Schefflera Plant Benefits Backed by Leading Research Studies
Also known as umbrella trees, Schefflera plants are incredibly popular indoor trees. Depending on the species, these plants can grow up to approximately 10 feet indoors. In addition to their impressive size, Schefflera plants also have several brilliant uses and benefits.
- About Schefflera Plants
- 12 Uses and Benefits of Schefflera Plants
- 1. Schefflera Plants Are Fantastic Ornamental Indoor Trees
- 2. Schefflera Plants Have Air-Purifying Properties
- 3. Schefflera Plants May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress
- 4. Schefflera Plants Could Improve Your Sleep
- 5. Schefflera Plants Can Help Increase Focus and Productivity
- 6. Schefflera Plants Are Good for Feng Shui
- 7. Schefflera Plants Are Low-Maintenance
- 8. Schefflera Plants Can Tolerate Different Light Conditions
- 9. Schefflera Plants Have Long Lifespans
- 10. Schefflera Plants Could Help Combat Allergies
- 11. Schefflera Plants Can Help Increase Indoor Humidity
- 12. Schefflera Plants Can Act As Natural Soundproofing
- Schefflera Plant Benefits – Wrapping Up
About Schefflera Plants
The Schefflera genus contains between 600 and 900 recognized species of flowering trees or shrubs. The genus makes up about half of the plants in the Araliaceae family. The Schefflera genus is named after the 18th Century Polish botanist Johann Peter Ernst von Scheffler.
Umbrella trees (Schefflera actinophylla) and dwarf umbrella trees (Schefflera arboricola) are the two Schefflera species commonly grown indoors. Umbrella trees are native to Australia and Indonesia and can grow up to 50 feet tall in the wild. Dwarf umbrella trees are indigenous to China and can reach up to 30 feet tall.
Schefflera plants are woody trees and shrubs with palmate compound green leaves that look like outstretched hands. Schefflera plants can also grow as epiphytes on other trees.
12 Uses and Benefits of Schefflera Plants
1. Schefflera Plants Are Fantastic Ornamental Indoor Trees
One of the main benefits of Schefflera plants is their sheer size. Even indoors, umbrella trees can reach up to 10 feet tall, while dwarf umbrella trees can reach 4 feet tall. Schefflera plants are ideal for filling an ample space to create a jungle feel.
Schefflera plants also have attractive green leaves arranged in clusters. These palmate compound clusters look like outstretched hands and produce plenty of foliage. Dwarf umbrella trees (Schefflera arboricola) are even more suitable indoors due to their smaller size.
2. Schefflera Plants Have Air-Purifying Properties
It’s no secret that many houseplants have air-purifying properties, and Schefflera plants are no exception. In 1989, NASA’s Clean Air Study found that houseplants could absorb harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air. VOCs can come from several household objects, including carpets, cleaning products, paint, and adhesives.
Benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene are some of the most commonly-encountered VOCs. These compounds have been linked to several health risks and can exacerbate or trigger allergies like asthma. Some research even indicates that VOCs could contribute to an increased risk of cancer.
By growing Schefflera plants indoors, you could reduce the impact of VOCs on your health and your home.
3. Schefflera Plants May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress
According to the American Psychological Association, many of us are suffering from increased stress and anxiety. However, houseplants like Schefflera trees may be the key to helping us deal with the pressures of modern life.
In a 2015 study, two groups of 12 young men were given two tasks; working at a computer or repotting a houseplant. Their stress levels were measured during each task. The data showed that their stress levels were lower when participants were repotting the plant.
Another study conducted on elderly residents in a care home discovered that houseplants could increase our quality of life. As the residents began learning about houseplants and caring for them, they felt happier. Other studies indicate that houseplants can reduce muscle tension, improve heart health, and promote positive brain activity.
4. Schefflera Plants Could Improve Your Sleep
Schefflera plants could also have a positive impact on your sleep. These plants can help purify the air around us while we sleep. But the effects of houseplants on our sleep patterns may go even deeper.
One Chinese study conducted in 2019 measured whether houseplants could improve sleep quality for astronauts. The results showed that their sleep quality improved whenever participants could see or smell a plant. Participants could also better regulate their central nervous systems, allowing them to drift off more easily.
5. Schefflera Plants Can Help Increase Focus and Productivity
Numerous studies indicate that houseplants like umbrella trees could improve focus and productivity.
One study measured productivity in office workers when houseplants were present in the office and again with the plants removed. The data showed a 15% increase in productivity when the plants were in the office. The participants also claimed to feel happier and less stressed.
Houseplants can also improve memory and focus. A University of Michigan study found that just looking at pictures of plants increased memory retention by up to 20%. So whether you add Schefflera plants to your home office or your workplace, you could become more productive.
6. Schefflera Plants Are Good for Feng Shui
Schefflera plants may also help improve the feng shui within your home and are associated with the Wood element. Umbrella trees are linked to prosperity, wealth, and success. According to the Bagua map, placing umbrella trees in southeastern parts of your home could boost prosperity.
Schefflera plants can also help turn negative energy into positive energy. Negative energy collects in empty spaces and sharp corners. Positioning Schefflera plants in these spaces fills the area with living positive energy or chi.
7. Schefflera Plants Are Low-Maintenance
Despite their impressive size, umbrella trees are low-maintenance and easy to grow. By getting the care requirements right, you can enjoy an umbrella tree that lives for years.
Schefflera plants require bright, indirect light and warm temperatures between 60 and 75ºF (15.5 to 24ºC) throughout the year. Water umbrella plants whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry, and always use filtered or distilled water.
Schefflera plants need well-draining soils with good airflow and nutrition. Fertilize umbrella plants every 4 to 6 weeks in spring and summer and repot every 2 or 3 years.
8. Schefflera Plants Can Tolerate Different Light Conditions
It’s easy to provide the right amount of light for Schefflera plants. These indoor trees work well in most rooms within your home, making them highly versatile.
Schefflera plants need approximately 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day. Filtered light also works well, but Schefflera plants can’t tolerate direct sun for very long. East or southeast-facing rooms provide the ideal lighting conditions for umbrella trees.
9. Schefflera Plants Have Long Lifespans
Schefflera plants can survive for approximately 25 years when given the right care. This makes umbrella trees one of the longest-lasting houseplants you can bring into your home.
To help your umbrella tree last for decades, maintain a good watering and fertilizing schedule. Repot the plant every 2 or 3 years to help it keep growing and provide bright, indirect sunlight. Grow the plant in well-draining soils with plenty of nutrients and good airflow to protect your umbrella tree against diseases.
10. Schefflera Plants Could Help Combat Allergies
The ability of umbrella trees to help purify the air also provides other benefits. By absorbing potentially harmful VOCs, Schefflera plants can help people suffering from respiratory problems like asthma. VOCs and strong odors can trigger asthma attacks, so having an umbrella plant in your home could help combat allergies.
11. Schefflera Plants Can Help Increase Indoor Humidity
Humidity is vital for the health of both umbrella plants and humans. Schefflera plants require moderate humidity levels between 50 and 75%, which you can boost using humidifiers or pebble trays. According to several health organizations, humans require humidity levels between 30 and 50%.
Schefflera plants will get rid of excess moisture through evaporation using their leaves. So by increasing the humidity around your Schefflera plant, you can slightly raise the humidity throughout your home.
12. Schefflera Plants Can Act As Natural Soundproofing
Schefflera plants could also help reduce ambient noise within your home. Plants can absorb sound waves through their stems or leaves. Indoor trees like umbrella plants are ideal for this because they have tall trunks and lots of foliage.
One Korean study indicates that houseplants can actually outperform paper-based soundproofing methods. The bigger the plant, the better it should absorb or deflect sound waves. This ability also extends to the pot and soil that the plant sits in.
The Benefits of Schefflera Plants – Wrapping Up
With their beautiful green leaves and impressive size, Schefflera plants are some of the best indoor trees for your home. However, umbrella trees also provide a range of benefits to our physical and mental health. Schefflera plants can help purify the air, reduce stress, and even improve our sleep. Umbrella plants are also excellent for feng shui and can live for up to 25 years.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.