It is commonly grown as a houseplant, popular for its tolerance of neglect and poor growing conditions. It is also grown as a landscape plant in milder climates where frosts are not severe. Numerous cultivars have been selected for variations in leaf colour and pattern, often variegated with creamy-white to yellow edges or centres, and dwarf forms. The cultivar ‘Gold Capella’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
The umbrella plant lends itself easily to the bonsai form and is popular as an indoor bonsai.