Schefflera on Lava

Umbrella Tree rooted on Volcanic Rock

Why we love Bali

We like plants that look incredible and need very little care. Bali, rooted on her own personal rock, ticks both boxes.

Easy care
Most light conditions
The patch promise

She prefers filtered water, please (you can use tap water that’s been boiled, then cooled). Hard tap water can cause marks on the lava.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Schefflera actinophylla 


Umbrella tree; Octopus tree

Plant type

Evergreen perennial, indoor

Air purifying


Plant height (including pot)

Approximately 30cm

Pet/baby safe

Toxic to animals

Nursery pot size

22.5cm W x 12.5cm D

About schefflera

In the wild, this schefflera is most commonly found in Taiwanese forests, where it might grow as tall as nine metres. You’d need a considerably bigger rock for that. Growing a schefflera on lava looks very elegant and makes it very easy to look after. 

The schefflera’s roots have grown around the lava, a porous stone. As the lava absorbs water from the tray, the plant sucks water from the lava. Try to keep the tray about three-quarters full. If any roots grow down and touch the surface of the water, trim them with scissors. It will stop the plant sucking up too much water and turning yellow.

If you need to move your schefflera, always be sure to lift it by the tray, not the lava rock, to avoid damaging the rock or the plant. Every piece of lava rock is unique, so the one you receive will differ from the one in the pictures. Over time, you may see light white marks or green algae appear on the rock. This can look beautiful, but if you'd rather remove it you can do so by lightly scrubbing with a toothbrush (best not the one you're currently using).

Did you know?

It’s not just lava rocks the plant will grow on. In the wild it can affix itself to the trunks of other trees.