Schefflera arbicola, or Hawaiian Elf Schefflera, is one of the old standards among houseplants. They are native to Taiwan and will reach up to 20 feet (3.5 m) tall by about half as wide. In containers, they very rarely reach above 10 feet (3 m) tall. The leaves are dark green and are palmately compound with 7-9 leaflets. Individual leaflets are about 3 inches (7.5 cm) long. They are an outstanding houseplant and have a very tropical look about them.
Blooming Time: In nature, they bloom in late winter to early spring. In containers, they rarely bloom.
Culture: Schefflera arbicola need partial shade to high interior lighting with a rich, well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 2 parts loam to 1 part sand or perlite. They do best with regular watering but can withstand periods of drought fairly well. We fertilize them on a monthly basis during the spring and summer months with a balanced fertilizer. During the winter months, the plants are grown more to the dry side and are not fertilized. If re-potting is needed then it should be done in late winter before new growth starts.
Propagation: Schefflera arbicola are propagated by tip cuttings and air layering.
Schefflera arbicola was featured as Plant of the Week January 23-29, 2004.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.