Umbrella Plant Care Guide: Ultimate Growing Tips

care of umbrella plant

Generally speaking, indirect, bright light is best for umbrella plants. Indirect indoor lighting is typically not a problem for them; medium to low light will only cause them to grow more slowly and become leggy. In general, humidity is not a problem, but if the air is too dry, pests like scale and spider mites may be more likely to attack the plants.

Indoor umbrella plants prefer temperatures between 55°F and 75°F (13°C and 24°C). USDA zones 10-11 allow for year-round outdoor cultivation. The umbrella plant is an aggressive grower and is considered an invasive species Before planting outdoors, make sure you are aware of any local regulations in Florida and Hawaii.

About The Umbrella Plant

The common names “umbrella plant,” “umbrella plant,” or “octopus tree” can refer to two different, but closely-related species: umbrella plant and umbrella plant. If you’re unsure which one you have, generally speaking, if the leaflets are longer than 4 or 5 inches (10-13 cm), it’s an umbrella plant; if not, it’s an umbrella plant.

An umbrella plant, a dwarf variegated umbrella plant, is on the windowsill behind the large umbrella plant’s leaves in the image above, which actually depicts both. The following tips apply to both plants unless specifically stated, as the two species frequently resemble one another and require nearly identical conditions indoors.

The Umbrella plant, a native of Taiwan’s forests, typically reaches a height of 8 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) indoors but can reach heights of 26 to 30 feet (8 to 9 meters) outdoors. For bonsai, there are dwarf varieties that remain much smaller.

umbrella plant comes from the forest of Java, New Guinea, and Australia. It can grow to a height of 50 feet (15 meters) outdoors, making it the larger of the two species.

Both species are also widely available in a number of variegated varieties with yellow, gold, or white patterns on the leaves.

The ASPCA states that both types of umbrella plants are poisonous to both dogs and cats.

How To Care For Umbrella Plants

This plant is capable of growing to be among your home’s tallest if given the right care. Within a single growing season, you could have a very tall plant due to how quickly it grows. Let’s look at some advice to assist you in providing your umbrella plant with the proper care.

Watering Umbrella Plants

You should water it frequently because umbrella plants thrive in moist soil. The plant’s leaves can turn yellow from overwatering, while the plant’s leaves will droop from underwatering. Waiting until the top of the soil is dry before you water the plant again is the best way to ensure that you are giving it the right amount of water.

Feeding Umbrella Plants

These plants need a lot of fuel to be able to support their heavy seasonal growth. Every two to three weeks, you should give it a regular liquid fertilizer feeding. When the plant reaches the desired height, you can stop fertilizing it as frequently. It is sufficient to fertilize the plant once or twice a year.

Light Requirements

Although they need a lot of light, umbrella plants shouldn’t ever be placed in direct sunlight. The leaves can be exposed to sunlight for a few hours each day, but too much of it will burn them. Turn the plant over so the other side can receive more sunlight if it seems to be growing more favorably on one side than the other. If your umbrella plant doesn’t get as much sunlight as it should, it will usually adapt to its surroundings. The plant will generally remain healthy, though its growth may be slightly slowed.

Temperature And Humidity

For umbrella plants, the temperature of your home is crucial because the extreme cold will cause the plant’s leaves to drop. Maintain a temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit for the best foliage growth. Variations with all-green leaves typically favor the lower end of that temperature range, whereas those with more ornamental leaf types favor slightly higher temperatures.

Because umbrella plants don’t require a lot of humidity, the humidity that is already present in your home is usually fine. If the air is too dry, try misting the leaves every so often to add a little artificial humidity. This is a great way to avoid having dust build up on the plant’s leaves as well. Additionally, if you have a pest problem, increasing the humidity level may help you resolve it by discouraging the bugs.

Speed Of Growth

One of the houseplants that grow the fastest is this one. Good light levels, regular watering, and feeding, along with warmth, will give your plant a cheetah speed of indoor growth during the growing seasons of Spring and Summer. So much so that you might be able to raise an umbrella plant from a small size to a very tall size in the course of just one growing season.

Small at the moment, but in a few years it will be a giant

Winter is quickly approaching, and as the temperature drops and the number of light drops, growth comes to a complete halt. You won’t see any more growth until the following Spring. This will also occur if you decide to place your plant in a room with little natural light.

Height / Spread

The Umbrella Plant can either become a tall beast in your home or you can tame it to keep it short and compact. If you choose the latter, you can control the overall height by simply pinching off the upward-growing shoots, which will encourage more growth lower on the central stem.

If you choose the tall appearance, you should let the growing shoots climb on their own (unless you’re trying to maintain a shape for it). It could easily reach 1.8m / 6ft indoors. Whichever look you go for, the plant will be quite slender with it only spreading to 75cm / 18in at most.


You almost exclusively only buy an umbrella plant for its foliage so don’t expect showy flowers on your indoor Umbrella Plant. If you find one with unusual leaf markings, you might be adding to your collection one of the most beautiful-looking contrasted houseplants.

Even within the same variety, these plants differ greatly from one another, so take your time and select a plant that appeals to you personally.

A few times a year, umbrella plants do bloom. Many readers shared pictures and stories in the comments section below. Only mature (over 30 years old) and well-maintained plants appear to flower indoors. Below, you can see a picture of one so you can get an idea of what they look like.

care of umbrella plant

How To Repot Umbrella Plants

The Umbrella Plant can do quite well in a small pot in comparison to its potentially very tall size. Which is quite helpful and gentle on your back when you have to drag them outside to the potting shed because even after they’ve reached maturity, they still require repotting every two to three years.

You should pot up young plants into a new container that is a little bit larger than the previous one, and you can do the same with mature plants. Instead, you could simply top-dress the area by removing the top inch of soil and adding fresh compost in its place.

You may use regular potting soil or houseplant compost in either situation without any problems. After repotting, you shouldn’t need to feed your plant for at least two or three months because the new compost usually has enough nutrients to last through that time.

How To Prune Umbrella Plants

It is easy to prune back an umbrella plant if it becomes overgrown. Pruning in the spring is ideal, but it is also possible to prune the umbrella plant later in the year. Only the winter months should be used as a time to avoid pruning. Shoots that are uneven, without leaves or problems can be cut off. A node or branch fork should always be cut just above. For propagation, cutting can be used.

umbrella plant branching: To make the umbrella plant grow bushier, simply shorten the shoot ends to the desired height. The umbrella plant will now begin to sprout more shoots and branch out.

How To Propagat Umbrella Plants

Use clean shears to cut a stem close to the plant’s base for propagation. Before planting it in potting soil in a small container, dip the end in the rooting hormone. Water and put in direct, bright light. Keep the pot at warm temperatures, 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C), and cover it with a clear plastic bag to maintain humidity that will speed up rooting. Before planting stems in soil, some people have also had success letting them root in water.

Common Problems That Umbrella Plants Have

Despite being simple to grow indoors, umbrella plants can still present some challenges. The first thing you should be aware of, particularly if you have pets, is that this plant is marginally toxic to dogs and cats. In other words, they will almost certainly get sick if they consume the plant’s leaves. Some of the concerns that will affect the growth of the plant are:

Fungal Leaf Spots – Black or dark brown spots will show up on the leaves of plants that have this disease. The disease will eventually spread as the diseased leaves eventually fall off. It is best to eliminate an infected area before it has a chance to spread in order to avoid this from happening.

READ ALSO: Why Are My Umbrella Plant Leaves Falling?

• Bacterial Leaf Spots – Your plant may have a bacterial disease if yellow spots are seen on its leaves. Removing the spotted leaves as soon as they are found is the best way to take care of this.

Root Rot – Root rot can happen to an umbrella plant if it gets too much water. Never let the plant stand in water, and if root rot does happen, remove any affected roots and repot the plant in fresh soil.

Pests – Spider mites are a frequent issue with umbrella plants, particularly when the air is dry. To prevent pests from returning, clean the leaves if you see webbing there and increase the humidity in the space.

Small trees that resemble umbrella plants can add a lot of atmosphere to your home. They make a great plant for your home’s entryway and can be pruned to the size and shape you want. The umbrella plant is the ideal indoor plant if you’re looking for something beautiful.

Do Umbrella Plants Contain Any Poison?

Calcium oxalate crystals in the sap found in the leaves and stems can irritate the lips, mouth, and tongue.

So even though eating it won’t likely result in any serious consequences, if your pets or kids have a history of eating houseplants, you should still keep them away from this plant.