months when they stay dormant and may survive on just water.

In light of the above, it is wise to attempt to water your plant when the top inch of soil becomes dry. This will probably happen once a week in most houses, but if it’s chilly or there isn’t much light, it could take longer. On the other hand, warm weather and sunny spots could make you reach for the watering can more regularly.


Many modern house plants don’t often mind the normal humidity levels you may find in a home or workplace.

But because these plants are particularly attractive to insects like Red Spider Mite and Scale, if you keep running into issues with them, you may want to look at techniques to increase the humidity in the air to keep them away permanently.

High humidity levels may help you keep insects away since umbrella plants are highly popular with them.


Over the course of a growing season, Umbrella plants may produce a lot of leaves and stem development, therefore they do need frequent feedings to support and maintain that rate of growth. Every two weeks, apply a general fertilizer at regular strength, as directed by the manufacturer.

When the temperature lowers or the plant turns dormant, stop feeding it. When you decide it is tall enough and has achieved its target (or final) height, you can also opt to significantly diminish it or stop growing it completely.

Scheffleras like a constant temperature between 59 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius). The all-green variety often thrives at the lower end of the temperature range, while the variegated varieties favor higher temperatures. The leaves will fall from the trees when it is too chilly.


umbrella plant propagation
umbrella plant propagation

Considering that it might grow to be rather tall, the umbrella plant can thrive in a little container. Which is very handy and gentle on your back when you have to lug them outside to the potting shed since even after they’ve achieved maturity, they still need to be repotted every two to three years.

You should pot up young seedlings into a fresh, somewhat larger container than the previous one, and you may do the same with older plants. You may, however, simply top dress by removing the top inch of soil and adding new compost in its place.

The use of common potting soil or houseplant compost is acceptable in both situations. After repotting, your plant won’t need any further fertilizer for at least two to three months since the new compost usually has enough nutrients to keep things going.

Umbrella Plant Propagation

How to propagate umbrella plant? It’s difficult for the typical gardener to reproduce these houseplants (we’ve never had much success), but if you’re interested in trying, you need to remove the growth tips in the spring and utilize them as propagating tissue (cuttings).

Take a cutting that is around 5 cm (2 inches) long and plant it in potting soil or commercial compost, which is the same soil that the parent plant should be growing in. If you have a rooting hormone, it’s usually a good idea to apply it, and even though it seems like obvious sense, make sure the growing tip is pointing upward and not into the dirt!

Rapidity of Growth

umbrella plant indoor
umbrella plant indoor

One of the fastest-growing indoor plants is this one. Good light levels, frequent watering, feeding, and warmth will offer your plant a cheetah pace of indoor development throughout the growing seasons of Spring and Summer. So much so that it’s possible to increase the height of an umbrella plant from its current size to a very tall one in the course of only one growing season.

As Winter draws near, the temperature lowers, and the amount of light diminishes. As a result, growth stops, and nothing more will appear until the next spring. This will also occur if you choose to place your plant in a dimly lit area of your house.

Height and Spread

Either you may manage the umbrella plant to keep it small and compact or it will grow into a towering beast in your house. If you choose the latter, you may manage the total height by simply pinching off the upward-growing branches, which will encourage additional development below the core stem.

If you choose the tall look, you should let it climb and let the developing shoots alone (unless you’re attempting to preserve a form). Inside, it might easily reach 1.8 meters or 6 feet. Whatever style you choose, the plant will be fairly narrow, only spreading to a maximum of 75cm (18 inches).

Umbrella Plant Flowers

variegated umbrella plant
variegated umbrella plant

Don’t anticipate beautiful blossoms on your indoor umbrella plant since you nearly never purchase a Schefflera for its flowers. You may very well be adding one of the most gorgeous-looking contrasting houseplants to your collection if you find one with distinctive leaf patterns.

Sometimes, umbrella plants do bloom. Several people have provided photographs and experiences in the comments section below. Only mature (over 30 years old) and well-maintained plants tend to blossom inside.

Anything Else about Umbrella Plant?

A young umbrella plant may undergo significant change in only one season due to its rapid development. Four or five leaflets per stem are present on young plants, increasing to 12 or more by the time they are fully grown. You cannot alter the alterations; thus, you cannot force it to produce more or fewer leaflets.

how to propagate umbrella plant
how to propagate umbrella plant

If you want a shorter plant, you may pinch off the growth tips to maintain the young appearance of fewer leaflets for a longer period of time. The leaflets appear best in their natural, somewhat shiny state, so be sure to wipe off any accumulated dust.


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