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April 29th, 2020


by R.S. Walsh

Arboricola (Schefflera arboricola) or dwarf umbrella tree has a green or variegated leaf that can be seen in many residential and commercial landscape gardens. This plant is native to Taiwan and Hainan. The Arboricola’s leaf texture and variegated options provide an attractive feature when designing or planning your landscape. It is an attractive plant on its own but also compliments other colorful and accent plants within the garden.

The Arboricola plant is one of the most commonly used plants in the Florida landscape. As mentioned they are available as a green leaf or variegated leaf which has a creamy-white to yellow edges on the leaf known as the Arboricola Trinette. If you prefer just a hint of a creamy-white yellow color the Arboricola Capella would be the ideal variety. And, of course, there is the all green variety simply known as green Arboricola. Keep in mind that the green Arboricola will grow faster and larger than the variegated species. Arboricolas are a great choice to use as a foundation hedge or clustered together in a grouping. Whichever variety you prefer or a combination of these varieties the Arboricola is easily maintained with occasional trimming, typically three times per year.

The Arboricola prefers well-drained soils and is adaptable to grow in full sun or full shade. They do however thrive best in part sun or part shade. Overall, the Arboricola is a great choice to add to the plant palette to your garden. The different varieties available, the ease of maintenance and its attractive appeal insure that it will continue to be one of the most desired choices among homeowners and landscape designers.

This plant column is a joint effort by all at In The Garden, a Sanibel garden center located at 3889 Sanibel Captiva Rd., Sanibel, Florida.

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