Ask a Question forum: Leggy Schefflera

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Name: Michelle
Castle Rock, CO
Apr 20, 2016 2:40 PM CST
With the help of a garden app on my phone, I finally discovered that the plant I've had since 1999 is a Schefflera. How can I accomplish getting this plant to look more like a tree and not like a mess? My ideal tree/plant would have the trunks twisted together. I don't want to lose any of the growth that I have, but I honestly don't know anything about gardening. Thank you for the help!
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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
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Apr 20, 2016 5:24 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome!

If you don't want to lose any growth, then maybe start new from cuttings. I haven't propagated a schefflera YET, but I've read it's pretty easy. You could start as many cuttings as you would like braids, then go from there. I have to say that's the most interesting Schefflera I've seen, looks like a hanging basket at first glance. It's very cool. Thumbs up
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Apr 20, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Hi Michelle, Welcome!

Your plant looks like Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola) but I'm not sure how you could train it as a braided tree with the branches twisted together. Usually the braided look is attained when plants are young.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Apr 20, 2016 6:17 PM CST
You have to braid the stems while they are young and pliable. Your plant will never be a braided stand up plant. It wants to be floppy. You have to go with that growth habit or get another plant.

Cuttings root very easily.

To prune, decide what shape you are going for and prune off the excess. When you are happy with the results, cut another 2 or 3 inches off each branch. New growth will be at the nodes at the ends of the branches so you need to cut beyond what you are happy with so you will be happy with it when it starts to grow. Confused

Rooting cuttings:

Method 1: take cuttings, peel off all the leaves except for the top 2 or 3. Put them in a jar of water. Add a couple drops of Hydrogen Peroxide everytime you change/add water. The Hydrogen Peroxide oxygenates the water and helps the cuttings root more quickly.

Method 2: Take cuttings, apply rooting hormone to the base, poke a hole in the soil with a pencil and put the cuttings in the holes. Be careful not to knock the rooting hormone off. Water to snug the soil around the cuttings.

Wait.............. Smiling

Personally, if you have the room, I would leave it alone. I like it.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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