Schefflera digitata is a graceful flower, which is often called a ballerina due to its sophistication and tenderness. The neat crown of dissected leaves is very similar to the skirt, which once again explains why the plant got this name. This flower is not very popular among fans of indoor plants but nevertheless deserves attention.
The plant belongs to the Araliaceae family, which combines more than 200 representatives. The “ballerina” was widely spread in the countries of the southeast of Asia and the Pacific Islands. There is another name for the flower – “umbrella tree”, which also arose thanks to dissected leaf plates. In nature, schefflera digitata grows as a tree or shrub, and reaches a length of up to 30 meters. Indoor varieties are 1.5-2 meters long. Regardless of the change in the weather, the leaves of the sheffler do not change their color. The ballerina’s “umbrellas” have about 8 leaves. In mature crops, the number increases to 16. The inflorescence is a panicle. Indoor varieties have yellow flowers, and in nature their color can vary from white to burgundy. A lot of these representatives grow in greenhouses, where they are well looked after.
Schefflera digitata is somewhat different from other schefflera in terms of conditions of detention. This is difficult to grow the plant, making increased demands on humidity conditions, maintenance temperature, illumination.
For Schefflera digitata of the most elegant should be light and nutritious, from the purchased soil for decorative deciduous plants or universal, containing perlite, will do. Independently, you can make a substrate of the following composition: turf earth: leafy earth: sand (2: 1: 2). The optimal acidity is slightly acidic (pH 5.5-6.5).
Schefflera digitata grows quite slowly, it is transplanted every 2 years by transshipment, without destroying the earthen lump. Provide good drainage. As soon as the plants have reached the maximum size of the pot (20-25 cm), transplants are stopped, instead replacing the upper 2-5 cm of soil with fresh soil in early spring.
Schefflera digitata most elegant needs bright but diffuse lighting. Summer sun rays that cause burns are detrimental to it, so the southern windows are not suitable for placement. Mature plants show bronze shades of foliage, and coloration is well manifested in high levels of illumination. Optimal illumination for the plant is created on the windows of western and eastern orientation, in the summer the northern windows are also suitable. Also in the summer, the plant can be taken to the garden, while protecting it from direct sunlight.
In winter, with a warm content, the plant is illuminated with a phytolamp.
The optimal temperature of the plant in the spring-summer period is + 23 °C during the day and + 21 °C at night. The maximum temperature that the plant can withstand is + 29 °C. In winter, the plant needs coolness, + 16 … + 18 °C, while it is unacceptable to drop the temperature below + 15 °C, which can cause leaf fall. The plant should be protected from the heat of the batteries and cold drafts, which can also cause leaf fall.
During the period of active vegetation, from spring to autumn, watering should be abundant, with drying of the top layer of soil between waterings to a depth of 2-5 cm. At low temperatures in winter, watering is more rare and less abundant. Water with water at room temperature – the temperature in the root zone should not be lower than the temperature of the surrounding air.
For the plant, conditions of high humidity are created, too dry air causes the fall of foliage. The pot is installed on a pallet with wet claydite. The leaves are regularly sprayed with soft water. The ideal environment is created when growing a plant in a florarium or terrrarium.
is applied 2 times a month with a complex mineral fertilizer for ornamental deciduous plants in half dose. Feed from spring to autumn, with a decrease in the temperature of the content for the winter, fertilizing is canceled. With warm winter content and illumination with a phytolamp, the plant is fed in winter, 1 time per month, with half the rate of fertilizer.
This Schefflera digitata has no physiological rest period. However, from October to February, the temperature of the content is reduced due to reduced natural light. Watering is reduced, not fed.
If artificial additional illumination is used, the temperature is left at + 20 °C, watered more actively and fed once a month in a half dose.
The plant does not require special pruning, its crown is already formed beautiful. However, weakened bare shoots can be pruned in the spring to make the plant thicker.
All parts of the plant are poisonous.
The plant is rarely affected by pests, although it is possible to defeat aphids, shield mites, spider mites, whiteflies, mealybugs.
Propagation of schefflera digitata
This plant reproduces quite difficult. The main method of reproduction is cuttings, and a seed method of reproduction is also possible.
It is best to sow fresh seeds in late summer, but more often they are sold in winter. They are sown in January-February in a pre-steamed mixture of equal proportions of peat and sand. Before sowing, the seeds are soaked in a solution of Epin or Zircon. Seeds are left on the surface, not sealing in the ground, but only pressing. Germinate in the light at a temperature of +20 … +24 °C. Crops are regularly moistened with spraying and ventilated. Lower heating contributes to better germination of seeds. Germination occurs within 20-30 days. Shoots in the phase of 2-3 leaves are picked in individual containers and grown at a temperature of + 18 … + 20 °C. As the earthen ball is braided, they are transferred to pots with a diameter of 9 cm. By autumn, young plants are transferred to pots up to 12 cm in diameter.
Cuttings take root better with treatment with a rooting stimulant. They are planted in individual containers with a mixture of peat and sand in equal shares and placed in a greenhouse with a temperature of + 20 … + 22 °C and diffused lighting. Lower heating is desirable. The appearance of new sprouts is observed within a few weeks.
Rooted cuttings are grown at a temperature of + 18 … + 20 °C, as the earthen lump is braided, they are transferred to pots with a diameter of 9 cm and kept at a temperature of + 14 … + 16 °C in good light.
Grown young plants are planted 3 in one pot to achieve a greater decorative effect.
Propagation by air diversions
If you are not sure that you can root the cuttings, use the method of air vents. In the spring, drag the shoot with copper wire, cover this place with wet sphagnum and tie with polyethylene. After a few weeks, roots are formed, then the branch can be cut off and planted in a small pot, first under the film. After a few days, the film is gradually removed.
Possible problems in growing schefflera digitata
- The leaves turn yellow – usually due to a lack of magnesium. However, another reason is possible – overwatering of the substrate.
- The lower leaves fall off – among the possible causes – overdrying or overwatering of the soil, insufficient humidity, temperature changes, a drop in temperature below + 15 °C.
Sum up: how to grow a shefflera digitata correctly?
If you decide to grow a schefflera digitata, you should use cuttings for this, since working with seeds is very painstaking and requires in-depth knowledge. Working with cuttings is easier and more enjoyable. It is enough just to plant them in pots with fertile soil, which must first be mixed with a mixture of torn and sand. Then they should be covered with a plastic glass and kept at a temperature of 20-23 degrees. It is necessary to wait for the moment when the cuttings will give the first roots. Then the plant will need to be transplanted into another container. Note that the schefflera digitata is quite demanding in terms of care, so it is important to know about such nuances here:
- The plant does not cope well with excess water, so you need to be careful with watering. The water must be at room temperature, and it must be brought in as needed. In the first period of life, the plant consumes a lot of water, so you need to monitor this and water as needed.
- The light that hits the flower must be diffused. Otherwise, the leaves may burn and begin to turn yellow. The ideal conditions are partial shade. If the windows are not on the sunny side, the plant pot can be placed directly on the windowsill.
- It is very important to monitor the temperature in the room, which should be between 16 and 20 degrees.
In a hot season, a saucer with cool water should be placed next to the container where the flower grows to ensure air humidity. Leaves should also be periodically sprayed with water, but in moderation, otherwise they can rot. In winter, on the contrary, you need to take care that there was a minimum of humidity in the room.
Only with such a responsible approach to caring for a shefflera can a rich and long-lasting flowering be achieved.
Schefflera digitata is somewhat different from other Schefflera in terms of conditions of detention. This is difficult to grow plant, making increased demands on humidity conditions, maintenance temperature, illumination.