Today we are talking about the umbrella tree Florida care guide. If your garden lacks exotic trees lately, don’t worry. This single exotic plant will more than likely transform your garden.
With the help of just one tree, your garden will get a new look. Fortunately, the tree grows very quickly, so that is also in your favor.
In just a few months, you will have a medium-sized tree in your garden. In addition, it will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, so you will have an ideal scene from a fairy tale in the garden.
Growing an umbrella tree was never easier with our help! The plant is not demanding. I’m sure that’s what interests you the most. With 10 minutes a day, you will get beautiful bright red blooms in your garden in return.
Are you ready to learn more about the umbrella tree Florida below?
About Umbrella Tree Dwarf Schefflera Plant
- Native habitat: South Florida, Hawaii, Central Florida, Southern California, Australia, New Guinea
- Botanic name: Schefflera actinophylla, schefflera arboricola
- Common names: Queensland umbrella tree, Australian umbrella tree, Octopus tree
- Family: Ginseng family, Schefflera species
- Type of the plant: variegated shrub tree, container plant, houseplant, outside tree, one of the invasive species, showy garden shrubs
- Leaf shape/color: compound leaves, dark green, almond-shaped leaves in a form of flowers, leaf drop in the fall, palmately compound with 15 leaflets
- Flower shape/color: bright red blooms, has fruit too
- Use: landscape plant, house plant
- Toxicity: toxic
- Type of growth: fast grower, grows rapidly, no need for a rooting hormone
- Blooming time: spring time. early summer
- Height: 10 feet tall indoors, 40 feet tall outdoors
- USDA hardiness zone: 9-11 zones
- Wildlife: butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, insects
- Where to plant: full sun in the morning, partial shade in the afternoon,
Why Is Umbrella Tree Called Octopus Tree?
An umbrella tree has a peculiar shape, and due to its shape, it’s called an octopus tree as well.
This tree dates back in time and the Tillamook tribal used to call it like this too. They were the ones who used this name first and as we see today, it stuck.
Care Guide For Umbrella Tree Florida
And now the part that I’m sure you’ve been waiting for the most. Care guide for umbrella tree. It is always debatable how a beautiful tree can be easy to maintain.
Well, believe it or not, it’s true! With minimal care, you will have a beautiful tree in your garden. Let’s learn how to take good care of this tree.
Most people make a big mistake with the location of exotic plants. Most people think that these plants should be in the sun all day.
But just imagine 10 hours of bright sun roasting the leaves of your tree. Doesn’t sound very ideal, does it?
Therefore, it is necessary to give the plant direct sun and partial shade. With 4-5 hours of morning sun and afternoon shade, the plant will grow excellently.
Exotic plants like the sun, but not all day sun. Apart from cacti and plants that are used to harsh growing conditions, no plant will get 10 hours of sun.
But if you grow it inside, feel free to extend those 4 hours to at least 6 hours. The light and sun reflected through the window are not the same as an outside light.
If your plant has a lack of light inside, it will show brown leaves very quickly. It will initially turn yellow, then turn brown, and then fall off. As you can see, less-than-ideal light can also create problems for your tree.
This is where the biggest problems arise. If you make a mistake with its ultra-simple watering, many problems occur.
Yellow and brown leaves, leaf curling, droopy appearance, leaf drying, etc. I know this doesn’t sound ideal, but it is true.
Too little or too much water, what to do? The answer is simple. Follow only the watering schedule that suits your tree.
Do not invent and experiment yourself. That never leads to good. If you want your umbrella tree to be well watered, then do it like this. During flowering, your umbrella tree will need more water every 6 days.
In the period when the plant does not bloom, i.e. late fall, autumn, winter, and early spring, practice watering every 8 days.
This tree is not picky about water types. Whatever water you pour it on, the tree will be extremely grateful.
This tree does not tolerate drought at all. You will immediately notice from the appearance that something is wrong.
Reminder, now and forever, always practice the finger check before watering. 8 days or 6 days will sometimes not be enough for the plant to fully absorb the water, believe it or not.
Choosing the soil for an umbrella tree is very simple. Umbrella tree-like slightly acidic soil. This is therefore a pH value between 5.5 and 6.5. moreover, it will endanger its leaves, roots, and stem. You can’t go wrong here.
Always check the pH value of the soil when purchasing. It is best to combine sandy soil with perlite soil or peat moss.
Peat moss is fairly acidic soil, but sandy soil will balance that acidity. Also, both soils are well-draining soil.
Their power of absorption is ideal for this plant. Considering that the plant does not like drought, it is very important that you get these types of soil for your tree. Never choose only perlite, peat moss, or similar soils for your tree.
Umbrella trees will not need the usual fertilizers that you are used to buying for your plants. We advise you to find good animal manure.
It will be excellent for your tree. In general, we advise you to use animal manure for the trees you grow.
He will always give your tree the best growing conditions. Without any additives, 100% organic. What could be better than that?
Avoid liquid and granular fertilizers for this plant. Umbrella tree doesn’t stand out well these types of tree.
It’s best if you fertilize your umbrella tree during summer. Never fertilize it in the fall time or winter months. Standard diluted plant fertilizer is also a good option. Don’t fertilize it more than 3 times per year.
The ideal temperature for your umbrella tree is between 55F to 75F. The plant is exotic, which means it likes warm regions, but we can see that these are not excessively high temperatures. Temperatures around 85 and 90 F will dry out your plant very quickly.
Humidity also has this effect, but more on that soon. Below 55 F the plant will have a “restrained” appearance and its leaves will appear somewhat drawn in. This is precisely because low temperatures do not really benefit them.
I don’t think any plant owner is fully aware of the effects of humidity on the plant. For tropical plants, it is a very important and essential factor.
People don’t take this into account if they water it well and buy the right soil.
However, the humidity will greatly affect the appearance of your plant. It is responsible for the appearance of the leaves.
If the humidity is too high or too low, the plant looks and declines. With adequate moisture, only then will your plant have a perfect posture.
If you currently have a plant in the corner that looks like it’s drooping, humidity is responsible for it.
Either buy an air humidifier if it is too low or reduce it if it is too high. Luckily for you, humidifiers are available at grocery stores, Amazon, eBay, etc.
They are also inexpensive. In addition, it will be good for you and your household, because dry air is not really recommended.
If you have air conditioning in your house, then the air in your home is probably a bit dry. Our sincere advice is to always check the reviews when purchasing these products. They will tell you a lot, and their price too.
Pruning this plant is very simple. Prune it after the flowering season in summer, before autumn.
The second time you need to trim it is when there is damage. Of course, we don’t mean cutting stems but mostly leaves.
If the leaves are brown, or yellow, and have anything on them that is not leaf green, trim off the damaged part.
Always at a 45-degree angle with sharp garden shears or a knife. Please, do not beg the leaves, i.e. damaged tops, by hand. This further destroys the leaf even though it doesn’t look like it.
An umbrella tree is propagated in two ways: cuttings and seeds. The seeds are collected in the summer when the flowers finish blooming and when they dry they give seeds.
Keep the seeds in a dry and dark place until planting in the spring. For cuttings, always take a mature cutting with a few leaves on it for planting. You keep them in water, just like seeds, for 24 hours before planting.
Are Umbrella Tree Roots Invasive?
Umbrella plant roots are invasive. When planting this tree, take this into account. The right size of the pot really matters for this plant. If you’re planting a tree from a seed, expect them to germinate really soon.
From cuttings, you won’t have so many worries. You’ll probably need to watch out for the air layering when planting from seeds too.
Pests And Diseases Of The Umbrella Tree
If you read a bit about the exotic pest plant council (Florida exotic pest plant) you’ve surely seen how they feel about the pests of the umbrella tree.
Even such perfect plants will eventually get sooty mold, spider mites, and brown leaves.
Don’t give yourself a hard time now. Even in natural areas, they’ll get problems eventually. Good health can happen only if you watch your plant 24/7. That’s hard for sure! After a few years, some issues might occur.
When you spot them, we will help you to recognize them and to solve them. Now you’ll be ready all year round for any possible diseases and pests that might occur on the umbrella tree’s branches or leaves. In order to protect its vibrant red bloom, let’s see how to solve the issues.
Spider mites like to attack roses and trees with soft flowers and leaves. You will see them primarily on warm summer days, and this region has plenty of them.
What damage do these pests do? They suck the leaves and absorb the juices, ie nutrients, from the leaves.
Sucked leaves turn gray, i.e. lose their green color, and the plant lags behind in growth and flowering.
If an extremely affected plant is touched, its leaves begin to fall off. In the spring, you will have a tree that looks like it is autumn.
Spider mites live mostly on the underside of the leaves. During their attack, they weave a spider web that is silky in color and noticeable when there is enough light outside.
How to treat them? Spray your tree with a natural insecticide and acaricide, and you can also use neem oil. You can also check out our article about how to get rid of spider mites during flowering.
Aphids are small, barely noticeable insects that feed on the juicy parts of the plant, which of course are the leaves.
You will find them wherever there are plants. Of course, there are more of them outside, but they are also common in homes with many plants.
Unfortunately, it reproduces and can cause enormous damage to your plant. How to get rid of them then?
Aphids are small insects measuring up to 2 inches and although they often have wings, some do not. We distinguish young and adult species.
Adult aphids have antennae on their heads, while immature species have no antennae. The bodies of these pests are covered with hairs.
They feed on plant juices from the leaves. On plants, they cause curling of leaves, irregularity in the growth of tree fruits, the appearance of fungi on the plant, yellow, black, and brown leaves, as well as the release of toxins into the plant.
Use neem oil or spray the plant with a mixture of lavender and coriander. They are bothered by that smell, so they will immediately get rid of your plant.
Brown leaves are common on many indoor and outdoor plants. It can also be natural for the lower leaves on your plant to first turn pale yellow, then brown and eventually fall off. This happens in many types of tropical plants as they grow.
In some cases, brown leaves are a sign of certain problems. What are the problems your plant has then? Your plant does not have enough light!
When the lower leaves turn brown, the plant may not be getting enough light. If the color change is on the side of the plant that does not have enough light sources, it means too little light.
The plant has too much heat. Even though these are exotic plants, that doesn’t mean you want to treat them to a sauna!
It happens together with too little water, the leaves curl in such conditions and then fall off. If the plant also wilts while its leaves turn brown, increase watering. If the rest of the foliage is healthy, introduce some airflow to cool the plant.
Too little water can also be the cause of brown leaves on your tree. Plants without enough water will wither, and then the leaves will turn yellow, then brown, and fall off. This usually happens from the bottom side first.
The body of the mealybug has differences when it comes to males and females. The male has a pronounced body structure, while the females look like an oval, ie their body has an oval shape.
These differences are not so striking at first. But if you look closely, you will find out what it is about. It is important to know this because the female carries more eggs, and the male is not so harmful.
Their females are fertile and carry a huge number of eggs with them. If it forms on your tree, it means doom for your plant. They will form fluffy masses on your leaves. It is best to use neem oil to defend against them.
History Of An Umbrella Tree
What is now known to us as the umbrella plant tree has been known for thousands of years. Namely, in America, indigenous tribes used this wood for firewood, kindling, for painting walls, some even claim medicinal properties. This has not been confirmed since the plant has toxic properties.
However, some claim that the plant dates back to China. More precisely, from the province of Hainan in China. In America, it was confirmed as a botanic species in the 18th century. Before that, there were no signs of these trees in Europe and other continents. When everything spread across America, it soon found its place in Europe and Australia.
However, today it is the most popular in America, especially in the warm parts of America. Today, only 1 species of this tree is known. There are 5 types of this tree that differ in the shape of the leaves, the height, and the hardness zones of growth. Although an extremely beautiful and popular tree, today it still has a PA legal rarity status of Threatened.
Its symbolism is also very interesting. In Asian countries, this tree stands for a plant of good energy. If you have this tree planted in your garden, you don’t have bad luck either. Along with this symbolism, it stands for wealth, happiness, and protection. If you plant it near your home, your family will be protected from bad spirits and evil.
I know you are already crazy about umbrella tree Florida! How could you not be? After reading carefully, I’m sure you have many reasons to like this tree.
Easy care guide, beautiful flowers, and leaves, the fact that the tree is not messy… There are so many reasons why you should get it.
If you like colorful trees, we recommend you look at other trees suitable for these regions. For example, flowering trees in Texas will thrive perfectly well in Florida too. How about a tree with purple flowers? Or a yellow flowering tree? If you enjoy vibrant colors, you’ll fall in love with purple trees too.
That would be all for today, see you tomorrow with similar topics!