Heptapleurum arboricola

Family: Araliaceae

Countries: Asia, Hainan, Taiwan

In the wild, Heptapleurum arboricola can be found growing in Hainan, Taiwan.  In the UK, Heptapleurum arboricola is grown indoors as a popular houseplant; here Heptapleurum arboricola is commonly known as the Umbrella Plant or by the synonym, Schefflera arboricola.

This is a hardier and more resilient houseplant than most.  When my heating didn’t work for a week during a period of very cold weather in January 2023, my Heptapleurum arboricola was entirely unaffected and lived to tell the tale, unlike many of my other houseplants!  I am currently growing my Heptapleurum arboricola in my unheated porch to see what temperatures this plant can withstand.

Heptapleurum arboricola are forgiving plants that will tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions.  I’ve been growing this plant for many years.  In my home, Heptapleurum arboricola has grown happily pressed up against a bright and sunny window sill; the same plant had been just as content to grow in semi-shaded conditions and in more dimly lit rooms.  These plants will grow more rapidly when they are given a brighter room.

I water my Heptapleurum arboricola plant and then wait for the compost to almost entirely dry out before I water again.  Our plants’ compost can be dried out across the top layer, but the compost around the plant’s roots may still be wet.  Heptapleurum arboricola don’t want to sit in water, therefore if you’re growing your plant inside a decorative cache pot and using a plastic plant pot as your plant’s actual plant pot, please make the time to take your plant to the sink to water it.  Remove Heptapleurum arboricola from its decorative planter and take the plant in its plastic pot to the sink.  Water your plant in the sink, so that any excess water will drain away.  I prefer to water my houseplants with rainwater, but this is a naturally strong growing plant, if your rainwater collection points are limited you’ll be happy to know that you can save rainwater for orchids, as Heptapleurum arboricola is happy to be watered with tap water.

A plant’s overall height and size will vary depending on the light levels, water quality, growing media, pot size, and temperature the plant experiences, but generally Heptapleurum arboricola will eventually grow up to around 2m-3m (6.5ft-10ft) tall.

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