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Avatar for Sfro7495
Aug 21, 2016 4:21 PM CST
Minneapolis, MN
Hi all,

I am an extreme newbie when it comes to gardening. My grandma gave me this plant over 5 years and it's sentimental to me. I'm honestly surprised I haven't killed it took me over an hour searching online just to find the name of it!

Anyways, I noticed it was growing sideways so I repotted it last year and tried to angle the healthy branch more vertical. One of the main stems broke off awhile ago (someone tipped it over) so it's heavy on one side of the pot.

I tried to stake it for awhile but that hasn't helped. Thinking it needs a different size pot, needs repotting or needs to be pruned but I'm not sure! I don't quite even know how to prune it.

It also has some fuzzy white stuff towards the base of the stem. Any tips would be appreciated!


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Aug 21, 2016 7:11 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
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it is a Schefflera arboricola. It looks slightly unhappy to me. I'm not sure about the white stuff. Most indoor plants get too much water and not enough light. If that is fungus, then watering too often might be fostering fungus.

If mine, I would root the best branch/ branches tips in brand new good quality soil and discard the base. However, 'me' is somewhat experienced so that may be more of a challenge to you.

You can keep this, wipe off the white stuff and soil surface, and water only when the pot feels lightweight and the soil surface is dry.
Plant it and they will come.
Aug 22, 2016 10:17 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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I agree, your plant is Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Heptapleurum arboricola) From what I can see with my old eyes, the white stuff does look like fungus which can be caused by heavy, moisture retaining soil and/or over-watering. Your plant would probably enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air (partial shade location) during the warmer months of the year.

I'm wondering if that container might be a bit large for the size of the tree; depending on the size of the root mass, it may be able to grow in a smaller pot. Those side branches growing off the main trunk could be lopped off and rooted for new plants. If the main trunk is viable, new shoots should grow once the branches are cut. In the second photo, I see a short branch with no leaves, I'd cut that back to see if there is any live wood and if it is alive, new branches should sprout, giving the shrub a more uniform shape.

I see a beautiful kitty in your photo and hopefully he/she isn't like a cat we had at one time who we had to supervise closely because she liked to eat my house plants. Schefflera are toxic to cats and dogs:
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Aug 22, 2016 10:59 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Frogs and Toads Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds
Fully agree with plantladylin; she did a better job explaining things as well.These are pretty resilient plants, so you should have good luck.
Plant it and they will come.
Aug 23, 2016 4:05 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ✌️👍☼🌷⚘ (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Overwinters Tender Plants Indoors Composter Miniature Gardening Butterflies
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Hi & welcome! This recent Schefflera discussion might give you some ideas too:
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Sep 1, 2016 11:31 PM CST
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Orchids Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mexico Sedums Tropicals
This plant is easy to grow,.............. at first. When it gets to be 3 or 4 years old, it seems to just grow into a strange unruly shape, and it's not a plant that is easy to prune, especially if you have not pruned before. I changed my shefs soil to fast draining, which can be just chicken gritt and or perlite and potting soil. I made sure the soil dried out within two or three days, at least. This plant wants to get dryer than most plants, like three inches deep or more dry.
I have a shef I chopped back this spring, because It developed some side shoots that gave it a weird shape. I could not see pruning it would make the plant much better looking so I finally brought it home from work, and whacked it down. It has been giving me the cold shoulder for it all for a couple of months, but finally it is now busting out some new growth at the top and at the soil level too. It looks like it got a hair cut, but it looks better than it did before it had its procedure.
I don't know if I will ever be good at keeping this plant in shape, but I am going to keep a closer eye on it from now on.
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