- Biên tập: Dũng Cá Xinh
- Người dịch: Hạnh Nguyên
Each large, attractive leaf of umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) and dwarf umbrella tree (S. arboricola) has seven to 11 or more leaf- lets all attached to the same point at the tip of the petiole (leaf stalk). The leaflets radiate from the center and droop like the ribs of a shiny green umbrella. The resemblance to umbrellas ends there, however, because the leaflets are not joined side to side. Umbrella tree is a “houseplant gone wild”—an invasive weed in both Hawaii and Florida. Dwarf umbrella tree seems not to be nearly as invasive. Both species are excellent houseplants, however, and indoors, in a container, they rarely get more than 6 to 8 feet tall. Both plants have sturdy, woody trunks and branches, palmately compound (fan-shaped) leaves, and smooth, broadly oval leaflets. Umbrella tree leaflets get 10 inches long; the leaflets of dwarf umbrella tree are much smaller, only 3 inches long. Individual flowers are tiny, bright red in umbrella tree, yellow in dwarf umbrella tree, but it’s unlikely that either species would bloom inside the house.
OPTIMUM HOUSEHOLD ENVIRONMENT
Read the Introduction for the specifics of each recommendation.
Both species want dappled or fil- tered light but no direct sun.
Daytime 70 to 80°F, nighttime 60 to 70°F.
Water whenever the top of the potting medium becomes dry to a depth of 1 inch.
Mist twice a week with a spray bot- tle of water on a mist setting, or use a handheld mister. Put the pot in a saucer or tray of water, making sure the bottom of the pot never sits directly in the water by raising the pot up on pot feet or pebbles. Consider putting a humidifier in the room.
Use any good organic, well-drained potting soil that incorporates organic fertilizer, mycorrhizal fungi, and other beneficial microbes.
Use any organic fertilizer, in either a powder or liquid formulation, where the first number (nitrogen) is higher than the other two. Apply once a month. Stop feeding in winter.POTTING. When your tree needs up-potting, shift it to a container with a diameter 4 inches larger than the current pot.
Umbrella trees are easy to propa- gate from stem tip cuttings.
Watch for plant sprawl (page 253), mealybugs (page 262), and root rot (page 272).