Schefflera plants are appreciated for their umbrella-shaped leaves that increase their aesthetic appeal and hardy nature that makes them survive most conditions. However, knowing a few details about the temperature tolerance of Schefflera plants will help you take better care of it.
Schefflera plants thrive at a temperature ranging between 65-90°F (18-32°C). However, they can tolerate temperatures as low as 35°F and high as 105°F. But anything above or below this range can seriously damage the plant. Also, Frost and extremely low temperatures can severely harm your plant.
Despite being a tropical plant, it cannot tolerate extreme heat, and it may result in browning, drooping, and many more problems.
I will discuss the temperature tolerance of Schefflera plants and how you can keep them safe in extreme heat or cold and give them the ideal temperatures for growth.
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How cold can the Schefflera plant tolerate?
As a tropical and subtropical plant, Schefflera is used to the moist and warm climates and does not tolerate harsh cold conditions.
Even though these plants are hardy, frost and extremely low temperatures can seriously harm them.
I will advise you to shift the outdoor potted Schefflera plant indoors if you live in an area where the cold is harsh and if the temperature drops below 40°F.
Outdoor Schefflera plants that grow in pots are more sensitive to cold than those on the ground.
Those on the ground can withstand temperatures as low as 30°F.
However, the foliage may get shriveled and fall off but the roots would remain alive and bounce back once spring arrives.
If you live in an area with frost and harsh cold, you have to take more care of this plant.
Can I put my Schefflera outside?
Gardeners can put Schefflera plants outdoors in the USDA zones 10 to 12, but in the cooler parts of the US, they are grown indoors.
You can carry the houseplant outdoor during warmer conditions.
The potted Schefflera can get killed by frost, so you must protect them during the cold.
This plant needs water to keep the soil moist but not soggy and mild sunlight in winters to stay warm.
Schefflera requires humidity so misting the plant often increases the humidity but mist only in the morning so that the water gets evaporated to prevent fungus and pests.
Also read: Can I Put My Schefflera Outside? (+How To)
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When should I bring the plant inside?
If you live in an area with a harsh cold climate, you have to shift your Schefflera indoors as the temperatures begin to go down.
You should move your plant before the first frost occurs because frost is harmful to the umbrella plant.
What is the ideal temperature range for Schefflera?
The ideal temperature in which the Schefflera plant thrives the best is between 65 to 90°F.
Though the plant can tolerate between 40-105°F, the plant will not flourish.
Despite being tropical plants, Schefflera cannot tolerate too hot temperatures.
Too much heat can dehydrate the plant, turn the leaves yellow and brown and crispy, and harm overall growth.
Similarly, Schefflera cannot stand the extreme cold, and it begins to show signs of dormancy in winters.
Effects of extremely low temperature on Schefflera
Low temperatures can seriously threaten Schefflera heath.
This plant prefers bright light, high humidity, and mild temperatures.
So in winters, when the temperature gets extremely low and the air gets dry, the plant finds it difficult to thrive.
Due to low light, the plant’s capacity to photosynthesize and make food for itself is also reduced.
The plant’s growth stops or reduces in winters, getting into a dormant stage.
However, this is normal, and the plant bounces back when the spring approaches.
It is best to prune the leaves that get discolored due to cold as you cannot reverse them to green again.
This will help the plant to save its energy and save itself from the cold.
Some of the problems faced by this plant in extreme cold are:
- Stunted growth
- Yellow or brown leaves
- Wilted droopy leaves
- Weak plant
How do we keep our Schefflera plant warm?
It is of utmost importance to take proper care of Schefflera to revive and protect it from cold damage.
Unless you do that, you may lose your favorite umbrella plant.
Let us now discuss a few things you must do in winter to keep the plant warm and shield it from cold.
- Bring it indoors: In the early days of winter, bring your Schefflera indoors as you notice the temperatures go down. Do not wait for the first frost but shift it before that. After bringing it inside, keep it at a spot that receives good dappled light and away from cold drafts or heaters.
- Prune the dead parts: Before bringing it inside, prune off all the brown and yellow leaves. This makes the plant save the energy it wastes on keeping these parts attached. Do not prune heavily or do not trim the green leaves.
- Give it humidity: After bringing the Schefflera inside, you have to give the plant humidity. Winter is a very dry season and harms moisture-loving plants like this one. The dry air makes the plant droopy and shriveled. You can use a humidifier or a pebble tray or mist the plant occasionally.
- Water sparingly: A common problem during winters is overwatering. Due to low activity and less light intensity, the evaporation rate decreases, which keeps the soil wet for a longer time. During winters, let the soil dry out between waterings. If you think your umbrella plant has been overwatered, cut down the watering for some time and keep the plant in a brightly lit area to speed up the evaporation process.
- Do not fertilize: In winters, do not add fertilizer to the plant because it will be unused by the plant. Due to the low activity of the plant, the fertilizer will remain in the soil, which might cause the roots to burn.
- Mulch the soil: Though mulching is mostly done in outdoor plants, you can also mulch indoor plants to keep the soil warm and prevent the cold from reaching the roots. Cover the soil with a 1-inch layer of dried leaves, twigs, and barks to keep the soil warmer.
- Give it some sunlight: In winters giving the plant a few hours of mild sunlight helps keep it warm and improves the plant’s capacity to prepare food.
- Keep it away from frosty windows or cold draft: Keep the plant in a place with steady warm conditions in winter. Ensure the leaves do not get rubbed against window panes or the cold air directly does not hit the plant.
- Do not propagate or repot: Repotting causes a lot of stress to the plant. The plant can overcome the shock in the growing season, but it finds it difficult to deal with the shock in winters. However, if it is necessary to repot in case of root rot, then be very careful with it.
Effects of extremely high temperature on Schefflera
Schefflera are equally intolerant to extreme heat just as they are to frost and cold.
In summers, you must keep your potted Scheffleras away from direct sunlight.
Those that grow in the ground can tolerate more heat than potted ones because they can keep themselves cooler, unlike those restricted in containers.
Some of the common problems the plant faces in high temperatures are:
- Yellow and brown leaves
- Wrinkled and crispy leaves
- Droopy plant
- Brown spots on the leaves
- Leaf burns
- Soil drying up too quickly
Also read: Can Schefflera Get Too Much Sun? (Sunburn)
How do you keep the Schefflera cool during scorching summers?
Let us now discuss keeping your umbrella plant cool in a hot climate.
- Keep the soil moist: In summers, it is very important to keep your plant moist and hydrated because the scorching sun and temperature suck up the moisture from the plant fast. You can add compost to keep the soil moist yet well-draining.
- Protect from direct sunlight: Scheffleras grow under shades of bigger trees in nature, so it is important to protect them from the direct sunlight. The plant gets scorched if direct sun rays hit the leaves and develop yellow and brown spots. Direct sunlight also makes the leaves dry up faster.
- Increase humidity: Keep the plant at a spot where it gets bright indirect light and good airflow. Also, this plant needs humidity to flourish, so if you have a light and airy kitchen or bathroom, move it there. Using humidifiers or pebble trays is a great way to increase humidity. You can mist the plant daily in extreme heat to keep the leaves ill and increase humidity.
- Keep it away from AC and heaters: You should never keep the plant near ac or heater because they suck out the moisture from the plant and leave them dry.
How do we maintain the correct temperature for Schefflera?
Follow the tips below to maintain the correct temperature range for your Schefflera in both summers and winters.
- Choose the right spot for the plant keeping its requirements in mind.
- Check the temperature of the spot you want to keep the plant with a thermometer or hygrometer.
- Don’t keep the plant near a door or window that’s opened and closed too often because this plant does not enjoy the temperature fluctuations.
- The best location for this plant in summers will be a few feet away from a bright window where the direct sunlight will not reach but will have plenty of light. And in winters, you can keep the plant at an east acing or south-facing window where it will get 1-2 hours of mild sunlight.
- If the umbrella plant is too close to the window in summer, use a curtain to protect it from the direct sunlight.
- Do not keep the plant near a heater or an air conditioner because this makes the plant dry. If you want to keep the plant in a room with a heater or an AC, make sure it is placed a few feet away from the device so that the direct hot or cold air does not hit the plant.
- Do not follow the same watering all year round. The plant will need more water in summer than it does in winter. Check the soil’s moisture level with the help of a moisture meter or finger test.
- Fertilize the plat only in summer and spring and refrain from doing so in winters.
Can Schefflera plants survive winters?
Yes, Schefflera plants can survive winters provided they get correct care and protection.
Protecting them from frost and extreme cold, giving them enough humidity, and keeping them warm during winters will keep your gorgeous Schefflera protected.
During winters, you can give your plant a few hours of early morning sunlight which is mild and does not harm the plant.
This gives the plant some much-needed warmth and helps it to photosynthesize better.
A few tips you can follow to keep your Schefflera active during winters are
- Prune the dead leaves at the beginning of winter.
- Move the plant indoors and gradually let the plant acclimate to the new environment.
- Do not fertilize the plant.
- Refrain from watering the plant too often.
- Let the soil dry out in between watering.
- Wait until spring to resume normal watering and feeding.
Can Schefflera plants be kept in AC rooms?
Yes, the Schefflera plant can survive in AC rooms though there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Do not keep the right in front of the air conditioners.
Keep it a few feet away from the cold air vent s that the direct cold air does not touch the plant.
The dry air makes the leaves curl and droop and get yellow.
Also, since AC tends to dry up the air, it is crucial to keep the humidity in the air by using humidifiers or pebble trays.
This will keep the plant hydrated and not make it dry.
However, keeping the plant in an AC room for a long time can cause obstructions in the movement and absorption of nutrients and water.
So you can keep it for a specific period, but for a longer tenure, you should bring the plant outside the ac room.
Taking care of the Schefflera in summers and winters
|Factors||Summer care||Winter care|
|Light||Give the Schefflera dappled or indirect light and keep it away from direct sunlight.||Let the plant enjoy a few hours of early morning direct sunlight and bright indirect light for the rest of the day.|
|Water||Check the moisture level of the soil. Water when you see the topsoil getting somewhat dry.||Let the soil dry out in between watering. Evaporation rates being lower, the plant needs lesser water than in summers.|
|Humidity||Using a humidifier, pebble trays, or misting is great to increase humidity.||You can shift the plant to a humid room like the laundry room or bathroom or use a humidifier.|
|Fertilizer||Add fertilizer during spring and summer because the plan grows over time. For Schefflera, feed it with a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer or a handful of compost.||Do not fertilize the plant in winters.|
|Repotting||Spring and early summers are the best time to repot the plant because it has healthy growth during this time, so it easily overcomes the stress.||Avoid repotting the plant in winters unless it’s urgent, like a root rot situation.|
|Placement||Keep the plant at a spot where it does not receive direct sunlight. If you keep it near a window, keep a curtain in between to shield it from sunlight. Try keeping it a few feet away from doors or windows.||Keep them at a spot where they get early morning sunlight, for example, an east-facing spot. Keep them away from heaters or the fireplace.|
To sum up, everything we have discussed:
- Schefflera can tolerate slight temperature variations but will not react well if you expose it to extremely low or high temperatures.
- You must change the care routine according to the seasons as the temperature and other external conditions change.
- You must protect your umbrella plant from extreme heat and keep it warm when temperatures go low. I have mentioned the care requirements inside the article, which will help.