Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!
Find Your Local Florist:
Home Shop Flowers Bloomin' Blog Find Florists About FSN Contact FSN Florists Only!

Why Does My Schefflera Have Curling Leaves?

Ask the Expert: Schefflera leaf curling
We have a large, old schefflera. It is so tall we have to cut the tops off. It site in front of a small, high round window. My problem is that the top leaves are curling, not just the tip but the whole leaf. Then  they die. Some of the leaves have little holes that look as if they may have been eaten by bugs.


  1. Lillian,

    Broad mites can infected a schefflera. However, is often goes unnoticed until severe damage has occurred. Initial symptoms will be downward cupped leaves with a serrated, puckered, and stunted growth. If you have mites you will need a miticide to kill them.

    Another possibility is that the schefflera has been infested with thrips. A schefflera with thrips will have leaves that are curled or distorted with silver-gray scars or calloused areas. If you have thrips you will need an insecticide to kill them.

    In both cases the damaged leaves will not return to normal and will need to be prune off of the plant. You can find the products you need at your local garden center and nursery. Once you kill the invader, your plant should recover. Please keep me posted. If you can determine what is wrong, send me an up-close picture of one of the leaves from the top and back side.

  2. Marleeta Anspaugh says:

    I have not had my plant long enough for bugs or mites to be in it. How often am I supposed to water
    it. I have probably been watering it too much. What kind of sun is it supposed to have?
    It is not getting much sun.

  3. Marleeta,
    Scheffleras must get medium-light, which means they need bright, but indirect light. They don’t do well in soaking wet water. It’s best to wait until the soil dries out and then thoroughly soak the soil when you water.

  4. Carol F Housh says:

    I have tried treating my schefflera tree with neem oil, tried wiping off all leaves. Still my plant has thinned and we are losing leave one aftler the other.I have given it close examination and see no bugs? The leaves are green, curl and drop. Ive thought of moving it, but it sits by western window with indirect light. Ihavent got any other plants around it. It was a beautiful, interesting tree, now it is just spindly! thank you, carolfhoush@gmail.com
    Ill inclde some pictures with this.

  5. Aynsley Broom says:

    Hi Carol,
    It sounds like you might try moving it and give it time to adjust.

  6. My plant I just repotted it a week ago. Leaves are turning hard & curling up here & their. Looked for bugs didn’t see anything. It was doing very good, thought it needed a bigger pot & more soil. Now I have a problem. Can you give me any ideas!!!

  7. Carolyn Hawkins says:

    My plant is in a western facing bay window. The leaves are curling and a couple turned black. I didn’t knot ice this until I turned the plant, so I thought it might have gotten frost bitten from being aganist the window. I live in Michigan. I had fungus gnats, so I treated all the plants with Neem Oil over a month ago, including the Schefflera. Thank you in advance. crh532@gmail.com

  8. Jeffrey Balch says:

    Hi Carolyn! Overwatering and cool temperatures may cause your leaves to turn black, so your plant may be getting too cold being against the window.

  9. Jeffrey Balch says:

    If the leaves are turning hard and curling, it sounds to me like your plant might not be getting enough water. Especially since you moved it to a bigger pot, you may need to give it a little more water in order for the roots to reach it.

  10. Sara Keyes says:

    I have a question. My Schefflera plant used have healthy and shining leaves. A few weeks ago, I realized leaves turned dark and fell down. So I thought they needed water and I watered them. But leaves started curling. So, I still thought they needed more water and I watered them again. Maybe I did every day. I had the self-water plant pot. So I don’t see how much water I give the plant. I eventually overwatered. I repotted it. But I bought the wrong soil. The soil was wet. Then I used that soil. I worried. Now I found the tiny yellow egg looking stuff on and in soil. Leaves become thin and small. I feel so obsessed. Can you help?

  11. Jeffrey Balch says:

    I would guess that the “yellow eggs” are from some type of pest. Pests attack Schefflera plants when the plant is stressed, which has probably happened from what sounds like overwatering. Overwatering also can lead to root rot, which could also be affecting your plant.