The little known Natal Mahogany plant, Trichila dregeana, is an excellent upright exotic looking houseplant that loves to be watered. The Natal Mahogany, a hardy, woody, bushy plant with dark green shiny leaves, can reach over 7′ in height and over 4′ in width. Although a Natal Mahogany resembles a Schefflera Amate, it’s more exotic looking and much more forgiving. Interiorscapers have learned that a Natal Mahogany can grow even in moderate, low light as long as it has enough water. These plants 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. This plant, relatively new to the market, is an absolutely sensational indoor plant from South Africa. It’s perfect for people who tend to over-water.
Natal Mahogany houseplants like medium light but will even grow in lower light. These plants become leggy and thin in very low light.
Natal Mahogany plants thrive on water and are very forgiving when you over-water. These plants prefer their soil to be consistently moist, but not soggy, at all times. Place a saucer under a Natal Mahogany plant to hold extra water. Yellow leaves usually indicate that the plant needs more water.
A Natal Mahogany houseplant is a fast grower and should be fed monthly in the Fall and Winter and every other week in the Spring and Summer.
A Natal Mahogany can survive temperatures as low as 45°F (7.2°C). In temperatures above 80°F (26.7°C) check the soil frequently to be sure the plant does not dry out.
These plants do well in basic household humidity.
Mealy bugs and scale are houseplant pests that attack Natal Mahogany Plants.
A Natal Mahogany is usually sold in pot a 10″ or larger. It may need to moved to a larger pot about every 18-24 months; this is best done during the spring or summer. The new pot should be only 2″-4″ larger than the roots ball.
Prune a Natal Mahogany aggressively to keep it full and bushy.
Poisonous Plant Info
The outer coating of the seeds of a Natal Mahogany plant are poisonous.
A Natal Mahogany does very well in self-watering and sub irrigation pots. This should solve the watering problem. If you don’t want to invest in new pots, be sure to always leave your Natal Mahogany plant in a deep saucer filled with water while you’re away. You could also use DriWater to keep it moist.
In theory, yes you can find a natal Mahogany in a small pot. In reality, I haven’t seen one in a pot smaller than 10” in diameter and about 12” in height. They are usually sold as floor plants 4ft.-6ft. in height.
It sounds like your Natal Mahogany could use more light. Cut back the leggy growth, move the plant to a brighter spot in your home, and it should become bushier in no time.