Meet The Family: Schefflera Gerda – A Consistent Presence

About a week or two after purchasing the Peace Lily I wanted to buy another plant. It was a bit like getting a goldfish and realising that it doesn’t really do anything (except in Spring, or if you have a widespread pest infestation, oh boy!). I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with plants so wanted to take on this journey one plant at a time. Well that did not last long.

With my “Meet The Family” Series of posts I will be introducing you to my plants and tell you a little bit more about the story behind each plant. I will also attempt to share more about my plant care, and how the plant responds to the conditions in our apartment.

As it was winter the options in garden centres and local shops were quite limited. That and I didn’t know where to look yet. The next plant I wanted was a Snake Plant but the only ones I could find were quite damaged. I was not confident enough to start with a disadvantage. So one day in Woodies I wasn’t going home without a plant so my husband pointed to the Schefflera Arboricola Gerda and said that it caught his eye. I wasn’t too sure because I didn’t know anything about her or how to care for her. She came home with us anyway. I will elaborate on why this is not a good idea for new plant parents in a seperate post.

My research showed she was a pretty easy plant to care for but that she did require some care. This was completely accurate. She has been a fairly consistent presence in our apartment. But to be honest we had a slightly difficult relationship and I believe it was because I bought her without doing my research first. It has been a struggle to find a spot where she is completely satisfied. Maybe it is just her, but no matter where she is in our apartment she drops a leaf or two. According to my research this can be from insufficient light, or from being too wet or too dry. It might be the latter, but if you know why this is happening please let me know. For now I have learned to accept it.

We have however since bonded a bit more and I have learned to love her. She has moved from the kitchen, to the spare bedroom to the plant corner. I think I will keep her there for now. Apart from the leaves dropping every once in a while she seems to be fairly content. She is working on three new stalks and they are the most adorable thing I have seen in house plants. The small leaves look like tiny arms stretching out.

I’ve read that they can grow up to 13 feet (almost 4 meters) tall. I know this is unlikely, but I wouldn’t mind growing old with her.

One thing that has bothered me however is the fact that she seems to be losing her variegation. Now this is also apparently due to insufficient light. I am not too sure if this is the case because she was in a South/South West facing window with bright direct light when this started to occur. Once again, if you know why this is happening please let me know.

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