Schefflera Bonsai: How To Train them and Indoor Gardening Basics

Gardening takes many forms, and gardeing Schefflera Bonsai is one of them.

Perhaps you have no outside space and want to grow something striking in your house instead. Maybe you have a large yard but also want some greenery around while you relax on the couch.

If you like gardening indoors then perhaps a Bonsai tree would nestle nicely alongside your cactiand make a superb conversation piece.

The Japanese have grown trees restricted in containers for more than a thousand years and the intricate Schefflera Bonsai is always an impressive sight.

We’ll look today at how to train the Schefflera bonsai along with some general information about cultivating this tree indoors.

Double Dose of Schefflera Bonsai

There are two related plants known as Schefflera Bonsai:

  • Dwarf Schefflera (Schefflera arboricola)
  • Full-sized Schefflera (Brassaia actinophylla)

The larger tree favors tropical climates and can soar to thirty feet or more. With enormous leaves like an umbrella and clumps of bright red flowers, the Brassaia is highly attractive.

The dwarf version grows anywhere from 6 to 12 feet if left unfettered. It has smaller leaves and branches a bit more freely than its big brother.

Schefflera For Bonsai Trees


Schefflera bonsai trees have a compound leaf. This means that each stalk or petiole has more than a single leaflet. As a result, the leaf seems to be larger than it really is.

The fairly sizeable leaf on both types of Schefflera Bonsai makes cultivating really tiny bonsai tough.

Unlike most trees, Schefflera Bonsai don’t really have growth rings as such. They are not a particularly woody tree and the bark formed isn’t especially tough.

It’s quite hard to form serious bends with this tree even using wiring. You need to cut the branch to get any real movement.

One significant bonus of the Schefflera Bonsai is that you can easily form aerial roots. Making a banyan tree form or any other form with drastically exposed roots is satisfying with these dramatic trees.

Many trees cope badly with dim light and low humidity but the Schefflera Bonsai thrives in these conditions even though it hails from tropical climes.

With effort, both types of Schefflera Bonsai can be turned into fairly small bonsai to stunning effect.

How To Cultivate Schefflera Bonsai Indoors

Soil and Moisture

The two different species require different levels of moisture in the soil.

  • Dwarf Schefflera: Moist and never let it get bone dry
  • Schefflera: Water profusely then allow roots to dry almost completely

They also prefer different soil mixes…

  • Dwarf Schefflera: Half bark, half inorganic material
  • Schefflera: One-third organic material to two-thirds inorganic material

These are rough guides but you should always fine-tune your mix according to your individual tree, general growing conditions and micro-environment.


Both Schefflera Bonsai will tolerate extremely dim lighting. This means that the leaves will be quite large, reduced in number and shaping will be a tall order.

In order to see your tree truly flourish, try to give it as much light as possible. This will lead to smaller leaves and improved growth. It’s much easier to shape and form Schefflera Bonsais when the tree is in a period of active growth.


With thick and waxy leaves, Schefflera Bonsai deal well with lower humidity levels.

You can get by without the need for any kind of humidifier and this tree will survive in even the driest indoor environment.

Propagating Schefflera Bonsai

Bringing these trees on from seed is straightforward. That said, they are so readily available at garden centers that few would bother.

Propagating from cuttings will be stress-free. Pop the cuttings into a container with some granular soil mix then cover with a plastic bag. After a month, they’ll have set root and you can remove them from the bag. Don’t make the soil too wet or the stem might rot and fail to root.


A normal houseplant fertilizer diluted by half is ideal. Adding this weekly should give your bonsai all the nutrients it needs. You can cut back to monthly feeding over the winter or any times when the tree is not actively growing.

Water your tree thoroughly before fertilizing.


Schefflera Bonsai are seldom menaced by insects which is welcoming news.

From time to time they may suffer from scale infestation. Treat this by spraying dormant oil weekly taking care to spray all surfaces of the tree.

How To Train Schefflera Bonsai

bonsai tree

Pots and Repotting

Repot your Schefflera Bonsai every two years. Make sure that the container is not too big. This way, you’ll showcase the tree’s canopy to full effect and prevent the soil from getting too soaked.

Take your time and separate all the old soil from the root ball. You can easily wreak havoc on the delicate roots if you undertake this too roughly.

Oval or round pots work best with Schefflera Bonsai.


The lack of woody trunk means Schefflera Bonsai can be challenging to wire.

Try to get started when the branches are young. Apply the wire a little more loosely than you would with some other bonsai. Shoot for gentle bends and avoid extreme changes in direction.

Prune above the leaves for perfect results.

As with any large-leaved tree, you can wire individual leaves for added shaping. Do this when they are mature and full-size.

Hacking Back: Reduction

Often, people come across their Schefflera Bonsai by taking away a bedraggled specimen from a friend’s house.

You can cut back tall examples with abandon and get rid of the leaves.

Take no prisoners when shortening the stem. If you don’t do the job properly, you risk needing to return to reduce your Schefflera Bonsai later on. This will cost you time and result in needing to cut the stem back even further.

If you do take on a severe hacking back, wait a few months afterwards before repotting your Schefflera Bonsai.

Indoor Gardening Basics: Light and Temperature

The super simple and extremely exciting indoor garden trend has really caught on, and it is all the rage right now. Just like houseplants, indoor gardening is coming into the mainstream in full force. Not only do they make your area pretty, however big or small. They also have many health benefits. You can grow all types of plants that you love while also utilizing your space well.

The first thing that plants (especially when they are indoors) will impact the air quality. Amazing things happen to your breathing resource such as reducing pollutants, removing carbon dioxide, and increasing humidity. All these things set out to accomplish one very important goal: to help you breathe better and more easily! Next up, plants do so much more than just improve the air you breathe. They also boost productivity (which is why putting an indoor garden in your home office is a winning idea). On top of helping with breathing and boosting productivity, they also allow you to gain focus and concentration.

Another great thing that makes a home garden great for your home is the direct connection between plants and mental health. Something as basic as having some indoor garden features around your home can help you come into a state of tranquility. There is a strong belief that humans have a natural draw into all things nature. This can be seen as we take a peaceful hike with friends on an early Saturday morning, on long walks to clear our heads, or in that incredible feeling that cannot be explained when we are in the sun.

When you bring the garden to you, something natural, innate, and primal happens. Especially in this day and age, having nature close by is hard to come by. We sit in cubicles in buildings. We go from our cars to indoors. We don’t have much of a reason to be in nature, not like we used too. In this modern, city driven world, we need plants to create a space for us to feel connected to nature. Bringing them indoors is a wonderful way to sabotage the “norm” and get connected.

The best thing about a home garden or just having normal house plants is that they are much lower-maintenance than pets. Though they are living things, they do not need your constant and unaffected attention. Another reason plants are a win compared to other living things is because an indoor garden gives your home life and personality.

It is easy to want to totally jump in with both feet, and understandably so. There are so many health and aesthetic benefits that come with this addition. But before you begin, there are a few big elements to think through and plan for.

The main factors are not what you’d expect, like space, but they are these: how much light you have coming into your home, and the temperature of the area, as well as humidity which does play a role. Once you figure these out, you can choose the plants that will work best in your space. In order to make this a thriving project, you will need to have a healthy environment and for the right kind of plants. Moving forward with the knowledge of the atmosphere of your home, you can learn all about which kinds of plants are good for which spaces, and choose as well as adjust accordingly. Get ready to garden in the great indoors!

Get the Lighting Right

Plants are all made different and they all have different light needs. What is healthy for one plant is totally unhealthy for another. Some plants need low light and want dimmer settings. They cannot take the constant brightness and if they were humans they would be squinting. Others plants will be starved and eventually killed if they don’t receive 12 hours of bright light all year-round. Knowing the light needs for each of your plants will help you purchase and care for them and keep them happy and healthy while doing so. There are some basic needs you can keep in mind:

-Most flowers and some foliage need to be close to a sunny window.

-When you do your research on specific plants, the ones that prefer bright, indirect light can be positioned a few feet away from a window facing any direction.

-In the winter time, you may need to move all of your plants as close to a window as possible to make up for the light they will be losing in the gloominess of the season.

-Most plants do well when they get between 12-16 hours of sunlight a day, kind of like how infants need to sleep and eat most of the day. If you want to keep your plants healthy during the gloomy winter time, you will likely need to get supplemental lighting for them. This type of lighting can be easily researched and purchase online!

Get the Temperature and Humidity Right


In nature, the temperature will drop ten degrees as the sun goes down. This is expected, and the plants are prepared for it. Offer the same thing in your home if you can. This works well with a work schedule. When you are at work, turn the air off and it will be warm. At night, when you get home, turn it on and bring it up.

Winter is the obvious exception, but this is an okay problem to have because a resting period is expected and the plants are prepared for this as well. To adjust them well, cut back on water and fertilizer during the late fall and early winter. This is when natural light will be at it’s lowest capacity. Once the days get longer it is spring and this is the time where you can get the water and fertilizer back to a normal and frequent routine. At this point, as with all greenery and nature in the spring, your plants will react by exhibiting healthy new growth. Fresh beginnings are the best!


It is hard to get the levels humidity right indoors. To combat this, you can mist your plants for a short period of time. Another option is to purchase and use a cool vapor humidifier. This is actually great for your health and breathing as well! See, that way everybody wins. If you bunch your plants close together, they will breathe onto each other and be healthy together with no extra effort on your part.

Final Thoughts on Schefflera Bonsai

We hope you’ve found this glance at bonsai trees and how to train the Schefflera Bonsai informative.

Why not try growing one to supplement your indoor garden?

Please get in touch if you have any queries or feedback. We are always delighted to hear from our readers. Also, feel free to share any of our articles on your social media.

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