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Jack Frost Bit My Schefflera!

Ask the Expert: What do I do with my schefflera?
I left my schefflera outside and it was cold, I brought it in and all the leaves are brown and droopy. I don’t think it is completely dead. What can I do to insure that it will survive? Barbara


  1. Barbara,

    There isn’t much to do but wait and see. I would try not to add extra stress to the plant. Keep it out of drafts or away from air vents. Try to place it in the same amount of light as before. However, don’t place it directly in front of a window. The intense light could scorch it. As for watering be careful not to over water it. Keep it moist. It won’t require as much water as it did so test the soil before you water it. Above all do not fertilize it. In a few days you might see dead branches. Remove any dead branches to encourage growth. Good luck and keep me posted. It may take weeks before it recovers.

  2. Hi,
    I had a similar thing happen to my schefflera in late December. It was a 30+ year old tree with sentimental value! Every leaf fell off or turned brown. I ended up cutting back the shriveled branches and kept the plant watered about once a week (more sparingly than usual). I’d just about given up on the plant but thought it best to keep trying with the plant. Last week (late Feb) I noticed something growing from one of the branches. Sure enough, the tree has some growth occurring. Barbara, I hope your recovery efforts works, too!

  3. Help!!! I forgot my 12 ft (Schefflera / Heptapleurum outside and it froze (about 31 degrees for a few hours) and am afraid I killed it! It has sentimental value and was beautiful. Now all leaves are brown and falling off! Is it dead? What should I do for it?

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    All you can do is wait and see. Remove the dead leaves and trim back the dead branches to encourage new growth. Make sure it is getting the same amount of light as it was outdoors, but don’t put it directly in front of a window. You will also want to keep it away from air vents and drafts. Keep it on a steady watering schedule and make sure it stays moist but not soggy.