Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: False Aralia
Schefflera elegantissima

Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Schefflera (shef-LER-uh) (Info)
Species: elegantissima (el-ee-gan-TISS-ee-muh) (Info)

Synonym:Aralia elegantissima
Synonym:Dizygotheca elegantissima

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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9 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Tom3156 On Aug 2, 2012, Tom3156 from Hawthorne, NJ wrote:

I started with a 3 foot many-twigged specimen but I think I overwatered it. It lost most leaves. I also moved it from a 8-inch pot to a 10-inch pot a month ago. I just pulled it out to see if the roots rotted. There are no new roots. The root ball is dense and compact. Air and light are good. At first the plant put out lots of new growth, then just started dropping leaves. Any clues or hints would be appreciated.

Positive wormfood On Jun 20, 2012, wormfood from Lecanto, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I'm reading one of my bonsai books, first time I've ever read not to use systemics on the Araliaceae family.

Positive jskyieeyes3 On Sep 23, 2010, jskyieeyes3 from Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

bought a small mass planting dizygotheca e. from home depot almost 2 years ago. there were 4 of them in a 4 inch pot, and they were about 4-6 inches tall. i found this plant to be very beautiful and wanted to "give it a whirl." in almost 2 years, i've promoted it to a 6 inch pot and it's doubled in size! it has filled out very nicely, and loves the filtered morning sun it receives on my back porch. i plan to repot it again this year before the end of the growing season, and look forward to watching it's beauty continue to unfold before my eyes. it's very easy to care for, not nearly as finicky as true aralias. (i had an aralia "dinner plate" once, and it didn't last long) i'd say it's a good plant for beginners.. it was one of my starter plants, and almost 2 years later, it's still doing wonderfully! =)

Negative koipondgardener On Jan 30, 2008, koipondgardener from Quincy, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I don't give this plant a negative experience because I dislike it. I actually love it but have had a terrible time growing it. In the past few years I have managed to kill about three of them but am able to grow other sort of finicky plants (violets, maidenhair ferns, etc) I like this plant but do not advise it for beginners.

Positive inexplicable1 On Mar 2, 2007, inexplicable1 from Brandon, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I had no idea that this species is "false" but I love it! So nice to look at and feel. Looking foward to the many different ways that I can grow it.

Positive mike3k On Dec 23, 2006, mike3k from Fort Lauderdale, FL (Zone 11) wrote:

I bought one about 1 ft. tall about two years ago and planted it in my garden. It's now almost 5 feet tall and looks beautiful.

Positive 44anne On Aug 21, 2006, 44anne from Odessa, TX wrote:

I found this dizygotheca e. in a Target store, surprisingly.
Altho only a 4-inch pot to start, it has made a nice transition
to a 6" pot in the 8 months as a house plant. It lives in my
kitchen window, over the sink, thus enjoying humidity and
a bright but not direct west light exposure. So far it is not
dropping any lower leaves and is making new top growth.
I would not try it as an outdoor plant here, in West Texas,
as our summers are very dry and winters are zone 7. I like
the dark, exotic look of this plant and seldom find one in the
local plant sources. It does somewhat resemble marijuana
at a casual glance, which I find rather charming - ha.

Positive dp72 On Aug 3, 2006, dp72 from Woodway, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I am in zone 8a. I keep a pair of these on either side of the front door. They get very little direct sun, but bright light. When the temp is going to drop under 36 degrees, I set them in the garage, and when the weather warms up again (lows higher than 36) out they come again. They are now four years old and are beautiful. They require a good bit of water. If they wilt once, they never fully recover.

Neutral kat1webb On Jul 23, 2006, kat1webb from Dover, AR wrote:

I am trying to grow False Aralia in a greenhouse environment in central Arkansas.
The plant is hanging on but not thriving.
I do believe the challange will be worth it when I find the right conditions. I used to have very good luck growing these as house plants in the San Juaquin Valley.

Positive BayAreaTropics On Jul 19, 2006, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

An easy to grow plant hardy to a zone 9b. It grows outdoors all over Sou Cal and protected,sheltered spots in the Bay Area. A fast grower once it is established. It needs plenty of water since it is shallow rooted and hates being moved or dug up.
EDIT:..Young plants had no trouble with the freeze of Jan 07. protection and still not a spot of damage. 9b plants for sure..

Positive chanticleer On Apr 2, 2006, chanticleer from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Native to the New Hebrides, the false aralia makes an elegant houseplant; but it is nowadays an uncommon find in the high-volume stores. While it may be "false," this species shares the delicate fussiness of its "true" aralia cousins, and will promptly drop its lower leaves whenever its needs are ignored. It is probably most sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and shouldn't be left outside if temperatures will fall below 15 C (60 F). For the same reason, be sure to keep it away from cold drafts and window panes.

False aralias will also benefit from increased humidity in the form of a wet pebble tray on which it can sit. They have a fairly compact and columnar habit, not growing much wider than their container. Because they seldom branch, false aralias are always sold in closely-packed clumps. When purchasing, choose a pot with as many vigorous shoots as possible. The individual plants tend to lose their lower leaves as they mature, so a higher number of stems will help maintain a fuller appearance.

Positive ladyannne On Jul 12, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is aka dizygotheca elegantissima, also looks a bit like marijuana. We had one on our front porch when some police stopped by and my little white haired mother had a time explaining this was NOT what he thought it was. This is a standard houseplant here, wouldn't be without our Dizzy.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Centre, Alabama
Dover, Arkansas
Hayward, California
Irvine, California
Merced, California
Pleasant Hill, California
Upland, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Brandon, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Marathon, Florida
Nokomis, Florida
Saint Cloud, Florida
Sugarloaf Shores, Florida
Summerland Key, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tavernier, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida
Valdosta, Georgia
Gonzales, Louisiana
Cumberland, Maryland
Broaddus, Texas
League City, Texas
Odessa, Texas

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