Dwarf Schefflera Bonsai care and details: Great bonsai for beginners

Dwarf Schefflera Bonsai care and details: Great bonsai for beginners
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Image Source: Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons (Image Cropped)

Dwarf Schefflera Bonsai are best for beginners to start with. They are an indoor/ outdoor evergreen bonsai plant. The leaves are arranged in clusters and look like an umbrella. The plants are easy to grow and maintain.

Quick Details of Dwarf Schefflera Bonsai

Other Common NamesDwarf umbrella tree, Hawaii umbrella tree
TypeIndoor/outdoor bonsai
MaintenanceModerate/ high in case of bonsai
FloweringSpring (bonsai’s usually do not show any flowering)
LightBright direct sunlight, can tolerate partial indirect light.
WaterRegular watering
TemperatureWarm conditions
SoilWell drained sandy soil
FertilizerAny house plant fertilizer
HabitatAsia, Australia, Taiwan
ToxicityToxic to pets.
Common DiseasesResistant to diseases.
Scientific nameSchefflera arboricola

Overview of Dwarf Schefflera

Dwarf Schefflera are evergreen shrubs or small trees. The plants are native to Australia and Asia and belong to the family Araliaceae. the trunk and branches do not produce any hard wood. The leaves are shiny, oval shaped and arranged in clusters of 5 to 8 leaflets. They look like an umbrella. In natural habitat the schefflera flowers bear yellow flowers.They  develop aerial roots.

Special features: They produce aerial roots.

Usage and Advantage of Dwarf Schefflera

  •  It is grown as an ornamental plant. (bonsai)

General Care for Dwarf Schefflera Bonsai

Special Care:

Pruning and training: Pruning and training are important for growing a well-shaped and healthy bonsai. The selection of pot, training the plants and pruning at the right time are main factors that are important in growing a well-shaped and beautiful looking bonsai.

The plants can be pruned regularly. The leaves and buds/ tips are pinched off once in a while. This helps in developing new leaves and branches. The whole tree can be defoliated this helps in forming new smaller leaves. New branches on the top can be pinched off to allow branching at the lower side of the canopy. The canopy can be shaped by cutting off unwanted branches. The tips of the newly grown plants should be pinched off to promote a bushier appearance. Pruning the tips of the branches helps in developing a bushier appearance.

If left without pruning they grow as a single long branch. The buds present at the nodes of the leaves grows into a new branch therefore the plants can be shaped accordingly by cutting of ½ to one inch above the desired node. This helps in branching from that particular node.

Re-potting: They can be re-potted ones in 2 or 3 years. A pot 2/3 the length of the canopy is best for growing bonsai. The plants should be carefully uprooted. The roots are fleshy and can be damaged very easily. Care should be taken while cleaning the leaves off the old soil. wash them properly to get rid of any old soil.  The cleaned bonsai can be re-potted into fresh soil in the same pot or a new pot. 2/3 of the roots can be carefully removed. A fungicide can be applied on the cuts to prevent any infection or diseases.

Wiring: The branches of scheffleras are softer than most of the other bonsai trees, wiring is not a very preferred technique to shape these because it can result in damaging the soft branches. The wiring should be done carefully and should be much lose than the normal wiring. The young branches can be wired to shape them. The leaves can also be placed properly by wiring them. The wiring of leaves is done after they mature. The wire can be wound up from the stem to the petiole of the leaf. This helps in positioning the leaf. The wiring can be removed after a month. While wiring, care should be taken to leave enough space so that the branches are not cut or have marks when they grow.

The scheffleras can be grown as a full complete canopy, root on the top of rocks style or banyan style. They easily develop aerial roots hence looking great in banyan style.

Position:

Dwarf Schefflera can be placed indoors throughout the year. These plants can thrive when there is proper direct sunlight as well as in shade. Schefflera can be placed in areas with direct sunlight.

During winters care should be taken to protect them from cold breezes.

Soil:

Dwarf Schefflera prefer a well-drained soil nutrient rich soil. a mixture of sand vermicompost, crushed brick, coco-peat, and neem seed powder can be mixed at a ratio of 4:3:1:1:1. A bonsai soil mix can also be used.

Watering:

The Dwarf Schefflera plants prefer wet soil. They should be watered regularly. Dry soil can be harmful to the plant. They like to sit in moist soil.

Light and temperature:

The Dwarf Schefflera plants actively grow in direct bright sunlight. The branches grow and the leaves become smaller when exposed to direct light. The plants can also be grown in dim light or artificial light. The growth will be reduced and the leaves might be larger than the ones grown under direct sunlight. The optimum climate for their growth is 15-25ºc. they cannot tolerate cold weather and should be protected from cold breeze. Proper growth is required for shaping and training the bonsai.

Fertilizer:

The Dwarf Schefflera can be fed with any house plant fertilizer. half the recommended quality should be fed ones in a week during the growing period. This can be reduced to ones in a month during winters or when the plants enter their resting period.

Pests and other problems for Dwarf Schefflera

 Dwarf Schefflera are mostly resistant to diseases.

Propagation of Dwarf Schefflera

Stem cutting: The plant can be propagated through stem cutting. a 6-8-inch-long growing stem can be collected from a healthy plant. The leaves from the base are removed leaving few sets of leaves at the top. The cut tip is dipped in rooting hormone and planted in soil. The tip is watered regularly to develop into a new plant

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