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With a Schefflera (bot. Schefflera arboricolaver), also known as a radiant aralie, you can bring lush greenery into your four walls without much care. With its shapely, lush green or variegated leaves and graceful growth, it is rightly one of the most beautiful green plants, whether at home or in the office. Not only is it beautiful to look at, it can also have a positive effect on the indoor climate. In addition, this plant is easy to propagate.

multiply schefflera

In its natural habitat, this plant can grow an impressive 40 m in height, where it also flowers. Blossoms are rather rare in Germany for the radiant ara, which is only cultivated as a houseplant. This natural air freshener owes its name to its radiating, pointed oval leaves. The Schefflera can be propagated vegetatively and generatively.

The difference between the two types of propagation is that vegetative propagation creates an exact image of the mother plant. On the other hand, positive qualities of the parent plants are lost more and more in the generative, so a plant with completely new qualities can develop. Both propagation methods are possible for the Schefflera. You can grow offshoots in the form of head, stem and leaf cuttings or obtain them by mossing, with the propagation of cuttings being the simplest.

Schefflera arboricola, radiate aralie, scheffleria

About cuttings

The best time to take head, leaf or stem cuttings is in both spring and summer. They should only be cut from healthy and well-grown specimens, as this guarantees healthy and strong young plants. They grow better and form new roots more easily. Experience has shown that the multiplication is over head cuttings the most uncomplicated. When the time is right, the cuttings can be cut.

cut cuttings

Cuttings can be cut all year round, but preferably in early spring between January and March, or in late summer, for example with a regular pruning.

  • For head cuttings, do not cut woody shoot tips from the mother plant
  • For stem cuttings, the woody, middle part of the schefflera
  • For leaf cuttings, the complete leaf including the stem
  • Cut off the leaf directly at the stem or with the thicker point of attachment
  • Head and trunk cuttings should be between 10 and 20 cm long
  • They shouldn't be much longer, otherwise they don't take root as easily
  • Must have one to three leaves and nodes (shoot nodes).

Once the right cutting has been found, it is cut off from the mother plant below a leaf node with a sharp knife that has been disinfected beforehand if possible. The cuttings should neither be torn off nor crushed when cutting. The cut should be made as diagonally as possible. After that, the bottom leaves are removed to reduce the evaporation surface. The cuttings are then left to air dry for about half a day.

Rooting in the water glass

The root formation takes a comparatively long time with the radiate aralie. In order to root the cuttings in the water glass, you need a simple glass and soft, preferably low-lime, willow water.

  • Don't put the cutting too deep in the water
  • Leaves should not stand in the water
  • Otherwise there is a risk of mold and rot forming
  • Put the jar in a warm and bright, not sunny place
  • In the case of stem cuttings, also wrap the water glass in aluminum foil
  • The ideal ambient temperature is between 18 °C and 23 °C
  • Rooting occurs within four to twelve weeks
  • Varieties with variegated leaves take longer to root

If the cutting has formed roots, this is usually shown by tentative sprouting. Then it can be planted in a suitable substrate. The substrate is kept slightly moist. As soon as the offshoot starts to grow, the most difficult thing is over and the young plant can be cultivated like the adults.

Ficus cuttings in the water

tip: Putting some charcoal ash in the water glass can protect the cuttings from rotting.

rooting in soil

As an alternative to the water glass, you can also grow cuttings directly in the ground. Here, too, they are left to dry a little after cutting before they are planted.

  • Put the cuttings about 3-5 cm deep in small pots with the appropriate substrate
  • Commercial potting soil, potting soil or cactus soil are suitable
  • Top cuttings succeed best in a peat-sand mixture
  • Three cuttings per pot produce particularly beautiful growth
  • After sticking, moisten the substrate
  • Cover the pot and cuttings with translucent foil
  • Allow cuttings to root in a warm place
  • If the first tender shoots appear, remove the foil
  • From a growth of approx. 10 cm, fertilize lightly for the first time and water regularly

tip: If you want to increase the chance that the schefflera will take root, you should take several cuttings and put them in different soils. Rooting aids can also be helpful.

Allow leaf cuttings to root

Propagation via leaf cuttings is rarely practiced. This is because the leaves form roots, but usually no new shoots. It is easier if you leave a larger piece of stem on the leaf. If you still want to try it, as already mentioned, you need whole leaves including the stem, which is cut off with the base directly at the base.

The cutting can then be rooted again in the water glass by placing the petiole in the water. Or you put it directly, about a centimeter deep in a pot with potting soil. The soil is moistened and the whole thing is again covered with a translucent film, which should be removed daily for ventilation. If necessary, you can try to use segments of a leaf for propagation by sticking them about a centimeter deep in moist soil and putting foil over them again. Now keep the substrate slightly moist and wait to see what happens.

tip: No matter which form of propagation you choose, for the best possible success you should always grow several offshoots to compensate for a possible failure rate.

Obtain offshoots by removing moss

Mossing is another way to propagate this plant. The best time here is also in the spring. The trunk is cut in a wedge shape up to the middle. To keep the interface open, insert a small rock or piece of wood. Then you wrap the spot with moist sphagnum (peat moss) or conventional moss. Cover the whole thing with foil and tie it together at the top and bottom.

Within a few weeks, roots should have formed in this exact spot. Now the rooted, upper part of the plant can be separated from the mother plant and planted separately. With this method you not only get a new offshoot, the mother plant also grows better branched.

tip: In addition to propagating cuttings and mossing, you can also propagate the radiate ara by sowing. However, this does not produce identical plants.

Schefflera arboricola, radiate aralie, scheffleria

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