Monday, June 20, 2011


The Umbrella Tree

Sounds like a dessert I'd love to eat....but  However, the Schefflera family does make for a beautiful outdoor potted plant! I've had this plant outside in potted areas and it does well all year round except for this past winter.  The majority of the plant died back, but new growth from the roots have come back up and it appears that I will be able to save this plant in my "hospital" and bring it back into the courtyard again.  It's slow growing and makes a great filler or thriller for your tropical plant collections.  These plants can be expensive so I generally like to start them out smaller and let them grow into a full shrub down the road.  It's a dependable plant that will add a green backdrop all year round in our courtyard.  I love the variegated varieties as they add some variations to the solid greens of other plants.  Like any tropical, you need to water regularly and during the summer, every several days.  This plant can tolerate some light but definitely not any afternoon sun.  It gets filtered sun and during the summer, the leaves will sometimes burn at the tips, but it isn't really noticeable. It's just me who notices while I'm taking notes for my journal. However, if it gets too much shade, the plant will look spindly and sick. There are a lot of varieties of Schefflera out there, and I prefer the Umbrella Tree.  While it doesn't grow to become a tree here, it does make an attractive open plant.  I have tried this plant in the ground, but I haven't had much success as I have had with the Philodendron or Bird of Paradise. My recommendation is to keep this plant in a brightly shaded area in a pot or planter.  It will spread out and make an empty area look lush and full.  Definitely think about using this plant at your own home....

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