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Best soil mix for umbrella plants

Umbrella plants are easy to care for, but Here’s what you need to know about the best soil mix for umbrella plants!

Also known as the Schefflera plant, Umbrella plants are one of the most popular houseplants. Not only are they beautiful plants with a tree-like shape and tropical green leaves, but they are also super easy to care for and keep happy.

If you are considering getting one of these plants for your home, it’s a great decision!

However, even though the umbrella tree has a reputation for “raising itself”, you still need to take proper care of it.

And among all the other things you need to consider, obtaining the proper umbrella plant soil mix is one of the essentials you can’t do without.

But what is the best soil for an umbrella plant? We’re here today to answer these important questions and hopefully ease your decision about the best soil to purchase.

best soil mix for umbrella plants

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide

What are the soil needs of umbrella plants?

Every Schefflera plant needs soil that provides good drainage, allowing the roots to get both the important nutrients and good airflow.

After all, the soil is plants’ fundamental nutrient source, so you must ensure it provides everything they need to thrive.

The soil mix should promote healthy growth, prevent any root rot, and boost healthy root development.

potted umbrella plant on a shelf

What if you use the wrong soil mix?

Is there such a thing as using the wrong soil mix for your Schefflera plant? We think yes!

In severe cases, using the wrong potting soil will contribute to the death of the plant, or at lead to it’s decline.

Let’s discover some of the most common signs the umbrella plant is signaling you whenever the soil quality is not as it should be:

The leaves become brown

This is usually because the soil mix you are using contains some unwanted ingredients. So, the Schefflera plant detects them and starts to signal you it is time to move it and replace the soil.

In this case, the leaves will start turning brown completely, or you will start noticing some brown spots on the bottom leaves of the plant.

Yes, this can also be attributed to dehydration or in cases where the stems and roots hold too much moisture.

But either way, the greenery is signaling you that it needs new soil to grow in.

The leaves become wilted

Some may see this as a sign of under-watering the plant, when in fact, it could mean that the plant is not getting the needed nutrients from the soil.

The leaves of the umbrella tree wilt when there is a lack of moisture, but it all boils down to what type of soil mix you are using. If the soil can’t hold moisture as it should, the leaves will become wilted.

Remember, this is a plant that loves high-humidity conditions and constantly moist soil. Keep that in mind next time you are repotting the plant and adding a new mixture.

There is no new growth

There are some cases where the plant becomes dormant, and the growth is stunted for a while. But that usually happens during the colder months.

If you notice this during the summer or spring, then you are not doing something right.

The biggest nutrient source is the soil. When the soil lacks the proper ingredients the plant needs, then the plant stops growing.

If you want to avoid the rapidly decreasing growth rate, then consider changing the soil mix. Fresh soil can rejuvenate your plant!

There is a very bad smell

This happens in those instances where you have missed all of the previous signs (and let’s face it, they span over a few weeks).

When the soil retains too much moisture, the oxygen and airflow supply is cut off to the roots. Eventually, the roots are suffocated and start to clog, resulting in root rot. 

This will lead to the plant dying and should be treated immediately. Dump all of the wet soil and replace with new soil!

potted umbrella plant

How to choose the right umbrella plant soil mix

Taking care of your Schefflera plant means choosing the right plant soil mix for it.

If you want to mix your own soil mix for umbrella plants, combine two parts peat moss, one part compost, and one part perlite.

If you prefer a store-bought soil mix, go with a tropical potting mix.

Now that we have gone through all the effects of using the wrong soil, let’s take a look at what should happen when you are using the right soil.

The right soil will:

Keep as much water as needed

The right umbrella plant soil mix will hold as much water as the roots of the plant need to thrive.

The roots will absorb as much as they can, and the rest will flow away from them, thanks to the drainage holes from the pot.

This is the best way option to ensure that your plant is not drowning in water.

There is air flow

Air flow is important with plants, especially for the Schefflera plant. In essence, the umbrella plant soil mix should be loose, allowing for constant air flow.

Provides many nutrients

Nutrients play an important role in the rate your umbrella plant thrives. Microbes, which are found in the top-grade soil mix, are transformed into nutrients that are available to the plant at any time.

This is why choosing the appropriate soil mix that will promote optimal growth is important.

close up of a potted umbrella plant on a shelf

Tips for potting umbrella plants

Consider the following tips each time you decide to try a new potting mix!

  • Re-pot your plant every 1-2 years using soil that contains many nutrients and choosing a larger pot than the current one.
  • Ensure the pot/container has a proper drainage system (and the soil mix too).
  • Your soil pH should be slightly acidic, between 5.5 and 6.5.
  • Every balanced umbrella plant soil mix contains essential nutrients for the plant. Remember to add some fertilizer from time to time, giving it an extra boost

Any more questions about the best soil for umbrella plants?

Thanks for reading!

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