How to Propagate Umbrella Plants

June 30, 2023 By Megan Taylor
How to Propagate Umbrella Plants


Umbrella plants (Schefflera) are beautiful and popular houseplants known for their attractive foliage and easy care. Propagating umbrella plants is a wonderful way to expand your collection, share the beauty of these plants with others, or simply enjoy the process of growing new plants. 

In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step process for propagating umbrella plants using different methods, such as stem cuttings and air layering. Additionally, we will share essential caring tips to ensure successful propagation and healthy growth of your new umbrella plant offspring.

How to Propagate Umbrella Plants?

Step 1: Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before you start propagating your umbrella plant, gather the following materials: a healthy mature umbrella plant, clean pruning shears or a sharp knife, a clean container with drainage holes, a well-draining potting mix, rooting hormone (optional), and plastic wrap or a clear plastic bag.

Step 2: Propagating Umbrella Plant Stem Cuttings

Propagating umbrella plants through stem cuttings is a common and effective method. Follow these steps to propagate umbrella plants using stem cuttings:

  • Choose a healthy stem: Select a mature, non-flowering stem from your umbrella plant. Look for a stem that is about 6 inches long and has several leaves.
  • Prepare the cutting: Using clean pruning shears or a sharp knife, make a clean cut below a leaf node, which is the point where a leaf connects to the stem. Remove any leaves from the lower portion of the stem, leaving a few at the top.
  • Apply rooting hormone (optional): If desired, dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone powder or gel. This can enhance root development.
  • Plant the cutting: Fill a small container with well-draining potting mix. Create a small hole in the soil and place the cutting in it. Firmly press the soil around the base of the cutting to secure it.
  • Create a mini-greenhouse: Cover the container with plastic wrap or place it inside a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment. This will help retain moisture and promote root growth.
  • Provide care: Place the container in a warm and bright location, but avoid direct sunlight. Maintain a consistent level of humidity by periodically removing the plastic covering to allow fresh air circulation.
  • Watering: Keep the soil slightly moist but not overly saturated. Water the cutting when the top inch of soil feels dry.

How to Propagate Umbrella Plants

Step 3: Propagating Umbrella Plant through Air Layering

Air layering is another effective method for propagating umbrella plants. Follow these steps to propagate umbrella plants through air layering:

  • Select a suitable stem: Choose a healthy stem that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and has several leaves. This method works best on stems that are flexible and still green.
  • Create a wound: About 8-12 inches from the tip of the stem, make a small incision or remove a small section of the outer layer of the stem. This will encourage root development.
  • Apply rooting hormone (optional): If desired, apply rooting hormone powder or gel to the exposed area of the stem to promote root growth.
  • Moisturize and wrap: Moisten a handful of sphagnum moss and wrap it around the wounded area of the stem. Cover the moss with plastic wrap and secure it with twine or a rubber band.
  • Provide care: Keep the moss moist by periodically spraying it with water. Place the wrapped area in a warm and bright location, avoiding direct sunlight.
  • Root development: Over time, roots will form within the moss. You can check the progress by gently lifting the plastic wrap.
  • Cutting and planting: Once the roots have developed, carefully cut below the rooted section and remove the plastic wrap. Plant the rooted section in a small container with well-draining potting mix.

How to Care for Propagated Umbrella Plants?

To ensure the healthy growth of your propagated umbrella plants, follow these caring tips:

  • Light: Umbrella plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Place them near a window with filtered sunlight or in a well-lit room. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
  • Watering: Water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry. Allow the excess water to drain from the pot, as umbrella plants are sensitive to waterlogged conditions.
  • Temperature and Humidity: Umbrella plants prefer average room temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C). They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but are sensitive to cold drafts. Maintain normal household humidity levels.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for houseplants. Good drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging.
  • Fertilization: Feed your umbrella plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Reduce or stop fertilization in the winter months.
  • Pruning: Regularly trim back any yellow or brown leaves to maintain the plant’s appearance and overall health. Pruning also helps control the size and shape of the plant.


With these step-by-step instructions and caring tips, you can successfully propagate umbrella plants and enjoy the beauty and lush foliage they bring to your indoor space. Explore different propagation methods and watch as your collection of umbrella plants flourishes and thrives.

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