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Schefflera are among one of our favorite plants to propagate and grow in water. Commonly known as the Umbrella Plant, Schefflera grows cluster of leaves that strongly resemble an umbrella. We love this plant for its many varieties and comes in all colors and sizes! To your right, you'll see a picture of a Schlerra Arboricola, which is one of the smaller variations.

You'll find that schefflera root slowly and generally develop a lot of cambium first during the propagation process. They tend to not grow new leaves when growing in water but are very good at retaining the health of already existing leaves. Keep in mind that they communicate plant health their leaves and roots. A great sign that your Umbrella Tree is thriving is when its leaves are glossy and vibrant in color. 

plant overview


Native to Australia, Taiwan & South China, Hainan

plant family


Other common names

Schefflera are popularly referred to as the dwarf umbrella plant, umbrella tree, and octopus plant.

other varieties

Other varieties of the umbrella tree are schefflera actinophylla, schefflera arboricola (dwarf schlefflera), and schefflera amate.


Can be toxic to pets and humans if consumed.

growing your schefflera in water

replacing water

For healthy plants, we recommend that you add water to the glass every 1-2 weeks (or if you see that water levels have lowered) to replenish the water that evaporated or absorbed from the plants. Then, replace the water every 2-4 weeks.

Most tap water works great but distilled or filtered waters are recommended if available. 


We recommend adding 1-2 of liquid nutrients to your plant's water every month. To further encourage and support leaf growth, we recommend adding an additional drop of nutrients if you see a new leaf forming. 


Umbrella Trees are their happiest and healthiest when regularly exposed to bright indirect light. Try placing your schefflera across from bright windows where they can soak up a lot of sun. 


For Schefflera, we notice that it loves warm temperatures (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit). A general rule of thumb for many houseplants is that if you are comfortable, then they will be comfortable too!


Umbrella trees prefer moderate to high humidity, but can do well in most home settings regardless of humidity level.

Leaf care & pruning

  • Cleaning the leaves will promote better light absorption for photosynthesis. Simply use a damp towel or cloth and wipe them down.
  • Yellowing or brown leaves can be removed at the base of the plant, immediately above the node, using a sharp, sterile knife. It is recommended to leave 1-2 leaves because a single node will often shoot off new leaves on its own. 

Propagation tips

Propagating schefflera in water is easy with 3 simple steps! First, you want to find a healthy piece of your plant to cut off. One thing to keep in mind is that the cutting (piece that you're cutting off) should have at least 2-3 nodes on it. Next, make a cut on the stem right above a node--which is where thin branches and leaves shoot off from. Schefflera have thicker stems, so we recommend using gardening sheers to make a cleaner cut. After you made the cut, grab a glass of distilled or filtered water and submerge your cutting with about 2-3 nodes under water. Make sure to remove any branches that would be under water when propagating. 

With the proper lighting and care, most schefflera will begin shooting roots within 4-8 weeks!

Common issues & care info

Leaves Begin Turning Yellow or Crispy

Identification: yellow or brown leaves that feel crispy

Cause: If the leaf is crispy, this is most likely a sign that the air is too dry. On the other hand, a lack of oxygen in the water can cause newer leaves to grow in brown. It is also natural for older leaves (closer to the roots) to turn brown or die because it simply outgrown its natural cycle.

How to treat: First, remove any brown or dying leaves using sterile scissors or knife. If the cause for this issue is a dry environment, make sure your plant is not too close to any AC vents, heaters, or open windows. Also, mist regularly if the environment is usually very dry. If the cause is a lack of oxygen, simply replace the water for the plant. After, continue to replace the water every 2-4 weeks.

Leaves Begin To Droop or Flop

Identification: leaves dropping over or the umbrella plant seems to be flopping over

Cause: Your umbrella tree isn't receiving enough light.

How to treat: To fix this issue, move your plant into your sunniest room and place your plant across from bright windows. It'll definitely perk up in no time!

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