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Umbrella tree bonsai care guide

Want to keep an umbrella plant as a bonsai? Here is our complete guide to Umbrella tree bonsai care!

Today, we are providing a little bit of insight into one of the most popular plants – the Schefflera bonsai tree! If you have just bought or received this plant as a gift and have no idea how to maintain it, we’re here to help you. 

Keeping your umbrella plant as a bonsai requires that you put a little bit of effort into it. However, if you are patient enough with it, the results will be rewarding!

So, let’s take a deeper look into the umbrella tree bonsai care guide.

umbrella plant bonsai care

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide

What is Schefflera bonsai?

This type of umbrella plant, also known as the Hawaiian umbrella bonsai, is an incredible tropical tree with a distinctive look.

It has strong and sturdy stems and some smaller leaves, which help create a small shade that protects the almost visible roots.

Although it’s not considered a real bonsai tree, it’s still one of the most common “bonsai” style plants sold at places like Lowes or Home Depot garden centers.

And the fact that it comes in a miniature version makes it so much easier to grow and maintain, especially for beginners. So, let’s see what you need to do to take proper care of it!

potted umbrella plant on a table

Umbrella tree bonsai requirements

This durable houseplant can thrive under almost any condition and is generally considered a low-maintenance plant. Here is a list of what you should know before purchasing one. 

*A tip to remember – ingesting Hawaiian umbrella bonsai is poisonous. Keep it out of reach if you have any pets or children around, and avoid getting the sap on your skin.

Light requirements

The Schefflera bonsai can thrive under almost any conditions. It usually enjoys bright light but not direct sunlight all the time.

If you leave it right next to a window, the strong brightness might burn the leaves and stop their growth.

On the other hand, if you put it in a location that’s not too bright, the leaves will become soggy, and the stems will start wilting.

And this isn’t how you’d like your bonsai tree to look! Find the right balance of bright, indirect light for best results.

potted umbrella plant on a shelf


This plant is designed to be kept indoors all year round.

In terms of the ideal temperatures, it enjoys throwing between 65 and 72 degrees.

Umbrella plants can also tolerate low humidity levels, but the overall temperature shouldn’t drop under 50 degrees.

If it stands near a window during winter, make sure it’s not being hit with a cold draft directly.

Water requirements

This is a Hawaiian tree bonsai, meaning it prefers a lot of moisture!

Looking at its bright greenery, you can instantly guess this shrub won’t thrive well in dry soil.

It needs to be watered consistantly, but not as much during winter.

So, remember that you need to water it cautiously during cold weather to avoid creating root rot.

Get a good pot that has holes to allow for proper drainage. You can also mist the leaves occasionally to create some humidity.


When it comes to fertilizing, the proper way to do it is not to go overboard.

As your Shefflera bonsai grows, its requirements will change. However, you can take it as a rule of thumb to apply fertilizer every four weeks.

Pick a product that is low in nitrogen and comes in a liquid form. Avoid fertilizer with high nitrogen levels because it will promote intense leaf growth, which is not ideal for a bonsai-style plant.

umbrella plant cutting


When you notice that your umbrella plant has reached the desired height and width, remove the shrub’s tips.

While you are pruning, remove all the large leaves first.

Don’t forget to leave the leaf stalks as they usually fall off themselves.

As the bonsai becomes older, you will notice it is starting to develop some air roots. This only happens if the humidity level is high enough.

By doing some pruning, you promote further branching of your bonsai tree, and you help it develop some new growth and look well-shaped!

Remember – save your cuttings! Umbrella plant is easy to propagate in water!


Keeping pests away is a must if you want to take care of any type of plant in your home.

Try to take a closer look at it occasionally. Inspect it once every few weeks to ensure it is growing normally.

If you start noticing some visible changes in the plant, such as a wilted appearance or root rot, it is time to take some measures.

If you’ve found any pests, then here’s what to do – spray it with some water until it looks a little refreshed, then clean it with a harmless solution made of soap and lukewarm water.

Repeat this process as often as needed until all the pests are gone.

close up of a potted umbrella plant on a shelf


You have kept such good care of your Schefflera bonsai that it needs repotting!

Before you start the replanting process, check if the new pot you got has large drainage holes so it would not retain any water.

Then, check the soil and be sure that it’s the same as the one your plant is used to and happy with.

Finally, remember this schedule – you should replant your bonsai every two years in the spring. While you do that, prune the roots a bit to boost growth and remove the large leaves.

If commitment to the artistry of bonsai at a beginner level is what you are after, then the Schefflera bonsai is the perfect solution for you! Follow the tips we provided above and enjoy the sight as it thrives.

Any more questions about Umbrella tree bonsai care?

Thanks for reading!

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