What is a Dwarf Schefflera?

Pamela Pleasant

Dwarf schefflera is a perennial miniature plant that belongs to the araliaceae family of plants. It can be found naturally in Taiwan and is an evergreen shrub. Although it is mainly used as a potted indoor plant, it can also be placed in a garden area. If it is pruned correctly, it can be shaped into a bonsai tree. The dwarf schefflera resembles a small palm tree.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

This small shrub or miniature tree has a solid base trunk. It has several individual branches, which are a light green to tan color. Shiny oblong-shaped leaves appear on the branches and they are creased in the middle with one single heavy vein. These leaves also have smaller veins running through them, which are a darker green color.

In late winter to early spring, the dwarf schefflera produces red blooms. The blooms are tiny and lilac-like and they are grouped together in larger clusters. Dwarf schefflera flowers are said to have a pleasing, overpowering fragrance. Flowers produced by this plant nestle into the leaves and when the two are combined, the plant resembles an umbrella. This is why this plant is sometimes referred to as an umbrella tree.

The dwarf schefflera is a tropical plant, which means that it cannot handle colder climates or temperatures for a long period of time. It will thrive in temperatures that do not go below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (around 4 C). They can grow to be more than 12 feet in height (around 3 m) and they can space out a full 8 feet (around 2 m). These measurements only apply if the tree is not being pruned into a bonsai shape.

Most tropical plants need to be placed in direct sunlight but the dwarf schefflera also needs a small amount of shade, especially when the flowers are present. In higher temperatures, the delicate leaves and blooms can be damaged by too much sunlight. This plant should be watered on a regular basis and the soil should always be moist. When planted outdoors, younger dwarf schefflera roots can be damaged by an excessive amount of water. The plants should be placed on a slight hill to allow water to drain away from the roots.

Dwarf schefflera should never be placed around small animals or children. Every part of this plant can be extremely poisonous if it is ingested. While propagating, it is better to use woodcutting instead of seeds.

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