Thanks Len & mcpre!
I'm glad this thread has been of some help and/or inspiration---I just wish I could have continued it longer.
I'd love to see some Schefflera pics from both of you if you have any to share at some point.
Over the past few months I have been in regular correspondence with David Fukumoto (president and founder of Fuku Bonsai), and I have been learning a great deal about working with Schefflera. I have obtained two plants from him so far, and I have been quite pleased with them.
My next step on here will be to begin a new thread about these plants and about some of the other things I have done to optimize my growing conditions (such as developing a suitable potting mix cheaply, using local materials available in bulk quantities).
See you over in the new thread (whenever I get around to starting it). ; )