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House Plants/outdoor Schefflera tree (potted)

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Question
I hope you are still answering questions on this website! Wait till next week to answer because it is Labor Day weekend and I'm sure you are busy.
I live in St. Petersburg Florida and am getting a potted "umbrella tree" (Schefflera) soon.  I have had this type of tree before, not only here in Florida but also in Alabama./ Both have very hot summers and here , not much of a winter.  I always left the plant outside my front windows.  My plan is to let it dwarf itself in my pot as I did for the last one I had.  It never went over 6 ft. and I had it for about 20 years.  I want to put it outside (I live in an apartment) so it can shade the living room a little.  This area gets the afternoon sun as it is on a western exposure, but in the morning it is in the shade up until about 2-3 PM.  I know how to water, but my question is "is this amount of sun okay for this type plant"?  Would appreciate your input.  This plant was potted about a week ago and I am leaving it in a shaded garden area until it adjusts to the pot. Thanks in advance for your help. CM

Answer
carol morris
I don't think it will do well in an afternoon sun location...Morning sun till Noon would be better...They like shade but will tolerate some sun (mainly morning sun)...In the south they grow them under shade cloths...You may see a lot of leaf burn...
Try it and be careful to check for watering needs more often...
Water your plant based on how much it weighs when thoroughly watered VS when they are ready to be watered again. Plants die from too frequent waterings (or going too long in between waterings), not from how much water you give them at one time. Pick the pot up and feel how heavy it is after watering it thoroughly. Don't water it again until it feels considerably lighter and the top of the soil is light in color. Depending on plant types, sunlight exposure and pot size plants will need water at many different rates from once every so many days to once a week or more.
You can always move them and substitute different plants that are more direct sun tolerant.
Hope this helps...
Rick

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Richard Hern

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I can answer many common garden center/greenhouse houseplant questions such as , proper care, propagation of, pest problems, identification, growing mediums, construction, etc. & many more..

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I currently manage a private 16 acre estate. i am in charge of the general maintenance of buildings and i supervise the landscape maintenance staff. i teach landscape/horticulture evening classes for a community college in NJ. I taught landscape/horticultural classes for a NJ vocational high school for 5 years. prior to that I owned & operated a landscape/garden center facility for 20 + years. My experience is in commercial & residential sales & care of houseplants as well as landscaping.

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BS degree in Zoology (Entomology)
Certified landscape/horticulture teacher NJ

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