Welcome to our Umbrella Plant Propagation Guide! The name umbrella plant doesn’t ring a bell in everyone’s head – they certainly aren’t as popular as some other tropical house plants. However, they are gorgeous, with their long oval-shaped leaves gracefully drooping from the central stem.
Schefflera plants make a great addition to any room. You can keep them small and modest with some regular trimming. Or you can let the plants do their thing and place them on the floor, making them a great centerpiece. Those plants grow as big as 8 to 10 feet (2-3meters) indoors and even bigger, up to 30 feet (9 meters) outdoors in their natural environment.
First thing first, why should you propagate an umbrella plant? Since It’s fun and games and what could be better than one beautiful plant? Two or even more gorgeous plants! let’s get started!
Umbrella plant propagation
Did you know that umbrella plants, also known as umbrella trees, can’t be propagated by division? That is because they only have one stem. So, you can’t divide the plant into sections and use each section to grow a new plant.
However, worry not! There are other ways to propagate your umbrella plant. You can take cuttings from the mother plant and root them in soil or water – this is the easiest method. Or why not try air layering if you’re looking for more of a challenge? Alternatively, you can grow a new Schefflera plant from seed.
When is the best time to propagate an umbrella plant?
Basically, since it’s a houseplant you can multiply it any time of the year. However, the best time to do so is spring and summer since that is the natural growing season for Cyperus Involucratus which is its scientific name.
How do you take cuttings from an umbrella plant?
You probably already know how propagation from cuttings works if you’ve read our articles on ZZ plant or Prayer plant propagation. A dwarf umbrella tree is another plant easily propagated by this technique. But where to cut the umbrella plant for propagation? It depends on which techniques you want to do: Terminal or Stem cuttings.
What do you need for that? A clean – to avoid diseases – and very sharp – for clean cuts – scissors and of course a parent plant that is at least 8 feet tall.
Before we start cutting, consider the health of the parent plant. You shouldn’t take more than 3-4 cuttings from a just matured plant, however, a fully grown – more than 10 feet tall – umbrella plant could tolerate 8-9 cuttings.
How to Propagate An Umbrella Plant by stem cuttings?
Actually, this is almost the same as the other one, just with one extra step. If you are practicing this method, then you should cut a larger part of the stem right above a node from a mature plant. After that, the cuttings are divided into several pieces, but make sure that each one contains a bud.
The top piece is basically a terminal cutting (you will find the guide above) and the rest of them are stem cuttings. You don’t have to do anything but put them into the soil with their bud upward. It takes about 1-2 months for stem cuttings to establish large enough roots.
Schefflera propagates by terminal cuttings
This is probably the simpler solution, not that the other one is complicated. Follow these simple steps when taking your cuttings:
- Pick a healthy branch – the branch should carry some leaves and be an even green shade. Next, find a node on the branch. Nodes are small brown bumps on the branch from where new leaves grow.
- Cut below the node at a 45-degree angle. Always use a clean and sterilized pair of scissors or a knife to avoid any infections. A cutting of an umbrella plant should be 4 to 6 inches long.
- Remove the bottom leaves from the cutting.
Rooting the cuttings in water
We love propagating houseplants in water as we can use the cuttings as home decor during the rooting process. Plus, it’s easy to visually monitor root growth – there is no guessing about when to plant the cuttings in a pot. Plant propagation in water is incredibly easy.
- (Optional). Wet the end of the cuttings and dip them into a rooting agent to encourage root growth.
- Fill a glass jar with water and place your cuttings in the water.
- Leave your plant Schefflera cuttings in bright indirect light.
- Maintenance: Check the water regularly to ensure it’s always clean. The water should be changed once per week optimally.
- Once the roots have grown to around 2-3 inches, plant the cuttings.
Give it a read
Rooting in soil
If you usually root your cuttings in the water and want to try something new, why not root them in soil? The process looks almost the same for the two, but some slight differences exist.
- Preparation: Get a pot ready – we recommend using a flowering pot or container around 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
- Fill your container of choice with soil. Use a well-draining and loose potting mix for umbrella plants. Ensure that the potting mix is thoroughly moist before planting your cuttings – you might have to get in there with your hands to ensure there are no dry spots.
- (Optional). Rooting hormones are recommended for Schefflera cuttings, especially when rooting them in soil. Dip the cutting into your rooting hormone before planting it.
- Plant your cuttings in moist, well-draining soil.
- (Optional). Cover your cuttings with a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect – this helps to encourage faster root growth.
- Re-pot the cuttings once they have developed roots around 2-3 inches long.
How to propagate Umbrella Plant from air layering?
Air layering is a fascinating propagation technique where a stem grows roots while still attached to its parent plant. While this method is more challenging than rooting cuttings, it is still easily doable if you have a steady hand.
- Preparation: You need a sharp knife, a piece of hard plastic, cling film, some moss, a pair of scissors, and some tape or a string.
- Pick a healthy branch and make an upright cut just below a leaf node – only cut ⅔ through the stem.
- Put your small piece of plastic in the cut – this ensures the cut won’t close up. Alternatively, you can fill the cut with some damp moss.
- Wrap a handful of moist moss around the branch. The cut should be entirely covered.
- Cover with cling film and seal the ends with tape or tie them together with string, ensuring it’s airtight.
- It takes a few weeks up to a couple of months for the roots to develop. Once they have grown, remove the plastic around the moss, cut the branch just below the moss, and plant your cutting.
How to grow an Umbrella plant from seed?
Another way to grow an Umbrella plant is from seed. It’s worth mentioning that while propagating a Schefflera from seeds is doable, it requires some patience. The key to success is getting your hands on some fresh seeds.
- Get a seedling tray ready – use light, well-draining soil.
- Soak the seeds in hot water (164ºF/60ºC) before sowing them.
- Plant the seeds in moist soil.
- Maintenance: Place the seedling tray in bright yet indirect sunlight. The ideal temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees (24-30 degrees Celsius). Water regularly to ensure the soil stays moist – avoid watering too much and making the potting mix soggy.
- Re-pot the seedlings once they are a few inches long.
How to take care of the plant after propagation?
After you put your new growth plant in the soil, you should look after it frequently since it takes longer to become strong enough. Be sure that the soil is always moist and the humidity is high. After a few months, you should prune at least once the plant to make it bushy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you propagate umbrella plants in water?
Yes, absolutely! Water propagation is the easiest way to clone your umbrella plant.
How to propagate mini umbrella plants?
You can use cuttings, air layering, or seeds to propagate mini umbrella plants.
How to propagate umbrella plants from leaves?
You can propagate an umbrella plan from a leaf as long as you leave a short stem attached to it.