Schefflera (shuh·fleh·ruh) plant is a popular indoor and outdoor plant that has been famous among plant enthusiasts for a long time.
Commonly known as the umbrella tree, Schefflera has unique foliage in which the leaves drop by the side, giving it an umbrella impression.
As the foliage is pretty, the Schefflera flowers are not particularly beautiful.
Letting the plant flower or not depends on various factors. Let’s look at the elements in detail below.
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How often does the Schefflera Flower?
Plants like Schefflera, which are more attached to their native zones, have difficulty flowering indoors. Note that! We said ‘difficult,’ not impossible.
Even though that occurrence may be rare, Schefflera may flower indoors with proper care and conditions.
The plant will attain maturity in almost 5-6 months; only then will the plant be able to flower. It does so in the growing months of spring and summer.
Schefflera has perennial blooms that can regrow again but may or may not appear in consecutive years.
The blooms of Schefflera are similar to the blossoms of Dragon Tree. So they may also have a life span of 3 to 7 days.
Did you know? Schefflera, in their natural habitat, can live up to 25 years. However, that may change if you have the plant indoors.
In that long life, the Schefflera blooms only a few times. No evidence exists to claim whether the plant blooms in stress or happiness.
The blooms are short-lived, so you may not have difficulty caring for them. It is not “hard” if you “do not have to” take care of them.
Schefflera Flower Overview
Despite the shading of the flowers due to the beauty of foliage, Schefflera produces flowers with a different charm.
The blooms have divided people into two groups; one likes flowers, and the other doesn’t. You may fall in either of them.
For now, let’s look at the basic overview of Schefflera flowers.
|Structure||Inflorescence with flower spike that has small flowers along them.
The spikes form a cluster.
|Size||The inflorescence is 20cm.|
|Color||White, red or pink.|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and pets.|
|Lifespan||About 4-7 days.|
|Fruits||Oval, inedible orange fruits of 5mm that mature and become red-violet.|
|Blooming Season||Spring and Summer|
Schefflera plant has various other common names like umbrella plant, umbrella tree, parasol plant, and octopus tree. So if you come across any of these names, know that it is Schefflera.
The varieties under the name ‘Schefflera’ all share the same characteristics, though the flower color may differ.
You can extract Schefflera seeds by letting the seed pods or the berries dry out completely. Let the pods dry out and soak them in water before rubbing them to release seeds.
Pollination of Schefflera Flowers
Schefflera flowers have a unique appearance and structure, making it harder for you to collect their pollen.
The flowers of Schefflera are perfect flowers which means you will find both male and female sexual parts there.
The best way to pollinate Schefflera is to shake the flowers using a chopstick or a pencil and make them drop the pollen in the female parts within the flower.
As the flower contains nectar, it attracts a few birds that help pollinate it.
Besides birds, other natural factors like winds and insects are also pivotal in pollinating the flowers.
As the flowers are too small, you may have difficulty collecting the pollens from them. Even if you do, how would you find the stamen?
Follow the tips below to ensure pollination in the Schefflera plant.
- Collect the small flowers from a Schefflera plant and drop the pollen on other plant flowers to induce pollination.
- You can also collect the pollen beforehand and sprinkle them over the plant’s flowers.
Remember, you need to use the collected pollens as soon as possible. Stored pollen has less chance of helping the flower reproduce.
How to Make a Schefflera Plant Flower?
The Schefflera plant has a lower chance of flowering if you do not fulfill certain conditions.
This plant is fussy about the conditions and care and will not flower often. Some people may not see this flower in the plant’s lifetime.
To induce flowering in this plant, you must follow the following tips.
- The plant can bloom indoors, but to have an added chance at blooming, you must let the plant stay outdoors.
- You will need to induce a little stress on the plant and go back to providing it with utmost care if you want it to flower.
- Schefflera needs a good amount of sunlight to produce energy for being able to flower.
- Rotate your plant once a month to ensure every nook and corner of the plant gets enough sunlight.
- Water the plant only when the top 75% of the soil is dry. You can do the finger moisture test to check the dryness.
- Schefflera prefers a little rich, moist and acidic soil (6.0-6.5) for optimum growth.
- Keep the plant in a location where it gets bright but indirect light. When the plant is ready to bloom in summer, do not feed it too much brightness.
- Make sure the humidity remains optimum for the plant and don’t let the temperature drop down less than 60°F, or the plant will never flower.
- Fertilizers rich in phosphorus are pivotal in making the plant flower. So, use Schefflera fertilizer once a year during the growing season.
If you live outside the tropical zones, you have next to no chance to see the plant bloom.
Some people believe that the Schefflera plant helps proper blood circulation and is pivotal in relieving pain. But, the flower doesn’t have much use.
What Should you do with Schefflera Plant flowers?
If you had to remove one part of a healthy Schefflera plant without a second thought, you’d go for the flower.
I am not saying that their flower is ugly, but it pales in contrast to the plant itself.
Do you want a reason to cut the flower off the plant? I will give you two.
- The flowers are not good-looking. They will blemish the charm of the whole plant.
- Schefflera plant gets energy and nutrients from the roots. If the plant produces flowers, it will distribute the energy between foliage and bloom, which may weaken the leaves and stem.
Now the reason to keep the flowers intact? They are flowers; you would want to let them die off their own to collect the seeds.
Other than that, I see no reasons to keep them in the plant. So, make a choice now.
How to Trim your Schefflera Flowers?
Oh, I know you want to cut the flowers off. Look below for how to cut the flowers efficiently.
- Early morning is the best time to cut the flower from the plant. The plant will not be stressed much when it is early morning.
- Disinfect the cutting scissors/shears and wear proper gardening gear.
- Grab the flower from its base and reveal the point from which it is connected to the plant.
- Cut the branch connecting the flower and the plant gently.
- You should deadhead the flower entirely for two reasons. One, you would not want the flower again, and two, even if you skip deadheading, there is less chance of the plant flowering again.
- The flowers are firmly attached to the plant, so it may be hard to pull them off.
- Follow the process carefully to ensure you do not hurt the surrounding leaves and stem.
Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
Contradicting the beauty of the foliage, Schefflera poses some severe threat to you, your kids, and your pets.
According to ASPCA, Schefflera contains calcium oxalate crystals that make it toxic to your dogs and cats.
The Schefflera can cause your pets to show symptoms like
- Oral irritation
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Burning and irritation in oral parts
Even in humans, Schefflera can induce symptoms like respiration, kidney problems, vomiting, swelling of the mouth area, etc., after consumption.
As all the parts of Schefflera are toxic, the flowers may also be harmful, although there is not enough evidence to support that claim.
If your pets or kids ever chew on the flower petals of the Schefflera plant, call the following hotlines.
- American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) at (888) 222-1222
- ASPCA Poison Center at (800) 426-4435
This article may help “Is Schefflera Toxic to Cats?“
To Wrap it up…
Schefflera may have beautiful foliage, but the flowers are not something you want to show off.
On top of that, you must be cautious as the plant is toxic to your pets and kids. The plant is a must-have in your home if you are careful enough.