How Much Light Does A Schefflera [Umbrella Tree] Need?

The Schefflera tree has brilliant green oval leaves paired with an umbrella-spoke pattern that composes an aesthetically sophisticated house plant. Suppose you recently purchased one of these trees and wonder how much light does it need? Or how long do these small trees live? We've researched these questions and have found substantial research results to share with you!

The Schefflera, also known as the Umbrella tree. Will require medium to full sun for at least six hours per day.

Are you interested in learning more about the Schefflera? Or how often do these plants require watering? We've researched this topic and have quality research results to share with you.

A man holding a healthy Umbrella trees leaves, How Much Light Does A Schefflera [Umbrella Tree] Need?

How Much Light Does A Schefflera Need?

According to the Clemson College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences, the Schefflera requires medium to full sun for the plant to flourish and grow to its full potential. On average, the Schefflera tree does best in bright direct sunlight for at least six hours per day.

Set your Scheffler near a window with full sun and leave the curtains open for the tree to absorb ample sunlight for the best results. Suppose you don't have a window with access to direct sunlight, then place the plant where the most sunlight is available. 

Perhaps you are new to caring for a Schefflera house plant and wonder if it will bloom? Click here to read Does A Schefflera Plant Bloom?

Can Schefflera Live in Low Light?

Yes, the Schefflera will live in low light. However, the leaves will be noticeably smaller, and the tree will not grow its usual three or more feet per year as it would in its natural habitat. To help offset the damages of lessened sunlight, provide the Schefflera with plant food regularly to replace the nutrition that the Schefflera is not receiving from sunlight. 

Also, it is essential to provide the Schefflera with quality potting soil that will nourish its cramped roots in the pot and allow for proper drainage, which will improve its aesthetics and overall health. 

Click here to view Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix at Amazon. 

A green braided Schefflera tree planted in a green pot on a white background

How Long can a Schefflera Live?

There are several variables that will contribute to how long the Schefflera will live. Generally speaking, if the Schefflera tree were well-cared for and kept indoors, it would live approximately 25 years. However, the Schefflera tree could live for decades or more in its natural habitats. 

How Often Should I Water my Umbrella Tree?

A tall Schefflera tree planted in a brown decorative pot

The Clemson College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences recommends watering the Schefflera thoroughly, then allowing the soil to dry completely. Wait until the top layer of soil is dry a 1/2 inch deep before watering the plant again. Check the soil daily or every other day by pushing your index finger into the soil to test the depth of its wetness and water as needed. 

The frequency you will need to water your umbrella tree will vary based on several factors. These factors include the size of your plant, soil, quality of water, and humidity levels in your home. The best advice is to frequently check your trees' soil to prevent the issues that over or under watering will cause. 

Never allow the Schefflera to sit in a saucer of standing water. The stagnant water will cause the tree to develop root-rot, which is very common for Schefflera house plants to develop from over-watering and poor quality soils that do not drain correctly. 

Suppose you would like to propagate your Schefflera to give a gift to a friend. Click here to read How To Propagate Schefflera In Water.

Can Schefflera Live Outside in Winter?

No, you must transport the potted Schefflera into a greenhouse or your home during the winter months. Although the potted tree does well living outdoors from late spring into early fall. Once the first signs of the cold weather seasons arrive, it is time to bring the Schefflera indoors. Because the tree will perish if left outside when the freezing winter weather returns. 

Is your Schefflera tree losing more leaves than usual? Click here to read Why Is My Schefflera Losing Its Leaves?

Is Schefflera fast-growing?

Yes, the Schefflera are very fast-growing trees. Provided they are potted and kept indoors with access to ample sunlight, quality soil, and watered correctly. The tree could grow three feet or more per year in the ideal conditions and proper indoor humidity levels. 

A wet Schefflera leaves on a white background

How Can I Make my Schefflera Grow Faster?

Although there is not a guarantee that any plant will grow faster, there are a few plant care tips that will improve your plants' overall health. These tips will assist the plant to grow somewhat faster, simply because the gardener improved the plants' health and living conditions. 


Before attempting any of the following suggestions, the tree must have space to grow and a pot large enough to house the expanding root system. Consider repotting your tree a few weeks or a month before pruning to ensure there is ample room for growth. 


One of the best ways to encourage the plants' growth is to prune the Schefflera during the summer months by trimming the very top of the small tree. Also, clip or pinch the newest green tips to encourage growth. Word of caution: always wear gloves when handling the leaves, especially when pruning, because the trees' natural sap will cause skin irritation. 

Plant Fertilizer

The Miracle-Gro company recommends feeding the Schefflera once per week with Miracle-Gro Indoor plant food to facilitate and sustain growth. Please note it is advised to wait to start feeding the plant one month after planting or repotting. 

Please note that plant fertilizers are not-fool proof. It is essential to follow the instructions and do not use more than directed. Also, only use plant fertilizers that are either all-purpose or specifically designed for the type of plant you own for the best results. 

Click here to view the Miracle-Gro Indoor plant food at Amazon. 

Are you considering using a plant fertilizer, and would you like to learn more about these products and how they work? Click here to read 15 Best All-Purpose Plant Fertilizers [Liquid, Powder, and Granular]

Safety precautions for owning a Schefflera house plant

A man putting fertilizers in his Schefflera plant

Here is some additional safety information that you need to know about owning a Schefflera:

For pets 

Please be aware that the Schefflera leaves are toxic for cats, dogs, and humans. Only bring one of these house plants into your home if you are confident that your pet will not try to eat the leaves or place it where your pets cannot access the Schefflera. In the unfortunate event that your pet ingests one of these leaves. Call your vet or animal poison control immediately!

For children 

Suppose you have small children, be sure to either safeguard the house plant from your child or wait until they surpass the stage of placing foreign objects in their mouths before bringing a Schefflera into your house. If you believe yourself or your child has had an adverse reaction to the Schefflera leaves. Call 911 or poison control immediately!

In closing

A mans hands holding a Schefflera trees leaves

Keeping household plants provides a rewarding pastime that will undoubtedly improve the air quality in your home. Please practice safety precautions if you have small children or pets when you bring your new Schefflera home. All of us at Garden Tabs hope you have found this article helpful. Please visit soon for more quality content and inspiration!

Learning about plants and how to care for them is an excellent way to reconnect with nature. Please be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go to help further your horticulture knowledge base.

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