How to care for your Dwarf umbrella tree

Hey guys! I wanted to talk about a plant I’ve had for a while and recently fell in love with all over again. My Schefflera Arboricola, or the Dwarf umbrella tree.

I have two of these bad boys, a variegated and non-variegated one. Both beautiful plants and can liven up a room and versatile to fill several spaces. One of the first concerns you should have for this plant is where you’re going to put it, specifically where it’s going to get the light it needs.


The Schefflera Arboricola doesn’t have intense light requirements even though being a tropical plant.

The dwarf umbrella tree only need a medium-low to medium indirect light. This is perfect for north facing windows or the darker corners of your rooms.

Be cautious when purchasing the variegated variety, as they do tend to require more light to maintain the variegation.

In the winter especially your plant may not be getting enough light and it’s never a bad idea to invest in a plant grow light. They’re pretty stylish these days and come in a variety of size. Here‘s one I recommend.

Check out my list of Top Houseplants to Decorate With!


One rule I have with my plants is that I don’t have a strict watering routine. I always wait until the plant is telling me it needs water.

Reason being is the water dries out at different rates depending on the temperature and humidity in the room. Using a moisture moisture meter is one of the best ways to see how wet your soil is below the surface.

Roots are at the bottom of the pot, when you water when the top is dry the bottom could still be wet. You don’t want your roots constantly too wet and run the risk of getting root rot.

I test my plant with the water meter and wait until it’s just hitting the red, being sure to measure multiple spots around the pot. Once you start to understand what that looks like for your plant and soil, you can tell when to water by weight.


Your soil medium is a lot more important than you think when it comes to growing any kind of houseplant. For the Dwarf umbrella tree you want a quick draining soil that can still hold moisture but doesn’t get too muddy.

We want our roots to still be able to breathe.


One of the best ways to understand the needs for a plant, is to think about where it natively grows. The Dwarf umbrella tree is native to Taiwan, so it naturally requires a little more humidity.

I prefer to run a cool mist humidifier hooked up to a humidity controller that turns on when it senses that my room is below 55% humidity. This is the humidifier I have, and here is the humidity controller. I’ve had them for about a year now and they haven’t failed me yet.


Though a beautiful plant to look at, it is not safe for cats and dogs to ingest.

The plant contains sharp calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mouth and digestive tract irritation that nobody wants for their pet. So please keep this one out of harm’s reach for any curious cats.

Overall, the Schefflera Arboricola, or the Dwarf umbrella tree is a perfect starter plant that can fit easily is most homes. With minimal needs, it’s a plant that’s very easy to appreciate and accommodate into your home.

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Grant 💖

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