Schefflera octophylla, synonym (Schefflera heptaphylla) is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical evergreen mixed forests of Southeast China, Taiwan, and grows in Tibet at an altitude of 100 to 2100 meters above sea level. It is also found in Japan, Vietnam, and India.
Schefflera octophylla in nature is a tree or shrub from 2 to 15 meters in height, with a crown diameter of up to 30 centimeters. The shoots of the eight-leaf schefflera are thick, when young, pubescent, with age the pubescence disappears, the bark on the trunk becomes wrinkled.
The leaves of Schefflera octophylla are very beautiful. The petioles of the leaves are creamy, 15 to 30 centimeters long, drooping, topped with a rosette of leaf plates. The leaves consist mainly of 8 leaf plates, but there may be another number – 6-9 and even 11, they are small, glossy, leathery, almost paper, oval or elliptical, 9-17 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, light green.
Young leaves may be sparsely toothed or pinnate with a slightly olive tinge. The lower part of the leaves of the Schefflera octophylla without gloss, the usual matte green color. The inflorescence of the plant up to 30 cm long, the flowers are white. Scheffler blooms in autumn – in November – early December, the fruits begin to ripen by the end of December.
The softwood of the plant is used for the production of matches. In folk medicine, the infusion of leaves and bark of the roots of Schefflera octophylla is used in the treatment of colds, as well as for bruises or injuries.
Recommended for cultivation:
- Schefflera octophylla can be kept in apartments, offices, general purpose premises as a desktop or floor (tub plant);
- in a winter garden or greenhouse in free soil or in a container
life expectancy in the interior:
- in room conditions on average 2-3 years;
- in a winter garden for 7 years or more
Maximum dimensions in culture:
up to 2.5 m high
Care and problems:
- young plants are transplanted annually, in spring or autumn;
- adults (older than 3 years) need to be transplanted 1 time in 2-3 years, changing the soil completely;
- do not do any transplants, but then you need to update the top layer of soil to a depth of 10-15 cm annually, in the spring – for plants in tubs or large floor pots
composition of the earth mixture: turf earth: leafy earth: sand (2:3:1) or Universal soil for ornamental deciduous houseplants
Acidity (pH):slightly acidic (5.0-6.0), neutral (6.0-7.0)
- variegated forms require bright diffused light, otherwise in the shade, the variegated color is replaced by green;
- you can keep Schefflera octophylla in the direct sun no more than 3-4 hours a day;
- green-leaved forms can be satisfied with the simultaneous illumination of phytolamps or fluorescent lamps of white light;
- with insufficient lighting and low humidity, young forming leaves die, older leaves fall off;
- excessive soil moisture during watering in combination with low air temperature contributes to the development of leaf spots;
- Schefflera octophylla is often damaged by shields, mealybugs, spider mites
Care during the rest period:
- optimum temperature:+14-20°C
- watering and humidity: temperate
- rest period: in room conditions forced (from October to February) due to low illumination and humidity of the air
- propagate Schefflera octophylla by rooting semi-woody cuttings in a mini-greenhouse using drugs that stimulate the formation and growth of roots. You can root throughout the year, but spring cuttings give the best results;
- less often sowing seeds at soil temperature +20-25°C
Specific requirements of the culture:
- Schefflera octophylla requires shading from the bright sun in the spring, march-april, and in the summer when kept on the south window;
- frequent spraying of leaves is required, at least 5-6 times a day;
- scheffler requires moderate watering all year round
Decorative properties: leaves
Color and shape of the leaves:
- leaves are green, on long, drooping petioles, finger-folded, consist of 5-8 lobes-leaflets of elliptical shape in young plants and up to 16 lobes in adults;
- the length of the lobes is 30-40 cm, the width is 5-10 cm, the tips of the lobes are pointed. Each lobe of the leaf has its own short petiole 1–2 cm long;
- there is a variegated form of ‘Variegata’ with yellow and cream spots