Hawaiian Schefflera Plant


A Hawaiian Schefflera plant, Schefflera Arboricola, is often called a dwarf umbrella tree because it looks like a smaller version of the large Schefflera actinophylla. It is also called an Australian Ivy Palm and a Hawaiian Umbrella Tree. The plant was originally found growing as a flowering outdoor plant in Taiwan and is native to Australia as well. and is still grown outdoors in moderate climates around the world.

Hawaiian Schefflera Description

As an indoor houseplant, a Hawaiian Schefflera can be as small as 5″ and be used in dish gardens. Hawaiian Scheffleras are perfect table or floor plants for home or office. and are also an excellent choice if you want to try your hand at the art of bonsai. A Hawaiian schefflera, like its close cousin the Schefflera actinophylla or Umbrella tree plant, can also be a specimen tree reaching a height of six feet or more. This attractive plant is available with braided stems and also as bonsai plant. A Hawaiian Schefflera has masses of small, shiny, leathery leaves. The leaves are arranged palmately with 7-9 leaflets per leaf. The leaflets are small, ranging in size from about 3”- 7” (7.5-18 centimeters) in length and 2”- 4” (5- 10 centimeters) in width.


The regular Hawaiian Schefflera has solid green leaves, the Hawaiian Schefflera Gold Capella has gold and green leaves, and the Hawaiian Schefflera Trinette (also called “Janine”) has white and green leaves. This is a versatile plant that will tolerate some neglect and less than perfect growing conditions.


Trinette                     Gold Capella

Quick Care Tips

Provide bright, indirect light

Be careful not to over water or green leaves fall off or turn black

Keep the temperature above 55°F (12.8°C) and below 70° F (21.1°C)

Watch out for scale and spider mites

Is a Hawaiian Schefflera Poisonous

A Hawaiian Schefflera is a toxic plant and should be kept away from dogs, cats, and small children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.

Plant Care


The brighter the light the faster and bushier a Hawaiian schefflera plant grows. Variegated Hawaiian scheffleras, like the “capella” variety, require more light than solid green varieties. Direct sun burns the leaves on all varieties of schefflera.


Water well and then allow the top 1/3 of the soil to dry out before watering again. Seemingly healthy leaves fall off and new growth turns black when a Hawaiian schefflera is over- watered. Leaves turn bright yellow when the plant needs more water.


Fertilize a Hawaiian schefflera plant monthly in the spring and summer with a balanced plant food diluted to one half the recommended strength. Avoid feeding when the plant is not actively growing.


Hawaiian scheffleras grow well in normal household temperatures. Try to keep the plant out of cold drafts and away from heaters and air conditioners.


Normal household humidity.


Although a Hawaiian schefflera often flowers when grown outdoors, it must be a mature plant and be in an ideal area to flower as an indoor houseplant.


Spider Mites, scale, aphids, and mealy bugs all like scheffleras. These annoying insects especially like the tender, new growth. Read more about these pests and how to get rid of them in the Glossary of the website.


Bacterial leaf diseases such as leaf blight and fungal leaf diseases such as leaf spot disease are a problem when the leaves are kept wet and the humidity is high.


Use a well-aerated loose potting soil that retains water but still drains quickly.

Pot Size

Hawaiian scheffleras prefer to be root-bound in small pots. This also helps prevent over-watering.


Aggressively prune a Hawaiian schefflera when it gets too large or looks thin and leggy. All schefflera plants love to be trimmed. New growth appears directly below the cut in the stem.


Stem cuttings, or if the schefflera plant has a thick trunk, air layering are the best ways to propagate a Hawaiian Schefflera plant. Read more details about using stem cuttings and air layering propagation techniques in the Glossary of the website.

Poisonous Plant Info

Hawaiian scheffleras are considered to be slightly poisonous plants with a #1 toxicity level. Keep this plant out of reach of small children and pets.


Why Are the New, Baby Leaves on My Hawaiian Schefflera Turning Black and Dying? The Older Green Leaves Are Falling Off Also.

The leaves on a Hawaiian schefflera pplant turn black and green leaves fall off when the plant is over-watered. Read more about how to water a schefflera plant in the care section of the Schefflera plant page. You should also check to be sure there are no plant pests such as Mealy BugsAphids, or spider mites feeding on the new growth of your schefflera plant.

Can I Put My Hawaiian Schefflera Plant on a Desk in an Office With a Small Window but Good Artificial Light?

A solid green Hawaiian schefflera grows best in bright indirect light, but will still grow slowly near a small light and with good artificial light. Leaves may be smaller and the plant a little less bushy than if it had brighter light. Don’t use the capella variety (variegated Hawaiian schefflera) since it needs more light to maintain the yellow coloring in the leaves.

Why Are the Leaves on My Hawaiian Schefflera Losing Their Color? What Is the Reddish Webbing I See on the Plant?

The leaves of your Hawaiian schefflera are losing their color and the webs on the plant are both caused by a plant pest called spider mites. Spray with the “ green solution” (recipe in the Glossary) every 10 days for at least a month.

Why Does My Hawaiian Schefflera Get Yellow Leaves?

All schefflera plants, both the Hawaiian schefflera and Umbrella Tree schefflera, develop yellow leaves when they are not getting enough water. How you water a schefflera plant is very important. When you water, water well enough so that the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot that the schefflera is planted in. Do not water your schefflera again until the top 1/3 of the soil has dried out. If green leaves fall off, you’ve over compensated and are now giving your schefflerat too much water.