Sun exposure:
Partial shade
East facing, south facing, west facing

The Schefflera genus is named after Johann Peter Ernst von Scheffler, an 18th-century German botanist and physicist, while the common name 'umbrella plant' refers to their leaves, which fan out at the top of long stems. Schefflera arboricola is native to Taiwan and China, but is tender in the UK, where it's grown as a house plant. It can reach up to 3m, making it a good choice for a feature in the corner of a room, although there are compact varieties available, growing to 1.5m.

Schefflera arboricola is a good choice for a beginner, because it's low-maintenance, requiring water only when the top few inches of compost have dried out. Cut down on watering in winter. This plant can be grown in partial shade, but does best in bright, indirect light, in a room where the temperature won't fall below 12ºC. Mist every so often to increase humidity.

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Advice on buying Schefflera arboricola

  • Check the botanical name before buying as Schefflera arboricola has a close relation, Schefflera actinophylla (Australian umbrella plant), which has larger leaves
  • Always check plants for signs of damage or disease before planting. Umbrella plants are susceptible to red spider mite, mealybugs and scale insects

Where to buy Schefflera arboricola 

Plant calendar

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Schefflera and wildlife

Schefflera has no particular known value to wildlife in the UK.

Is Schefflera poisonous?

Schefflera irritates skin and is harmful if ingested.

Toxic to:
Is known to attract Cats
Is known to attract Dogs
Is known to attract People
No reported toxicity to:
Is not known to attract Birds
Is not known to attract Horses
Is not known to attract Livestock