False Aralia: How to Grow Care Guide-Schefflera elegantissima

Hi Judy,
Can you help me identify this plant? I got it at a local Home Depot, but it doesn’t say the type of plant it is. Thank you.

Hi Michlai,

It looks like a false aralia (Schefflera elegantissima). Over the years plant experts have given this plant several different names, among them are: spider aralia and thread leaf aralia. It even has another scientific name: Dizygotheca elegantissima.

Here are some care tips

Light: Medium to bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light., no direct sun

Water: Too much water, resulting in root rot, is the main reason aralia plants die. Allow the top several inches of soil  to dry out before watering. In a small pot like yours, the soil will dry out fairly quickly. However, as the plant grows, and you move it to a larger container, it will take longer to dry out. Always test the soil before watering.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Feed only when the plant is actively growing and always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength. Feed every other month in the fall and winter when your aralia is actively growing and monthly in the spring and summer.  with a plant food high in nitrogen diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.

Temperature: Aralia plants prefer temperatures between 60°-85° F (15.6°-29.4°C).

This is what is will look like as a full grown plant.