OVERVIEW & GENERAL CARE
The Schefflera arboricola (Luseane variety) is native to China and Taiwan. The Schefflera, or umbrella tree, has characteristic foliage with seven waxy green leaves evenly spaced on a single petiole, or stem.
The ideal temperature for the Schefflera is 64-72°F. It likes bright light and can benefit from high humidity. In warm, bright, and humid conditions; the Schefflera can even drop aerial roots that can eventually join the main trunk in a banyan style. The tight bonsai container can also assist with this process.
The leaves of the Schefflera can reduce in size quite significantly as long as bright light is provided and larger leaves and foliage are pruned back.
PRUNING & STYLING
Scheffleras are not the ideal candidate for wiring, although flexible branches can be gently wired and trained as many other species can. Be sure to remove the wire when you notice it ‘biting into’ the branches.
Pruning is a powerful tool with the Schefflera. New branches can grow from the axil of a branch, or the corner where a leaf stem meets a branch. When you trim the Schefflera, it is best practice to trim just below the umbrella-shaped leaves and leave the stem attached. This allows the plant to compartmentalize the energy and direct it toward the new bud at the base of the stem.
Prune inward, downward, and undesired crossing branches, as well as foliage that is excessively large relative to the rest of the plant.
If your tree is very healthy, and shows solid growth; you can defoliate the entire tree. To defoliate, you actually cut every (yes every) set of leaves off, leaving the stem. What will happen is new buds will start to push all across the tree and your leaf size should emerge uniformly and smaller. Again, this should only be done with healthy trees. If you tree is showing any kind of discoloration or has pests or fungus it is not the time to do this work.