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BUSHES IN THE HOUSE: Schefflera and Arboricola

Sometimes called Umbrella Tree, the Brassaia actinophylla is a large tropical shrub with rosettes of 5 long glossy green leaves forming umbrella-like symmetrical heads.  Native to Queensland, Java and New Guinea, the Schefflera is an easy houseplant in a bright location.  It can grow 15 feet or more in height in a container.  In the rainforest, it is often an epiphyte growing up in the trees, its long adventitious roots reaching to the ground.  The popular indoor cultivar is ‘Amate’, although you may also fine ‘Renegade’, ‘Alpine’, and ‘Soleil’.
The Schefflera prefers bright indirect light to direct morning or late afternoon sun.  The soil should dry moderately between thorough waterings and do not allow the roots to stand in water.  Fertilize monthly March through September with a general houseplant fertilizer.
While the Brassaia actinophylla is commonly called Schefflera, the Schefflera arboricola is commonly called Dwarf Schefflera or Arboricola.  This slightly smaller shrub has smaller leaves, also arranged in a rosette (7 to 8 leaves with maturity.)  The arboricola tends to grow faster and will require regular pruning to control size and shape.  Several popular variegated dwarf scheffleras are available, including ‘Gold Capella’, ‘Trinette’, and ‘Luseane’.  Cultural care is the same as that of the Brassaia.

The arboricola makes a good indoor bonsai subject.  It is an easy plant for beginners to try and, under high humidity conditions, it will produce interesting aerial banyan roots. 
Posted: 8/28/2014 by Margot | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: MargotGunn, TheGreatIndoors
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