How to Propagate a Tall Umbrella Tree (Schefflera)

I’m moving to another state and can’t take my huge indoor umbrella plant with me. It’s about 8 feet high and 3 feet wide. It’s 25 years old and beautiful with some large leaves. I’d like to take a piece off and root it and take it with me. A friend is taking my plant for me. Where is the best place to cut it to get a piece and what is the best way to root it. The bottom of the tree is brown bark, but there is new growth at the top which is green. I’ve cut this back many times, but never tried to root it. Please help. I love this plant.

Hi Joanie,

In your case, the best way to propagate a schefflera is by stem cuttings. Use a sharp, clean scissors or razor blade to cut a 5” piece from a healthy stem near the bottom of the plant just below a leaf node. A node is where a leaf joins the stem. Remove leaves from the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Dip the cut end of the stem into a small amount of Rooting Hormone that contains a Fungicide. Plant the stem in moist potting soil. Cover the pot with clear plastic to increase the humidity and prevent the soil from drying out. Check the plant every few days to be sure the soil stays moist. Tug on the stem cuttings after a few weeks, if there is resistance, roots have developed, the plastic can be removed, and the propagation was successful. Pinch back the tips of the new growth to encourage the plant to branch out.

Always wear gloves when pruning this plant.  Scheffleras are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.