The Umbrella Plant Who Gets Homesick | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Umbrella Plant Who Gets Homesick

Leave a Comment
I have a love hate relationship with my Umbrella plant.  I have had this plant for over four years now and it has been growing happily ever since.  Growing so much in fact that it is completely taking over my small yard.

Schefflera Plant
Umbrella Plant - 2010

Schefflera Plant
Umbrella Plant - 2012

I have tried various methods to keep this plant under control.  The first attempt was to prune off almost one third of the plant, and brought it back to its original size.  This was an easy job, and I was quite happy with the result.  I did, however, do one mistake.  I placed the plant indoors thinking it will make a fine indoor plant.

In general Umbrella plants make good indoor plants, they are also beneficial as they absorb a lot of toxins from the air, and release clean oxygen.  I placed my plant next to a big window in the living room, where it got lots of natural light but no direct sunlight.  

Schefflera Plant indoor
Umbrella Plant Indoors after Pruning

After a couple of weeks I started seeing signs of decline.  The leaves were going yellow and dropping off.  Then I realized that the remaining leaves had a sticky substance on them, it almost looked as if the plant was sweating.  I feared bugs, but there were none to be seen.  Eventually, after about four months I gave up and placed the plant outside in its original spot.

Almost immediately I saw an improvement.  The plant started growing new healthy leaves, the old leaves were no longer sticky and I can honestly say it actually looked happy!  Needless to say in about a year the plant was back to its enormous size, so I decided to try a new tactic.

Instead of trying to control the plant's growth I was going to set it free and place it on my roof.  The plant was so big it hardly passed through the doorways of my house, but finally I set it in place, in a sheltered spot.  I changed the pot to a bigger one so that the roots had space to grow, thinking that this plant was going to become a monster, and I left it alone.

Schefflera New Leaves
Umbrella Plant New Leaves

A few weeks went by and once again the plant went in decline.  I saw the same series of events occurring, the leaves started yellowing and dropping, and the plant looked miserable.  I persisted and after a few more weeks, one of the branches was almost without any leaves.  There was sign of new growth, however, so I decided to leave it, and wait a bit more.  The plant started growing new leaves but there were nothing like the original large and dark foliage.  They were small and shriveled leaves. I thought maybe this plant needs a bit of time to adapt to its new climate so I left the plant out on the roof for over six months.

Schefflera on rooftop
Umbrella Plant on Rooftop after 6 months
This afternoon I couldn't bear to see it anymore.  I brought the plant back down to my small yard where it belongs.  I will give it a few weeks to recover, I am sure that it will jump back in no time at all.  I plan to propagate this plant with layering.  I will try to get the leaning branch to root, and make a new plant out of it.  Then I will trim the remaining plant into shape, and keep it in my yard, in its proper place forever.


Post a Comment