The popular houseplant, an umbrella plant (Scheffleraactinophylla), is native to the rainforests of Australia. It’s also known as a dwarf Schefflera or an Australian ivy tree.
An umbrella plant has large green leaves with leaflets that look like mini-umbrella tops. It is an easy-to-care-for plant, making it a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor container gardening. Tim Atkins AKA plantcarer, has provided answers to what he says are some of the most commonly asked questions about umbrella plants.
1. Why Do the Leaves Turn Yellow?
Umbrella plants can be big in their natural habitat, but they act like houseplants when potted in containers. They grow relatively slowly indoors, and eventually, they will stop growing altogether. The leaves may turn yellow because of the lack of light.
2. Why is it Losing its Bottom Leaves?
An umbrella plant can be fickle to grow indoors due to its sensitivity to the environment and disturbances such as inconsistent watering or an abrupt change in lighting conditions. It might also be dropping leaves because it is not getting enough water.
3. Why are the Leaves Curling Over?
The leaves might be curling to preserve moisture or protect themselves from too much direct sun exposure. Also, if the umbrella plant isn’t watered well, its leaves will curl up as it tries to retain as much water as possible. Make sure you’re watering the plant properly.
4. Why is it Dropping Leaves?
Dropping leaves can be an umbrella plant’s way of protecting itself from stress and preventing further problems. It may drop its lower leaves to get rid of any insects or diseases plaguing it, and the insects will stay away from a leafless stem.
5. How to Care for This Plant?
When you buy an umbrella plant or choose to grow one indoors, make sure that you position it in the right place. It should be facing north to south with about four hours of sunlight each day. The leaves will become susceptible to sunburn if placed too close to a window with a lot of direct sunshine.
An umbrella plant will also benefit from being placed on a tray of pebbles and water to increase humidity.
6. Which Container to Use for the Umbrella Plant?
Always use the right container for your houseplant. An umbrella plant will flourish in a moist potting mix containing composted leaf mold. Make sure that you place it in a larger container as it grows.
7. What Temperature Can This Plant Withstand?
It prefers a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with the upper range ideal for growth and flowers. It cannot stand temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit because it’s a tropical plant used to warm, humid climates. If you have one or two umbrella plants in your backyard, they can easily withstand several degrees below freezing in your region.
8. How to Propagate the Umbrella Plant?
To propagate this plant, you need a piece of stem and its leaves. Take a cutting from an existing plant and put it in well-drained soil where it will get plenty of sunshine. Keep it moist until new growth establishes and new roots form on the stem.
Always check the soil to determine how dry it is before watering. Check under the leaves as well since that can indicate whether the plant needs water.
Tim Atkins, AKA plantcarer, says that umbrella plants are simple to maintain as long as you consider their needs. Please find out more about caring for it by asking an expert or doing your own research online. You can even try growing one yourself.