The schefflera plant requires little care, making it a favorite among houseplants. It does not include direct sunlight but a bright indirect light. Watering takes place only after the soil dries from the last watering. Pruning does not harm the schefflera. The pruned trimmings are easily propagated for new plants for the home.
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Choosing the Cuttings
The stem of the schefflera has three to five leaves at the top and it is the stem that lends itself to propagation. The cuttings must be at least 6 to 8 inches long and taken from a healthy host plant, free from disease. Use pruning shears or a razor blade to make clean cuts when removing stems for propagation. A rooting hormone increases the chance of success when growing schefflera cuttings.
Preparing the Cuttings
Rooting hormone comes in powdered form as well as a liquid and is carried by most garden centers. Just a little bit goes a long way and it is best to pour a little into a separate dish before dipping the cuttings into the whole container. This step keeps the master container of rooting hormone free from any contaminates the schefflera cuttings may be carrying.
A small pot, quality potting soil and a clear plastic bag provide the makings of a miniature greenhouse to grow the schefflera cuttings. Fill the pot with the soil and make a hole in the middle to place the cutting. Pre-forming the planting hole keeps the rooting hormone on the cutting so it does not rub off on the top of the soil. Water the soil so it is moist for growing the plant cutting, but avoid making the soil soggy.
Setting up the Greenhouse
Dip the schefflera cutting into the rooting hormone and shake off any excess. Place the cutting into the hole and tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets. Air pockets contain bacteria, which causes plant cuttings to rot.
Cover the entire pot with a clear plastic bag and secure it at the top with a rubber band or twist tie. A rubber band should also be located around the upper rim of the growing pot so the moisture stays at the top with the plant and not on the sides of the container. Set the container with the schefflera cuttings in bright, but not direct, sunlight. Depending on the variety, roots may start to form within two weeks. Other varieties may take longer. Do not take off the plastic bag or add water until the schefflera cutting has formed roots.
A gentle tug on the plant cutting is all it takes to determine if there are roots growing. Resistance means the root system has started to form. The bag can be removed. After the bag is removed, the new plant can be moved into its permanent home and maintained as usual.