STAFF PICK: Schefflera Amate
Photo by @really_really_lizzy
Well, the Schefflera amate isn’t what I would call an “it plant,” but there is something quite interesting about its shape as it grows to maturity. It has beautiful dark, glossy leaves that radiate from the stem in a finger-like pattern. Over time, the plant will develop a woody trunk which gives it a unique tree form. I love the amate because it is a quintessential grandma plant; easy care, pleasant looking, and will make you look like you have your life together. Thanks, grandma. It isn’t flashy, but with the amount of time I spend gazing at my plants, the amate has earned a special place in my heart.
I have my Schefflera in bright, indirect light, and group it with my other green beauties to help keep the humidity up. I water approximately once a week, give or take a couple of days, depending on how dry it is at my place. The amate would benefit from regular misting, especially in winter when central heat or rads are on which suck the moisture right out of your home. If the air or the soil gets too dry, you leave your amate vulnerable to pesky spider mites and we can’t have that. Adequate drainage is also very important as you do not want to see this plant suffer from too much moisture in the soil; it is not a good time.
The Schefflera amate is also a plant you could grow outside during the summer months! I put mine in a fairly sheltered location, facing west. Note that you will have to prune a few leaves here and there once you bring it back inside to help it adjust to less light indoors. I would also fertilize once every two weeks during its growing period (April-September) to keep it lush and happy.
Schefflera amate is truly the Lowry of your plant team; solid, dependable and doesn’t care about your limited knowledge of basketball. Perfection.