Here’s my newest houseplant and Plant of the Month, a variegated Schefflera Arboricola, also known as the Umbrella Plant. It’s native to Hawaii, and couldn’t be more welcome in my apartment right now. Having been snowed in all last weekend and a few days this week, it has been a welcome sight.
It looks a little rough right now because I just repotted it, but it should perk up pretty soon. This tropical plant is a fairly popular houseplant, as it can tolerate neglect pretty well (not to say that you should neglect your plants, but you get the point). Anyways, they prefer bright light, but will adapt well enough to other light levels. One important thing to keep in mind with tropicals like this is that they like moisture!
Moisture is my biggest issue with keeping my houseplants looking nice through the winter. It’s important to give them the humid conditions they need, without harming them. The fastest, and easiest way to give them some moisture is to mist them once a day or so.
But when it’s the dead of winter and my apartment is really dry, that just won’t cut it. In order to give the plant adequate moisture, you need to get a wide but shallow container and put rocks and water in it. This way you can set the plant on the rocks, but keep it from sitting in the water so it won’t harm the root system! I may end up doing this during the winter, and I think it’s a great idea because you can easily incorporate it into your household decorations. Just spend 99 cents for a bag of those nice looking rocks; and your plants will be growing in style!