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How To Combat Schefflera Problems

Ask the Expert: Help with my Schefflera, please!
Actually, I was told that my plant isn’t a traditional Schlefflera, but in the same genus.  It has a long, skinny trunk (I guess you could call it), and then the leaves bloom out at the top — like a tree.  Anyway, almost as soon as I took it home, it started losing leaves at a pretty alarming rate.  At first, it was close to the front door, so I moved it somewhere else to avoid the cold draft (but still in a place with plenty of light).  Then, I discovered (quite late) small moving black bugs on it that were later identified as aphids.  By this point, the plant had lost almost all its leaves.  But there were signs of growth, so I used an insecticide spray on it, and it seemed to come to life again.  However, I guess my plant is bug prone because I eventually found these white, fuzzy things on it that were identified as mealy bugs.  I used another lighter soap mixture/spray on it, and the bugs “seem” to have been contained (though I guess you can’t be sure).  But my plant is in rough shape again, and now, for some reason, all the new buds are not blooming into leaves like they did before.  Instead, they are drying out and turning black.  I should mention that I also never really got the watering thing down.  I have one of those soil moisture gages, and when I stick it in, it’s always moist.  As a result, I don’t water it at any kind of regular interval, but, rather, I wait until the gage says it’s dry — as I was told to do by the people I bought the plant from (though this sometimes takes up to two weeks or more).  Do you have any idea why this might be happening?  I would appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you! Scott

Plant Expect Reply:

Watering is a crucial element in keeping your Schefflera healthy.  When plants are under water stress (either too much or too little), they become susceptible to insect invasion, fungal problems and all around decline.  Don’t rely on your water gauge. Water guages are fine except sometimes they don’t always tell the whole picture.  The soil needs to be moist throughout not just the top inch.  Stick your finger in the soil up to your second knuckle in a coouple places. This will give you the best indicator as to the moist of the soil.  If the soil is dry, saturate the soil not just the top.  If it is wet wait a couple of days and check again.  Once you have the watering straightened out, treating the insects and other problems will be easier.

Your plant probably had insects when you brought it home.  That happens occasionally.  You probably didn’t notice because the insect were in a different life stage – eggs, larvea etc. It often takes a couple of treatments to get rid of all the insects.  It sounds as if you have taken care of them.

The new problem may be insect damage just now presenting.  It could be a result of a fungal problem.  I would trim off any damaged or disease buds and then give the plant sometime.  It usually does take about two weeks for water damage to present itself. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the plant to recover from water problems.

In the meantime, take a magnifying glass and look for spider mites on the plant or thrips in the buds. If you see either, you will need to treat the plant. As for fungal issues, look for lesions on the leaves or on the stems of the plant. If you see either, the Schefflera will need to be treat with a funigicide.  However, most fungicides cause a phototoxicity in Schefflera so it will be a little more tricky to treat.

If you aren’t sure what is going on, send me some photos of the plant from diferent angles and parts of the schefflera and I will try to figure it out.


  1. Thank you for your response! I don’t think I have a spider mite or fungul problem, but, just in case, I went to get some fungicide. The person at the store suggested that spraying the plant with insecticide/soap mixures, and then having the plant exposed to the sunlight may have caused the new, delicate buds to dry out (hence the blackening). They told me that if I need to use such sprays, only do so at night.

    As for the watering issue, I’ll keep an eye on it. I have quite a large soil pot (about 14 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep). I usually put the soil meter almost all the way in, and it’s actually more moist as it gets deeper, and dryer near the top. I was also told that plants in distress might absorb water more slowly, which could explain why it remains moist for such a long period of time (it’s been over two weeks since I last watered it, and I’ve never given it THAT much water at a time). I was warned that overwatering will cause the roots to rot, so I’m weary about giving it more water while the meter still indicates “wet” in most areas. In any case, the problem seems to have been stabalized, and I’ve spotted some new growth. I’ll keep a close eye on it for the next little while, and if it deteriorates, I’ll come back and ask you again. Thanks again for your help!


  2. I agree with the person at the store. If you sprayed the insecticidal on the plant in the heat of the day, it could cause the problems you are seeing. Give the plant a few days before you spray any fungicide on your schefflera. As a whole fungicides and schefflera don’t play well together.

    Over watering will cause the same issues as under watering. You are wise to be cautious. Make sure your pot is draining well. I usually recommend the finger method so that the plant owner understand the variation in soil moisture at different levels. However, you have a very good grasp of your soil moisture. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

  3. Sorry to bother you again. My plant has improved in the last few days (the new buds are growing now, as opposed to turning black). But now I have a completely new problem. In the last couple days, I’d noticed some small, caterpillar/millipede-like bugs around the house (no more than an inch long). Then, when I looked at my plant, I noticed that some of those bugs were lying dead at the bottom of my plant bowl (under the pot, where the water drains out). And when I looked closely, I saw that a few were crawling around in the soil! I actually have two large Schefflera plants (one is relatively healthy and normal and the other is the problem plant I’ve been asking about here). But both have these bugs in the soil. I have no idea where they came from, or even if they are plant bugs. They only seem to stay in the soil and not on the plant itself. What should I do?

  4. No bother, I am available anytime you have a question. You will need to spray the top of the soil with an insecticide. I use Fertilome’s whitefly and mealybug killer for these kinds of bugs on houseplants. Spray the top of the soil lightly. Then you will need to monitor the insects. You should start to see the insects die. If your local garden center doesn’t carry The Fertilome brand use whatever houseplant spray they carry that contains a Resmethrin. Let me know if you need anything else. It looks like things are moving in the right direction.

  5. Thanks again for all your help. I probably should have done a little more homework myself before rushing to ask another question, because after further observing my plant and poking around the Internet a little, I think it’s possible I have a fungus gnat problem. I didn’t take any notice of it before, but I have lately seen tiny flies around the house and around my plants. I thought they were fruit flies, but could they be fungus gnats? They just kind of hover around the pot and the soil (I haven’t seen TOO many, but enough — maybe three or four at a time). And the worm-like creatures I’m seeing, could they be the larvae? But I read that fungus gnat larvae should be white, and these little crawlies are more brown-ish in color.

    Anyway, should I go ahead with the insecticide anyway? If these are fungus gnats, would that kill them too? I read that there are a number of easy ways to monitor for fungus gnat larvae, like putting raw potato in the soil for a few days. But I’m not sure how much damage these guys have caused already, so I’m reluctant to wait while they potentially do more. What do you think is best?

  6. You can still use the houseplant spray. It will help. Another thing you should do is remove the gnats food source. If your soil has a semi-hard green substance on top of the soil, remove it. The fungus gnats like it and it becomes a good breeding ground for them. Over-watering is what has caused the infestations of fungus gnats. In the future keep the soil moist but not soggy and you should have this problem again. Good Luck and let me know how it goes.

  7. Hello! sorry to jack a thread but I have a schefflera problem I need help combating as well. My schelf is about a year old and was growing very well all summer. This weekend (4th of july) I was gone for 4 days and my roommate did not water the plant. When I returned, the soil was dry and the main trunk had thinned/withered near the base where it touched the dry soil. I immediately watered the plant but have not seen any improvement yet. Should I wait longer or try to replant this guy?


  8. Yes give it a little more time. Make sure the soil is kept evenly moist and be sure not to over water it.

  9. Jamie,

    My Schefflera plant has been overwatered in the past (I admit), but until recently has been doing fine. I changed the soil about 3 weeks ago, and things are going from bad to worse. The leaves on some of the branches are curling inward, then the cluster droops and eventually falls off. Some of the healthier branches have a white “dust” on the leaves that comes off if I rub it off.

    I am noticing some fungus gnats flying around my office recently, so that may be part of the issue. Could these cause the issues above?


    Attached Image: June 16 flowers 001.jpg

  10. I will address the re-potting first. When you re-potted the schefflera you may have planted it too deep. The top soil level should remain the top soil level when you re-pot. Planting too deep will cause problems for the schefflera and often cause the plant to die. If you think you have planted it too deep simply lift the plant up — so that the original top is not the top in this planter.

    The powdery substance could be powdery mildew which is a fungus. This fungus usually occurs in moist humid conditions and is spread through watering the the leaves. You can get rid of the powdery mildew with a fungicide that can be purchased at your local garden center nursery. You will need to use a fungicide safe for houseplants.

    As for the fungus gnats, if they are not coming from the soil in your pot don’t worry about them.

  11. My plant has a siicky gue on the leaves. I even notice it on the floors around the plant. What is it and what should be done?

  12. It’s hard to say for sure without a picture, but it sounds like you might have Aphids. Check the undersides of your leaves to see if you spot any insects; you may need a magnifying glass to see them. Aphids excrete a clear substance often called “honeydew” and that is probably what is on your leaves. You can use an insecticide that is safe for houseplants to take care of this problem.

  13. I was given a 10 year old schefflera when a neighbor moved. He kept it in doors its whole life except for the 2 weeks before I received it, when it was outside. I brought it in and I think I overwatered it last week and now the leaves have holes, look like they are rotting, and are really droopy. I’m not sure what to do . Thanks for any help!

  14. Jamie, you’re schefflera has undergone a lot of stress lately and could cause it to be a little finicky. When watering your schefflera, allow the soil to dry to the touch between watering. However, do not leave the soil dry for too long or allow your Schefflera to sit in water which could lead to problems. Hope this helps.

  15. Marilyn Harper says:

    I was wondring if I could ask your help in identifying what is happening to my schefflera. All was fine with my scheff until I was given a plant from a funeral of a family member. The plant must have brought a bug with it that has hit a few of my plants, but seems to love the scheff. It is a tiny, black insect (that never flies) and lays eggs (tiny black specs)on the back of the leaf. The specs turn into a white larva which suck the juice out of the back of the leaf. The bug is not an aphid and I have had it looked at and it is not a fungus gnat. It seems that it must be in the soil, but we have never seen anything fly and so don’t know how it gets to the leaves. I have tried several poisons, dish soap, I have tried putting it outside int he summer, cut it back severely several times and this always comes back. Any ideas? Thanks so much, Marilyn

  16. Marilyn, first I would suggest asking someone from your local garden center or nursery to find a good insecticide for your schefflera. They can be sensitive to some products but someone should be able to point out the best insecticide for your needs. Before applying the insecticide, wipe the leaves clean of as much larvae as you can. When you apply the insecticide, also lightly spray the soil to help kill any bugs that might be hiding out. Hopefully this will help rid you of them for good!

  17. I think my schefflera might have “soil mites” if that is such a thing. The plant has dozens of tiny, almost microscopic miniature spiders, about the size of a grain of salt, and about the same color. I have tried homemade soap spray (using diluted Dawn dishwashing liquid), and a store-bought soap spray. Today, I tried an organic oil spray that I bought at the garden center. I’ve been trying for about a month to get rid of these little buggers, and nothing is working yet. There are also signs of something on the leaves, as they have a gooey substance on them and tiny little white spots that don’t move. Any ideas for eradication would be appreciated. Thanks!

  18. Rosie

    Try a houseplant spray containing a permethrin. Their are many different brands of houseplant spray that contain this ingredient. be sure to spray the plant and the soil. Good luck.

  19. I hope this thread is still active as I have looked all over the web and seen nothing about my problem. I’ve had this plant for several years with no problems. With no change in location or watering, in the last few weeks the leaves and stems at the very tops of all of the plants in the pot are turning black and falling off. Can you give me any explanation or advice on what to do. PS. I’ve raised houseplants for 40 years and am familiar with all the usual houseplant critters and treatments….never seen anything like this! Thanks!!!

  20. Cindy,

    Not sure could be a type of wilt. I would trim the plant back to healthy tissue and go from there.

  21. So my schedulers is doing ok. I say that because during the summer when it is outside it thrives. It often thrives inside during winter but during winter I also have to deal with scales and ants. The ants is the part that is really bugging me. I have repotted with new soil and well outdoors isn’t really an option because of the cold weather. Luckily spring is on its way. WhT can I do about the ants? All my plants come indoors during the winter and the ants are everywhere or at least their tracks. My other plants don’t seem to have a problem. My schedulers on the other hand has them everywhere and now there is flying ants. The flying ants only come out at nig when I have the overhead light on but the lite ants are there all the time.
    Help please….

  22. Megan,

    The flying ants are most likely actually gnats. The ants are not hurting the plant but the gnats will. Check to make sure the soil does not have algae growing on top of it. If this is the case plow the soil with a fork to let the soil dry slightly. When the algae is gone the gnats will most likely go away. If they still persist use an insecticide that is safe for the houseplants.

  23. I have a very large sheffelera given to me by a neighbor who was about to move and couldn’t take it with her. it is easily 9 to 10 feet tall and very full. She kept it outside in a sun-dappled back yard with lots of trees and sunshine. I have no trees in my back yard so it is in my den in front of the large windows facing east. For the first month or so, it was fine. But, lately it has been losing lots of leaves, at least 5 or 6 per day. All of these leaves look like they have been burned. They are dark brown and crispy and it happens really fast. Yesterday, there were no brown leaves. I woke up this morning to 4 brown leaves that turned brown overnight and several more that have turned brown during the day today. Also, one of the stems/branches was looking naked, having lost all its leaves and I went to take it off the main stalk and there were lots of tiny black ant-looking insects crawling around where the branch meets with the main stalk. I have applied no insecticide to this tree and had been feeding it Miracle Grow and water only. I keep its soil slightly damp, but never soaked. If anything it is on the fry side. Any suggestions or ideas about what is wrong?

  24. Bridget,
    It could be that it’s not getting enough sunlight or it is infested in insects. Try using some insecticidal soap and see if that helps.

  25. Hello,

    We have an office dwarf schefflera that has developed some sort of spore-like fungus. We’ve had the plant for about 4 months, and the fungus has only recently started to become visible and a problem. The spores cover leaves and stalks/branches, and are white-grey in color. They seem to kill younger buds more easily. They simply wilt and die. The more mature leaves seem to be unaffected. I would assume that some sort of fungal remedy would assist, but i wanted to ask on some sort of forum about this issue in case i might be missing something.

  26. Rebel988,

    Can you send a picture of the fungus? If it is a true fungus, you can spray the plant with a fungicide. Your local garden center nursery should have a fungicide that will work.

  27. Carrie watz says:

    I am needing some help for my scheffera plant. My plant looks healthy overall. However, over the past few weeks it was started to get red dots on the underside of the leaves and the new growth has a red color to leaves. The plant is it losing leaves. I brought my plant to a nursery and they smsaid they couldn’t see any signs of insects or mold but had no idea what the spots were. They suggested I treat the plant with insecticide and wait. It has been 2 weeks but the leaves still have the same red markings and new leaves do as well. Some have suggested u break off all leaves with the spots but if the new growth has same marking not sure how that will help. I have had this plant a little over a year and never had any issues… Any ideas?

  28. Meant to say the plant is not losing leaves

  29. Carrie,

    It could be a fungal problem. Please send me a photo jadams@flowershopnetwork.com

  30. angela j says:

    I’m writing about a Schefflera with problems too. I recently repotted it so I am wondering if it is sick because I potted it too low. I tend to keep it quite dry so it seems strange that it now has a fungal looking problem. It is a tall lanky plant with three trunks (or actually three plants planted together). One of the trunks, about half-way up, starting turning dark brown the other day, then it rapidly spread up the trunk and the leaves and stems in this area started to turn brown and fall off as well. I’ve cut that trunk and dusted it with cinnamon, but it looks like the brown is now coming back and spreading down the plant. Then yesterday I saw a brown patch on one of the other trunks. It’s a big beautiful plant so I am very sad to cut any more of it. I’m hoping I can save it??? I’d be glad to send pictures if someone is still checking this page. Thanks!

  31. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Angela,
    Sorry for the delay in response. Please send pictures to jamie.woods@flowershopnetwork.com and I will try to identify the problem.

  32. Treatment for Schefflera:
    I believe essential oils work great on plants.
    Ants: Peppermint Mentha piperita, Spearmint Mentha Spicata
Aphids: Peppermint Mentha piperita, Spearmint Mentha Spicata, Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana, Hyssop Hyssopus decumbens

    Beetles: Peppermint Mentha piperita, Thyme Thymus vulgaris

    Chiggers: Lavender Lavendula angustifolia, Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus, Thyme Thymus vulgaris

    Cutworm: Thyme Thymus vulgaris, Sage Salvia officinalis

    Flies: Basil Ocimum basilicum, Clove Eugenia caryophyllata, Eucalyptus Globulus Eucalyptus Globulus, Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Peppermint Mentha piperita, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, Citronella Cymbopogon winterianus

    Mosquitoes: Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus,
    Moths: Peppermint Mentha piperita, Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Hyssop Hyssopus decumbens, Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana,
Plant Lice: Peppermint Mentha piperita, Spearmint Mentha spicata

    Slugs: Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana, Pine Pinus sylvestris, Hyssop Hyssopus decumbens 

    Snails: Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, Pine Pinus sylvestris
Spiders: Peppermint Mentha piperita

    Ticks: Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus, Thyme Thymus vulgaris, Sage Salvia officinalis

    Weevils: Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, Cedarwood Juniperus virginiana

    Wooly Aphids: Patchouli Pogostemon cablin, Pine Pinus sylvestris

    Mildew and Fungus Protection
    10 drops of any of the essential oils to 1 gallon water used in garden spray equipment.

    ** Make sure to spray on plants when there is no risk of sun burning

    Application Methods

    Sprays: Use 4-8 drops of essential oil to 1 gallon of water for spraying on flowers fruit and vegetables. Sprays are best used as insect deterrents, to rid plants of mold and mildew and to encourage growth.

    Bacteria Leaf Diseases
    The initial symptoms of pseudomonas leaf blight are small, water-soaked lesions on the edges of the foliage of Schefflera trees. The lesions get bigger and turn black, resulting in severe leaf drop.
    Irregular corky spots on the underside of the leaves characterize xanthomonas leaf spot. The spots are tan to yellow and turn dark brown.
    No effective treatment exists for bacterial leaf diseases. Remove and destroy infected leaves. If the plant is severely infected, destroy it to prevent the disease from spreading.

    Fungal Leaf Diseases
    Alternaria leaf spot causes large brown spots with yellow halos, which spread and cause premature leaf drop. The disease also affects petioles and stems of Schefflera trees. Phytophthora leaf spot resembles Alternaria, but begins on the lower leaves first.
    Collectotrichum leaf spot begins as circular or oval tan spots. The spots turn dark brown and develop irregular edges. As the dead tissue falls out, the leaves begin to curl or cup.
    Remove and destroy infected plant material to prevent the spread of diseases. Fungal diseases can be treated with a fungicide approved for Schefflera trees at the rate recommended by the manufacturer. Some fungicides can damage the foliage of Schefflera trees. BUT TRY ESSENTIAL OILS TO COMBAT DISEASES. THEY ARE NATURAL, WON’T DAMAGE OR KILL PLANT.

    Powdery Mildew
    A fungus causes powdery mildew, a white, dusty coating on the leaves and stems of Schefflera trees. Remove and destroy affected plant material. If the powdery mildew is widespread, use a fungicide approved for Schefflera trees and follow the manufacturer’s directions. The foliage of Schefflera trees can be damaged by some fungicides.

  33. Sheryl Knopf says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you can help me regarding my decades old schefflara. It’s about 6’ tall and had always been healthy until about4 months ago, late summer. The leaves began to turn yellow and then fall off. I repotted it from a 12” pot to a 16” pot thinking the roots were root bound. But the leaves kept turning yellow and falling off. Then I noticed piles of small black bugs on the floor around it and they are flying around the room. In checking in the pot, the perimeter inside the pot was covered with these crawling and flying small black bugs. They’re not on the plant itself but all over the pot and soil. I wiped around the perimeter to clean them out and put a series of small dishes of apple cider vinegar which caught the flies or whatere they are. I took the very top layer of soil off. I haven’t watered it in about a month. The soil now has a filmy fungus on it and I’m scooping that off the top today. The leaves seem to be stabilizing and no longer turning yellow but I don’t know what theses bugs are. I’ve read a lot of posts including all of yours and nothing cites this same experience. I had always watered this thoroughly 1x/wk and now I’m not sure how to proceed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanjs

  34. Jamie Woods says:

    It sounds like your Schefflera may have a Fungus Gnat infestation. The best way to combat this is to let the soil on your plant dry out, and remove any dead leaves or debris from the pot. Use stick traps or the apple cider vinegar to get rid of any new bugs. This link will give you some more information: https://dengarden.com/gardening/Fungus-Gnats-All-you-need-to-know

  35. Joel Carpenter says:

    Hi – I am a Certified Plant Professional in NC, and a neighbor asked me about her Scheff. All the older leaves are coated with a glaze of what appears to be sap. And I say this as I don’t see any signs of Aphids, or an insect of any kind. The new leaves all look great. Since it is a very deep container, I am wondering if the bottom half of the container is holding water and is being expressed back out through the older leaves? No sign of disease either and am baffled. After a short while, brown specks appear to be stuck to the glaze, like a leaf scale, but nothing on the new leaves. any help?

  36. Jamie Woods says:

    This is a tough one. It certainly sounds like some type of pest. Have you tried having your neighbor treat her plant with Neem oil? It’s safe and natural, and should not cause damage to the plant if there aren’t any pests, but would take care any that might be hiding.

  37. Joel Carpenter says:

    Jamie – actually, after the leaf gets this glaze of sticky on it, then in about 7-10 days, what looks like scale appears. The room can get very hot as 2 walls are nothing but glass, and there are other plants in the room. I AM thinking that Neem oil may help. Also am going to have her cut back on water as I have a suspicion that the deep(15″) pot may be holding it deep in the root system, and the leaves are trying to alleviate the water pressure. I see no mottling, no stippling, no discoloration, no where where the cells are being sucked…..which is why I prefer plants in the yard. Thanks for the reply and will give it a try.

  38. Karen Evenson says:

    I. too. have a kind of sap problem on my scheff. It is not only on the plant but on ALL the surrounding area. It’s very sticky and I cleaned it with soapy water last year hoping to “cure” it but it came back. It’s a young plant, 2′ tall and has not grown any in the last year and a half. I keep it outside in the summer because it causes such a sticky mess all around it.

  39. Jamie Woods says:

    You definitely have an insect problem going on. Aphids, mealy bugs, and scale are the usual culprits for what is called honeydew, or the sticky sap you are seeing. You will need to use an insecticidal soap or household plant spray to get rid of the infestation.

  40. Heather says:

    Hi Jamie I too have a dark brown/black that has set in halfway up the trunk of my Sheff. Due to rambunctious kittens 1 year ago they took off all but 2 leaf branches. But it still forged on looking funny but healthy! 2 weeks ago I left the window open next to its south facing window and it got to 42 degrees that night. by the next week it this darkness halfway up the trunk appeared…just about even with where the cold air from the window would have hit it. The lower part of the trunk was insulated by a foam couch that it rests on as it originally grew sideways onto a table then strait up from there. I can’t tell you how unusual this one looks and I love it so much!!! It lost one of its 2 branches to this black(fungus/frostbite?) and the black is halfway into the last branch and yellowing the leaves. I am guessing that it is too late for its last branches and am wondering if I cut the trunk below where the black has killed it can it find a way to rejuvenate w/o any leaves to photosynthesis? Perhaps if I put it outside where it gets more sun could I avoid this amputation and the last leaves might pull it through? Or are all these options too shocking to the plant? I am posting this for others benefit but will email you as well and send you pics. Thank you for helping all us plant lovers!!:))))

  41. Jamie Woods says:

    Hey Heather,

    I’d say it has definitely been damaged by the cold, so treating it with a fungicide won’t help. Your best bet is to trim back the dead branches, then give it some time to recover. Keep it in a warm place with indirect light. You’ll probably need to cut back on watering some as well. Do not fertilize, and try not to do anything to cause any stress to the plant.

    Good luck!


  42. Donna Kummer says:

    Dear Jamie,
    I have two sheffs that were infested with scale, using neem oil was not successful. I”vet had one since 1972 and the other for 11 years. I trimmed the trunks and removed stems and leaves. Both are have new buds and leaves starting to grow. I bring them in every fall and out every spring. Wondered if I need any follow up treatments since I got rid of all the leaves, stems and trimmed the trunks down?
    Thank You,

  43. Jamie Woods says:

    The best thing for you to do now is be very vigilant and check your scheffs for signs of a new infestation. Since you take your plants outdoors in the warmer weather, this should also help prevent reinfestation, because there are several natural enemies of scale. Just make sure to check your plants well before taking them back in this fall.

  44. Thank you so much for your response, I will keep an eye on them especially before I bring them in this fall. They both seem like a member of the family!

  45. Janis Graves says:

    I have a beautiful scheffelera that I’ve had for several years moving it inside and out depending on the season. I repotted it about a month ago and now most of the stems are getting “sprigly”looking. It’s on the north side of our deck but it faced a north side when inside also. Please help I really hate to loose her!
    I would send a pic but I don’t know how to do it!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Jamie Woods says:

    Looking at the picture you sent over, your Schefflera looks healthy. The “sprigly” parts you are referring to may be new growth. If you’re unhappy with the shape, you can trim back any stems you feel look unsightly.

  47. Tennille English says:

    The school I work at has a scheffelera I am trying to nurse back to health. The lighting was too low and overwatered and left in standing water. I discovered scale and washed it off with a shower sprayer, used insecticidal soap amd found a little remaining which I wiped off with alcohol and cotton swab.
    So my question is will new growth come in on woody stalks that look dead? Some of the woody stalks are really loose and just come out with the slightest touch. There is new growth on other green stalks. Some of the healthy stalks need cut back. Where is the best place to cut?

  48. Jamie Woods says:

    For the woody stalks, use your fingernail or a knife to gently scrape away some of the stem. If you can find green, healthy tissue, cut back to that area. If not, remove these. For the new growth, you don’t want to cut it back more than a third of the total size of the plant.

  49. Is a Schefflea toxic to pets?

  50. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Yes, Schefflera plants are toxic to both dogs and cats.

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