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House Plants/umbrella plant care


QUESTION: Are they an acid loving plant? What is best for fertilizer and food?


No they are not acid loving. Plain old Miracle Grow, Peter's Professional, Jobes etc. are just fine. They do well with lots of direct sun. I call them a sun worshiper. If the leaves turn black the plant is not getting enough sun. If you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!


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QUESTION: Hi-tech for info - I just got a dog - any worries there?


You need to keep the dog away from the plant:

Additional Common Names: Umbrella Tree, Australian Ivy Palm, Octopus Tree, Starleaf
Scientific Name: Schefflera
Family: Araliaceae
Toxicity: Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats

Toxic Principles: Calcium oxalate crystals

Clinical Signs: Oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing.

If your pet ingested this plant, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.*

Hope he has not already chewed on it. Good luck!


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Darlene K. Kittle


I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.


I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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