Tropical Umbrella Plant, Octopus Tree

umbrella plant

This Oddly beautiful Umbrella plant, Umbrella tree also known as the Octopus Tree is grown outdoors as large shrubs to medium size evergreen trees in warm and temperate climate.

Their tropical look comes from the shiny green palm like groups of leaves on long stalks.

Some types of indoor or dwarf umbrella trees can reach more than 6 feet tall so you have to prune and trim the tree a bit more than if you grew it outside but they don’t mind being cut back.

When being grown in a garden the umbrella trees will only grow about a foot a year, and grow best in high humidity and moderate warmth like its natural habitat in the tropical rainforest.

South light best for this umbrella tree to grow to its fullest, and if indoors make sure to mist at least every other day and water often.

Big deep green leaves produce lots of oxygen and clean air of pollution as usual growing trees, flowers and plants benefit our health so, grow and help our enviorment.

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umbrella plant

Octopus Tree s For Sale

These magnificent tropical trees are one of my favorites, either grown in your garden or as a bonsai tree, no matter what you'll be glad you bought one!
Schefflera Actinophylla or Umbrella Plant are also favorite houseplants and do surprisingly quite well indoors.

More Umbrella Trees

If you are growing this unique tropical tree indoors you will not get any flowers which are too bad because those tentacle like spears of blooms add such character.

Schefflera Actinophylla

If you know someone who loves to garden get them this umbrella plant, they’ll love the uniqueness of this tropical beauty!

When this awesome tree is grown outdoors, this Octopus tree has incredible flowers that can grow up to 3 feet long. They start off as a greenish yellow color then fade to pink than turn red. It’s quite amazing. After the bloom a small purple fruit begins to grow.

The umbrella plant can also be grown as a bonsai and is mostly grown as a bonsai because many don’t have the correct environment and weather conditions to grow them in a garden.

umbrella plant

Octopus tree pictures compliments of Forest and Kim Starr

This Octopus tree is naturally a tropical evergreen tree. Once rumored this was one of the Amazon rainforest plants is not true, its actually from the tropical rainforest in Australia.

Schefflera actinophylla, Umbrella Plant can be propagated from cuttings and seeds.

The plants will grow in poor sand and can be pruned and topped.

The seeds sometimes germinate on other trees and send roots down to the ground.

In other words is very easy to grow and will take any love given to it.

Umbrella Trees in southern and central Florida, are popular small trees is recommended for tropical effect in confined areas of office buildings, parking lots, patios, and. homes.

However, the down fall is that the berries will stain the ground and sidewalks when thy fall so unless you’re a diligent enough to stand by the tree all day and pick the berries up as thy fall, expect a mess. But it is worth it the tree is very unique

This species of the umbrella tree withstands a few degrees of freezing temperature here and there but the one thing I don’t like about this three is that it can take up to 10 years before it blooms.

In Colder climates the umbrella plant is grown indoors as a potted plant for the thick beautiful leaves and adapts very easily. to its new indoor life.

You will often see these umbrella trees being grown in offices and homes all around the world but are known best for its beauty in the tropics.

umbrella tree

umbrella tree

Schefflera actinophylla or Umbrella Trees in its natural habitat in Oahu

Here is an Important FYI
The Umbrella plant, umbrella tree octopus tree can be toxic to animals......

Toxicity: Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Dogs

Clinical Signs: Mild vomiting, diarrhea.

Fertilization for Established Plants

Established umbrella plant can benefit from fertilization.

These trees need to be fertilized every few years.

Shrubs and other plants in the landscape can be fertilized yearly.

Fertilizers that are high in nitrogen will promote green leafy growth for your umbrella trees and allow it to be more beautiful than if you didn’t give it to the umbrella tree.

The fall back of adding extra nitrogen in the soil is that it can cause excessive growth on plants as far as leaves, but you wont get as many flowers.

It is best to avoid fertilizing late in the growing season.

umbrella plant

Pruning trees specifically the Umbrella trees

There are several types of ways to prune a tree, some trees prefer one method over another. Here are examples of the different way to trim your tree.

Shearing is to usually leveling off one or all sides of a tree and is done with electric hedge trimmers.

Pinching is doing exactly that you pinch off the end of the stems on a branch which encourages the tree to branch more which in turn will make your umbrella tree fuller.

Thinning is pretty invasive and will involve you to cut off a branch at the trunk of the tree. You can also control the direction and size of these rainforest trees. This method also helps trees that may be too dense and help to open it up a bit for beneficial air flow and sunlight.

Rejuvenating a Octopus tree is very important that it is done by removing old branches or the overall reduction of the size of the tree. When it is growing in the tropical rainforest this process is done naturally by monkeys and other wild life.

Never remove more than 1/4 of the umbrella trees at a time.

Remember to remove branches from the inside of the trees as well as the outside.


Wilted leaves on an octopus tree can be cause by over watering of your plants which can also give the plant Phytophthora and Pythium a fungus which affect the vascular system of the trees. French drains are another option to help prevent this in your garden for umbrella trees and other plant life in your tropical garden.

You have probably seen these drains but didn’t know what they were called. A French drain are ditches that have been filled with gravel this looks really nice as a border around gardens and actually serve a purpose besides adding dimension and beauty to your garden and should be at least 3 feet deep if you have sever flooding in your garden.. You can even plant sod on top of them if you don’t want the rocks to show

* Try to water plants early in the day or later in the afternoon to conserve water and cut down on plant stress. Do water early enough so that water has had a chance to dry from plant leaves prior to night fall. This is paramount if you have had fungus problems.

umbrella plant

umbrella plant

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