BOTANICAL NAME: Brassaia actinophylla
COMMON NAME: Queensland Umbrella Tree
DESCRIPTION: Tree like. Can be single trunk or multi-planted with umbrella like arrangements of leaves, mid green, successively larger as plant matures with glossy, polished appearance.
LIGHT/POSITION: Medium to high light in warm position, however fairly tolerant to most situations.
WATERING: Uniformly moist to drier in lower light but never wet – should not sit in water. Sheds leaves when overwatered.
CLEANING: Spray and wipe leaves regularly with an occasional use of oil on older leaves to maintain “glossy” look.
PESTS: Red Spidermite where plant is in hot dry conditions. Use pyrethrum regularly as a preventative. Mealy bug often attack the soft young leaves but are easily seen and can be treated with pyrethrum sprays and wiping down.
DISEASES: Leaf blight, usually only on plants in nursery or outside gardens. Characteristics: dark-brown to black patches on leaves, young leaves may be distorted. Control: remove and destroy leaves. Can be sprayed with Copper Oxychloride.
FERTILISING: Weak liquid fertiliser if plant is in one position for a long period.
PRUNING: Generally not necessary but can be tip pruned (at growth tip) while young to encourage branching.
PRESENTATION: Reliable specimen plant, best in open areas or corners if turned regularly. Also good atrium or group planting specimen.
GENERAL INFORMATION: Schefflera actinophylla “Amate” is less affected by red spidermite. Leaves are slightly longer and tend to droop with denser foliage.