Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Tropical South
March, 2002
Regional Report

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The variegated foliage of schefflera 'Trinette' is bright yellow and green.

Variegated Schefflera

The heat appears to be on for a while. We have been promised a cold front again but these winter visitors are rapidly becoming history for this season. New growth is wilting as it rapidly grows, so water becomes even more critical in April and May.

Colorful Schefflera
I have been admiring the colorful foliage on the Schefflera arboricola ?Trinette? and find that this dwarf schefflera is finding its way into many commercial and residential designs. There is much to be said for the permanence of its colorful foliage. You can prune the plant as needed and do not lose your color display as you would with a flowering plant. One of the biggest complaints I hear about is the lack of color in the landscape. Popular hedge plants like hibiscus and ixora routinely have their flowers cut off as they occur at the branch tips. The pruning contract necessitates pruning every 2 weeks just as the new flowers are finally forming. Hedges should be restricted to predominantly green or colored foliage plants. Let the flowering plants develop so the flowers can be enjoyed.

Schefflera ?Trinette? has bright yellow and green foliage and grows well in sun to part shade. It is not a vigorous as the green dwarf schefflera so will be better suited for more refined work. ?Trinette? is maintainable at about 3 feet or more. Plant would probably reach 6 to 8 feet but are not seen at this size in the average landscape. I have not noticed any pests on the plant but scale and mealybug sometimes plague interior plantings. Once established, ?Trinette? should be drought tolerant, which is a good thing with our periodic water shortages.

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