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Leaves Are Falling Off My Schefflera – Help!

Ask the Expert: why do the leaves keep falling off of my scheffera
schefflera keeps loosing it leaves, i water it about twice a week – Sue


  1. Hi, My Scheffelera is 7 months old. When I first got the plant I was overwatering it, however, I think I got the watering under control but it is still loosing leaves. The stems and leaves are turning brown and falling off. I’m down to 3 umbrella’s of leaves and they are drooping badly and I have a feeling I’m going to loose them too. I thought that it might not be getting enough light so I recently moved the plant by a south facing window. My plant has never had any new growth. Any suggestions on how I can help my plant?

    Attached Image: DSC06715.jpg

  2. Lynn,

    Let’s try to determine any issue that might be a factor.
    1. Does you pot have drain holes? If not re-pot the plant into a container with drain holes. As you do this check to see if your plant is experiencing rot root. the roots should be white or creamy in appearance. If they are black, you might have rot root. Should this be the case snip the roots back till you remove the black. Then re-pot in fresh soil.
    2. Going the other extreme. Many people who over-water their plants will then go the other extreme and under-water their plants resulting in another stress on the plant. Reading our care tips for Schefflera might help with this.

    Once you have determine which of the above might be a factor, you can take the appropriate steps to correct the issue. However, with a plant this stressed it might take a while for it to recover. Be patience and give the plant a couple of weeks to recover after you have implemented the appropriate solution. Good luck and please let me know if I can help with anything else.

  3. Purple Thumb,

    Can you send me a picture? Are you wanting to top the plant and start a new one?

  4. Becky,

    Scheflerra are notorious for going into transplant shock when moved from one extreme condition to another. The good news is they usually recover if we give them time. I recommend leaving it alone and letting it get familiar with the new environment. You should see it start to recvoer in 2 to 3 weeks. Make sure during this time that you follow normal watering procedures. Good Luck and Please let me know If I can help with anything else.

  5. Jim,

    Check to see if your window is drafty. An extreme drop in temperature can cause this type of issue – even a slight cold draft can damage a schefflera. If the window is a bit drafty simple move the plant 1 or 2 feet further away and the plant should recover in about 2 to 3 weeks. Good Luck and please let me know if I can help with anything else.

  6. My Shefflera has apparently been over watered, & is also probably root-bound. I’ve had it many years, & we had to move temporarily into a different room, because we were painting the room it usually is in. It had been losing leaves before the move, but since then, it’s essentially naked on the bottom 1/2 of the primary stems. The top of the stems, however, look great. Today, I cut 2 of the 3 stems & put them in a vase (for the time being) & I bought some rooting hormone. Is it reasonable to treat the cut stems with the rooting hormone & plant them? I’ve seen where you are supposed to propagate from ??? The actual umbrella leaf part. But you are supposed to get the leaf from the bottom of the main stem–& I don’t have that. Thanks for your advice.

  7. Ruth,

    Usually I top a schefflera to start a new plant. When you say stems was this the stalks of the plant or the leaf stem. Leaf stems usually don’t propagate well – instead top the plant. You will need a 6inch piece. CUt the stem at a 45 degree angle and dip in rooting hormone, then place 2 to 3 inches in the soil and keep the soil moist until the plant roots. Good luck.

  8. I recently received a plant from a funeral but do not know what it is or how to care for it can anyone help

  9. GG,

    Can you provide a photo?

  10. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites online.

    I most certainly will recommend this website!

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