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Schefflera Arboricola

DESCRIPTION: These are tropical and sub-tropical shrubs and small trees. Some are grown outside in the warm areas of the U.S. and one, S. actinophylla, has become especially popular for growing as a pot or tub plant. S. actinophylla is a small evergreen tree that can grow up to 30 feet high. Its leaves grow from long stems and are large, digitate (fingered) and dark green. This plant grows quickly in any fairly good soil and it loves partial shade. It is originally from Australia.
New varieties of the Schefflera are being created to resist bugs and to grow full and stay compact. Some of these different varieties are called Amate and Diana.
The Arboricola and Schefflera have many similar characteristics as far as appearance goes. Both plants have leaves set out on brackets in an umbrella shape.

POTTING: When they are grown in pots or tubs, Schefflera should be watered moderately; not so much that the soil is constantly saturated and not so little that the foliage wilts. Plants that have filled their pots up with roots should have dilute liquid fertilizer applied weekly or biweekly. Some shade from strong sun should be given.

PROPAGATION: They may be increased by seeds, air layering or cuttings. Air layering is useful for pot-grown plants that have become tall and spindly.

PRUNING: If this plant is placed in high light it should stay full and more compact, if it is placed in lower light they have a tendency to stretch out. If this occurs remove the new growth to encourage new growth at bottom.

VARIETIES: S. digitata; S. actinophylla; S. venulosa.