If you are looking for a gorgeous houseplant that grows fast, has glossy leaves and is easy to care for, we recommend Schefflera Amate also known as Umbrella Tree or Dwarf Umbrella Tree.
Schefflera amate is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow and care for, making it a good choice for beginner gardeners or plant lovers who don’t have a lot of time for plant care. The Dwarf Umbrella Tree can be grown as a houseplant, in a terrarium, or outside in the garden in warm climates, making it a versatile option.
This plant has attractive, glossy leaves and an upright growth habit, making it a visually pleasing addition to any indoor or outdoor space. Like many other plants, the Dwarf Umbrella Tree helps purify the air by removing harmful toxins, making it a beneficial addition to any indoor space.
The species Schefflera amate belongs to the genus Schefflera, which is part of the family Araliaceae. The genus Schefflera is a group of evergreen plants that are known for their distinctive umbrella-like clusters of leaves.
This species is a compact, slow-growing shrub that is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant for its attractive foliage and versatility in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. The Schefflera amate, also known as the dwarf umbrella tree, is native to Taiwan.
Before you decide to buy one and bring it into your house, it is very important to know that this plant is considered to be toxic to pets, particularly cats and dogs. The plant contains compounds called oxalates which can cause mouth and throat irritation, drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing if ingested.
In severe cases, consumption of the plant can lead to more serious symptoms such as tremors, seizures, and difficulty breathing. It is important to keep the plant out of reach of pets and to seek veterinary care if your pet has ingested any part of the plant.
Want to learn more about growing and caring for Schefflera amate aka Umbrella Tree? Keep reading our article!
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|Botanical Name||Schefflera amate, Schefflera actinophylla|
|Common Name||Dwarf Umbrella Tree, Australian Ivy Plant, Octopus Tree|
|Plant Type||Broadleaf evergreen tree|
|Mature Size||1.2 – 1.8 meters (4-6 feet) tall indoors; up to 7.62 meters (25 feet) tall (outdoors)|
|Sun Exposure||Bright, indirect light|
|Soil Type||Well-draining, rich, moderately-moist|
|Soil pH||Slightly acidic|
|Bloom Time||Summer (can bloom outdoors, rarely blooms indoors)|
|Flower Color||White, pink, or red|
|Hardiness Zones||10-12 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Australia, New Guinea|
About Dwarf Umbrella Tree
- Schefflera amate commonly known as the Dwarf Umbrella Tree or the Umbrella Plant is an evergreen plant from the Araliaceae family. The plant is considered a slow-growing shrub that is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant.
- The Dwarf Umbrella Tree is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, as well as in greenhouses and as a houseplant in temperate regions.
- Schefflera amate is prized for its attractive foliage, which is lush and glossy and grows in a distinctive, umbrella-like shape. This makes it a popular choice for decorating homes and offices.
- Schefflera amate is not considered edible. The plant contains a sap that can be irritating to the skin and may cause digestive problems if ingested.
- Schefflera amate is a species in the Araliaceae family, which is also known as the ivy or ginseng family. The Araliaceae family includes many other well-known plants such as ginseng (Panax ginseng), English ivy (Hedera helix), and Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum).
- Schefflera amate is commonly known as the Umbrella Tree because of the distinctive shape of its foliage. The leaves grow in a circular, umbrella-like arrangement on top of tall, upright stems, giving the plant a unique, umbrella-like appearance. This unique growth pattern and the lush, green foliage make the Umbrella Tree a popular choice for home and office decor, especially as a potted plant. The name “Umbrella Tree” is an appropriate description for this plant, as it does indeed resemble a small umbrella!
Dwarf Umbrella Tree Features: An Overview
- The Dwarf Umbrella Tree, also known as Schefflera amate, is a beautiful and versatile plant that is native to Australia and New Guinea. This species is prized for its attractive foliage and ease of care, making it a popular choice for home and office decor.
- One of the most recognizable features of the Umbrella Tree is its lush green foliage. The leaves are large, and glossy and grow in a distinctive, umbrella-like shape. This unique growth pattern, along with the dense foliage, makes the Umbrella Tree an eye-catching plant that adds a touch of tropical beauty to any setting.
- The leaves range in colour from bright green to deep, rich green and can grow up to 1.8 meters long and 1.8 meters wide.
- In addition to its attractive foliage, the Umbrella Tree is also known for its ease of care. This plant is considered low-maintenance, making it a good choice for busy gardeners or those who are new to plant care.
- The Umbrella Tree is tolerant of low light conditions, which makes it an ideal plant for indoor environments. It is also fairly drought-tolerant, so it is not necessary to water it frequently, but it does need regular watering to keep its foliage looking its best.
- Like many indoor plants, the Umbrella Tree is believed to help purify the air by removing harmful pollutants and improving indoor air quality. This makes it a great choice for homes and offices, especially in areas where air quality is a concern. In addition, the Umbrella Tree is said to be a natural humidifier, which can help to reduce dry air and improve overall air quality.
- The Umbrella Tree is also highly versatile, as it can be grown as a houseplant or outdoor ornamental in tropical and subtropical regions. When grown as an outdoor plant, it can reach heights of up to 7.62 meters and can be trained as a small tree or as a large shrub. When grown as a houseplant, it is typically kept much smaller and can be grown in a pot for many years.
- Another great feature of the Umbrella Tree is its ability to adapt to its surroundings. This plant can adapt to different light conditions and can be grown in low light, medium light, or bright indirect light. It also tends to grow in a compact, neat form, making it an attractive and tidy option for indoor or outdoor decor. Whether grown as a houseplant or outdoor ornamental, this plant adds a touch of tropical beauty to any setting and is sure to be a focal point wherever it is grown.
Growing Dwarf Umbrella Tree
The Umbrella Tree, also known as Schefflera amate, is generally considered an easy plant to grow. It is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions and is relatively low-maintenance. However, like any plant, it can be sensitive to certain environmental factors, so it is important to provide the proper care.
This plant is tolerant of low light conditions, but it will grow best in bright, indirect light. Avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight, as this can cause leaf burn. If grown in low light, the plant will likely have fewer leaves and may not grow as vigorously as it would in brighter light.
The Dwarf Umbrella Tree prefers temperatures between 65°C and 85°C (18°F to 29°F). This is the optimal range for growth and will help the plant thrive. It is relatively tolerant of temperature fluctuations, but it is best to keep the temperature consistent and within the ideal range.
Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 60°C (15°F), as this can cause damage to the foliage. The Umbrella Tree is not resistant to frost and must be protected from low temperatures. If you live in an area with cool winters, it is best to keep the plant indoors where the temperature can be regulated.
In general, the Umbrella Tree is a hardy plant that can adapt to a range of temperatures, but it is best to keep it in the ideal temperature range for optimal growth and health.
The Dwarf Umbrella Tree can be pruned to control its size and shape. Prune the plant in spring or summer, cutting back the stems to the desired height. This will encourage bushier growth and help keep the plant looking neat and tidy.
Planting Dwarf Umbrella Tree
Planting an Umbrella Tree, also known as Schefflera amate, is a simple process that can be done indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and your preference. It thrives in bright, indirect light, but it can also survive in low-light environments.
If planting outdoors, choose a spot that provides some shade from direct sunlight, which can cause leaf burn. Umbrella Trees prefer well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. Mix equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and sand to create a well-draining soil mix.
Place the tree in the centre of the pot and fill the pot with the soil mixture, making sure to leave a few inches of space between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot. Gently compact the soil to eliminate any air pockets. Water the tree thoroughly after planting, making sure to moisten the soil completely. Allow the soil to drain completely and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.
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- SPECIES: Glossy green leaves are delicately divided and upright umbels produce orange-red to black berries. The leaves are miniature and shaped like umbrellas, which together, form a beautiful, green, and dense canopy.
- AGE/SIZE/CARE: Your small 3 year old bonsai will arrive at 5" to 8" tall in a 6" container and will perform best indoors (see detailed care instructions in images)
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Over the next few weeks, keep an eye on the plant and make sure it is receiving the right amount of light, water, and humidity. If the leaves start to yellow or drop, adjust the care accordingly.
The Umbrella Tree will benefit from regular feeding with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Fertilize the plant every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and less frequently during the dormant season (fall and winter).
By following these steps, you should be able to successfully plant an Umbrella Tree and enjoy its beauty for years to come. Remember, like all plants, the Umbrella Tree will have specific needs in terms of light, water, soil, and humidity, so be sure to monitor the plant and adjust as needed to maintain its well-being and health.
Watering Dwarf Umbrella Tree
Watering a Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera amate) is an important aspect of plant care that can impact the plant’s growth and overall health. The frequency of watering will depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the plant, the temperature and humidity levels, and the type of soil. On average, Umbrella Trees should be watered once a week, although this may vary in different conditions.
It is important to monitor the soil moisture level to determine when it is time to water the plant. The soil should be kept hydrated, avoiding being overly saturated with water. When the soil appears dry, it is necessary to provide water to the plant. Use room temperature water to water the Umbrella Tree. Tap water that has been sitting for 24 hours is ideal, as the chlorine and other chemicals will have dissipated. For best results, use distilled or purified water if the tap water is hard.
Water the Umbrella Tree thoroughly, making sure to soak the soil completely. Do not let the plant sit in standing water, as this can lead to root rot. Make sure to empty the saucer under the pot after watering to prevent water from standing for an extended period of time. This plant requires relatively high levels of humidity, so if the indoor environment is arid, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant to maintain the proper level of humidity.
Over-watering can be just as harmful as under-watering, as it can lead to root rot. If you are unsure whether the plant needs water, wait a few days and check the soil moisture again. During the dormant season (fall and winter), the Umbrella Tree will need less water.
Reduce the frequency of watering to every other week and make sure to monitor the soil moisture to ensure the plant does not become too dry. Remember, all plants have specific needs in terms of water, so be sure to monitor the plant and adjust as needed to ensure its well-being.
Propagating Dwarf Umbrella Tree
Propagating the Dwarf Umbrella Tree is a relatively easy process and can be done using two methods: stem cuttings and division.
We will start with the stem-cutting method first. Cut a 4-6 inch stem from a healthy, mature Umbrella Tree using a clean, sharp blade. Make sure to remove the lower leaves, leaving only 2-3 leaves at the top of the stem. Dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone powder to encourage root growth, then fill a pot with well-draining potting soil and water it thoroughly.
Make a hole in the soil with a pencil and insert the stem cutting, gently firming the soil around it. Carefully place the pot in a bright, warm location but out of direct sunlight. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, misting the leaves every few days. Within 4-6 weeks, roots should have formed and new growth will appear, indicating that the cutting has successfully rooted.
The second option for propagating Umbrella Tree is division. Remove the Umbrella Tree from its pot and gently loosen the soil from the roots. Use a sharp blade to divide the plant into smaller sections, each with a healthy root system and several leaves. Repot each section into its own pot, filled with well-draining potting soil. Water the newly potted plants thoroughly and place them in a bright, warm location. Maintain the soil consistently hydrated, but not excessively wet.
In both methods, it is important to keep the Umbrella Tree in a warm and humid environment with bright, indirect light. The plant will grow best in a well-draining potting mix that is kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. With proper care, the Umbrella Tree will thrive and can be propagated again and again to create more plants. Whether you choose to propagate by stem cuttings or division, with patience and care, you will be able to enjoy new Umbrella Trees in no time!
Dwarf Umbrella Tree Pests and Diseases
The Dwarf Umbrella Tree is relatively low-maintenance and disease-resistant, but it can still fall prey to pests and diseases if grown in unfavourable conditions or if proper care is not taken. Some of the most common pests that may affect Umbrella Trees are spider mites, mealybugs and scale insects.
Spider Mites are small, spider-like insects that feed on the sap of Umbrella Trees, causing yellowing and stippling of the leaves. They are easily controlled with regular applications of insecticidal soap.
Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of the plant and excrete a sticky substance known as honeydew, which can attract ants and promote the growth of sooty mould. Regular use of insecticidal soap can effectively manage mealybug infestations.
Scale insects are hard-shelled insects that feed on the sap of the plant and can cause yellowing, wilting, and stunted growth. Pests like scale insects can be removed using horticultural oil or insecticidal soap regularly.
When speaking of diseases that can affect Umbrella Trees the top two on our list are root rot and leaf spot. Root rot is a fungal disease caused by over-watering and poor drainage, which can lead to the decay of the roots and the death of the plant. It is best prevented by growing Umbrella Trees in well-draining soil and avoiding over-watering. Leaf spot on the other hand is a fungal disease that causes small, brown, or black spots on the leaves and can lead to defoliation.
The Umbrella Tree is a beautiful and low-maintenance houseplant that makes a great addition to any home or office. Its lush, green foliage and compact size make it an ideal choice for small spaces, and its resilience to pests and diseases makes it a low-maintenance choice for busy gardeners. Whether grown as a standalone specimen or used to add a touch of green to a room, the Umbrella Tree is a plant that will bring joy and beauty to any space it occupies. So, if you’re looking for a hardy, easy-to-care-for houseplant that will make a statement, the Schefflera Amate a.k.a. the Dwarf Umbrella Tree is a great choice!
Are you growing a Dwarf Umbrella Tree? Let us know in the comments!