Table of contents:
Araliev family. Homeland - East Asia, China, Japan, Vietnam. In the genus, according to various sources, there are from 500 to 900 species. Among them are trees, shrubs and even vines.
- Schefflera radiant or stellate Schefflera actinophylla is a tree-like plant, as a rule, has several trunks and branches well. Leaves are palmate-compound, on long petioles, consisting of 7-17 initially ovoid, then oblong leaflets, blunt at the end, reaching 30 cm in length. The original species has olive green leaves. The inflorescences of the brush, up to 40 cm long, bear many small bright red flowers. In indoor conditions, it grows about 2 m in height. The original species itself is almost never found in room culture, apparently not so attractive, but the Schefflera actinophylla 'Nova' variety is very decorative.
- Schefflera arboreal Schefflera arboricola is the most popular species in indoor culture, with graceful palmate-complex leaves on long petioles, consisting of several leaves - from 7 to 16. Leaves are dense, leathery, shiny, 9-15 cm long and 5-8 cm wide, usually pointed at the end. The trunk branches worse than that of the sheffler radiata. Variegated forms are also common: 'Geisha Girl' - dark green leaves, rounded at the end. 'Gold Capella' - spots of two colors on dark green leaves - yellow and light green. 'Hayata' - oval-elongated leaves, narrowed at the end, light green. 'Variegata' - with yellow spots on dark green leaves. 'Janine' is a compact variety of dark green leaves, bifurcated and rounded at the end, with wide creamy stripes and spots.In indoor conditions, it grows on average 1-1.2 m tall.
Schefflera arboreal Schefflera arboricola 'Variegata'
Schefflera arboreal Schefflera arboricola 'Gold Capella'
Schefflera arboreal Schefflera arboricola 'Janine'
- Schefflera finger Schefflera digitata - here it usually has eight elliptical leaves, pointed at the end. Sometimes up to 10 leaflets in old leaves. The bush is compact, quite convenient for growing as a houseplant.
- Schefflera the most graceful Schefflera elegantissima - leaves are green, palmate-compound, consist of 8-12 narrow lanceolate leaves, with a serrated edge, 15-17 cm long. Very decorative look, grows up to 2 m in height in the room But it branches little, while the leaves are large, on long petioles, but the shoots are few leafy. The trunk is thin, gray-brown. Previously, this type of Sheffler was called Dizigoteka, for details about varieties and care, read the Sheffler's elegant page
Schefflera finger Schefflera digitata
Schefflera radiant Schefflera actinophylla
Schefflera elegant Schefflera elegantissima
Schefflera tree-like responds well to pruning, and lends itself to crown formation. Young, not yet lignified shoots are formed with the help of wire. Other sheffler species, on the other hand, are poorly branched and difficult to form. There are masters of the art of bonsai who grow chic trees from shefflers in bowls (all this is a tree-like sheffler):
Temperature: Schefflera prefers moderate temperatures, optimal for growth 18-20 ° C. At higher temperatures, the stems are very bare at the bottom, i.e. it grows quickly, but it grows just as quickly and loses its decorative effect. In winter, prefers cool rooms, where + 15-16 ° C, minimum + 12 ° C. Schefflera's graceful prefers a warm environment at 22-24 ° C (16 ° C minimum) all year round. In reality, of course, the shefflera grows even at higher temperatures, in winter 22-24 ° C will suit her, if at the same time you provide her with enough light.
Lighting: Bright diffused light, mandatory protection from direct sunlight at noon. Schefflera with pure green leaves tolerates light partial shade. But variegated varieties prefer a certain amount of direct sun in the morning before 11:00 or in the evening after 16:00. In winter, it requires good lighting, especially when wintering in a warm room. To do this, you can equip additional lighting with fluorescent lamps.
Watering: Abundant in spring and summer, moderate and careful in winter. The soil should not dry out completely, but also not be too wet, because Schefflera is very sensitive to over-watering. We can say that it will tolerate overdrying more easily than overflowing. In order not to be mistaken, water the sheffler only when the earth dries out in the upper half of the pot.
Fertilizer: During the growth period from March to August, once every two weeks, fertilizer for decorative deciduous indoor plants.
Air humidity: Schefflera likes moist air, 50% is optimal for her. It is enough to spray it twice a day, trying to prevent the water from flowing into the soil in streams. Small plants during the heating season in winter can be placed on a wide pallet with wet pebbles or sphagnum moss.
Young plants every year and old every two years in spring Soil - 2 parts of light turf, 1 part of leaf, 1 part of humus and 1 part of coarse sand. Shefflera's root system is surprisingly weak, the roots are rather thin, so the pot should not be taken deep, but drainage should be poured to the bottom. Several pieces of birch charcoal can be added to the substrate. For large plants, it is best to use a heavy clay pot (but again, not too spacious) so that the plant doesn't knock it over. You can also take a large plastic pot, but put a heavy stone at the bottom and pour a high drainage to take up extra space. If there is too much free land (not occupied by roots), it will turn sour, and the roots will rot.
Another recipe for potting soil: 2 parts of purchased soil (for palms), 2 parts of humus soil from the garden, 1 part of sand and 1 part of vermiculite.
Seeds, lignified cuttings and air cut. I sow the seeds in March, in a mixture of peat soil and vermiculite, drop them to a depth of about 0.5 cm. Germinate at a temperature of 22-24 ° C. Seedlings appear within a month. The first leaves are finger-like, but consist of only 3-4 leaves, the next leaves already have 6-8 leaves.
Cuttings are cut in the spring and rooted in wet vermiculite or water. Sometimes the cuttings rot at the cut site, in which case an activated carbon tablet can be added to the rooting water. Cuttings also rot when rooting in the hot summer. Sheffler cuttings are planted into the substrate when the roots grow to a length of about 5 cm.If you cannot root the cutting, try to put an air cut. But for this, a thin layer of bark must be removed on the trunk - a strip 0.5 cm wide, wrap it with sphagnum moss (secure with a thread), and cover it with a bag on top. The moss must be constantly moist. Rooting usually takes place within a month or more.
The lower leaves have very long petioles - a sign of a lack of light.
This shefflera was heavily flooded.
Dropsy of leaves is a non-infectious disease - the result of constant waterlogging.
Roughly speaking, shefflers most often have two main problems - lack of light and overflow. For some reason, it is considered very shade-tolerant, and many put it in the back of the room, although in fact, it has a place near the window itself, if it is south or west, right behind the tulle curtain. And if the window is east or north, then right on the windowsill. Sometimes, if the window is shaded from the street by trees or houses, then additional lighting is needed.
As for the overflow, this is the scourge of the sheffler. Their root system is small, fibrous, thin roots easily rot if the soil dries for a long time. You can pour in such a soil mixture, heavy and dense, that the earth will dry out for a week after watering. And you can pick up a loose substrate so that the earth dries up in 2-3 days - and this will be the best option. Signs of overflow are: drooping leaves, brown spots along the edges of the leaves, leaves falling off from the bottom, and, in neglected cases, decay and death of the growing point. By the way, in sheffler, like in peperomias, a sign of systematic waterlogging may be the appearance of corking - warty dry brown spots on the leaves that look like a cork, they are non-infectious, but remain forever; or dropsy - convex pimpled growths on the back of the sheet.
Pruning: Scheffler's tree-like structure lends itself well to shaping by pruning. If you cut off the top of a branch, it releases 2-3 new growth points at once. By the way, if the stems are too bare, then it is easier not to cut the plant, but to re-root all the bare parts with the aforementioned air cut. But if the rooted part is very large (several large branches), then you need to cut off the layering only when the roots grow large enough (they will be clearly visible through the bag). The cut off cut should be immediately planted in the ground, placed in a spacious transparent bag, and placed in a cool room - preferably at 18-20 ° C, not higher. This is necessary to create high humidity and reduce leaf transpiration. Thus, the plant will stand for a month and a half until it grows a sufficiently good root system,capable of providing the leaf mass with water.