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An indoor umbrella

While the Monstera deliciosa, Ficus lyrate and various species of ferns and cacti have all been billed amongst the ‘hottest’ houseplants in 2021, we’re shining the spotlight on the popular, equally stunning but less quoted Schefflera.

The Schefflera actinophylla commonly known as the umbrella tree and Schefflera arboricola, its wee cousin, the dwarf umbrella tree, are the most prevalent varieties of this impressive specimen.

Their distinctive, hand shaped leaves collectively give the impression of forming an umbrella and bring a lavish, natural element to interiors, guaranteed to attract a string of oohs and aahs.

With the ability to grow to over two metres tall, the Schefflera is often planted with its stem tied to a moss pole for support.

Originating from the Southern Hemisphere, the green wonder is surprisingly easy to grow and thrives in centrally heated buildings, but they do need bright, indirect light – a dearth of light will cause the plant to become leggy, while full direct sunlight may burn its precious foliage.

It’s best to allow the top of the compost to dry out between watering and reduce watering to once a month in the winter. Yellow leaves which fall off are a sign of overwatering or temperature fluctuations.

A prune now and again, wouldn’t go amiss either. If the plant becomes leggy, cut off these leaves and the Schefflera will quickly regrow in a bushy format.

This plant, named after the Polish physician and botanist, Johann Peter Ernst von Scheffler, like many indoor plants, has the ability to purify the air around us by absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen.

So, to boost the air quality of the office, why not consider adding a gorgeous green or variegated Schefflera and stimulate your staff whilst enhancing creativity.

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