Ask a Question forum: Schefflera seems to be failing.

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Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
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msandsm
Dec 27, 2016 1:34 PM CST
I've had a small schefflera that I've had in the house for a couple of years, except in summer when I put it out. But when I brought it in this winter, the leaves got droopy, especially at the top. I don't know if it's getting enough light (the only place I have for it is in a west-facing window), or maybe too much water. I just read in a house-plant book that it needs little water in the winter. Oh, and I keep my house at about 67 deg., though it's cooler right by the window. Any suggestions would be appreciated. (Also, the curtain goes behind the plant for more light - I moved it for the pictures).
Thumb of 2016-12-27/msandsm/bd795f
Thumb of 2016-12-27/msandsm/632725

Melissa
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 1:41 PM CST
Hello Melissa, try to give it just a bit more light.

I leave mine outdoors year round, even now, and so far it is doing well. But I know your area might be colder than mine. It is indeed drought tolerant if well established. So do not over water especially at this time of the year.

67F indoors is okay with it. My plant is right now exposed to 29F to 38F overnight outdoors but it gets good light and warmth to 50F from mid day to sundown.

Plants do tend to slow down a bit indoors, and may appear not too happy, but they would return vigor come Spring time. If it does drop some leaves, I would not worry much if it is the lower older leaves. I see new growth on your plant, so it is actually still doing okay.
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
Image
msandsm
Dec 27, 2016 1:53 PM CST
tarev - thanks for your advice. Since we're in the same zone, with the same winter lows and highs, I'm going to be brave and put it outside. However, we get a lot of rain in the winter - will that be too much for the plant? The only place I might protect it from most of the rain is to put it on my porch (really just a landing), but it won't get much sun, due to an overhang from the roof.
Melissa
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 2:09 PM CST
Hi Melissa, my plant gets rained on here, I just let it enjoy that precious juice. I just let Mother Nature do the watering.

I think the landing area is good for your plant, at least it can still benefit from the heat coming from your house at night. It is a low light plant but does well too in shade.

Just watch the temps though, if we suddenly get much colder in January like 20F to 21F, you may just want to wrap it with burlap if it gets that cold. But so far my plant has endured hard freeze recently quite well. The intervals of rain has been good, so it is not soaking too wet when it rained. My Schefflera also gets some cold damage during those very low 20F's but it bounces back nicely come Spring.

These are my two scheffleras, right now it is getting more sun since our city trees are going dormant, so more light is coming in. Typically they are shaded by midday already.
Variegated Schefflera
Thumb of 2016-12-27/tarev/038579

My other Schefflera
Thumb of 2016-12-27/tarev/3cbd6e

Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
Image
msandsm
Dec 27, 2016 2:40 PM CST
tarev ~

Those are beautiful! My little plant is only 18 inches tall, even though I've had it for a couple of years. Do all Scheffleras grow tall? I know there's a dwarf variety, which I suspect mine is, but even those get pretty tall, or so I've read. Maybe they're just slow growers? Should I consider cutting it back in the spring? I just put it outside, and the low tonight is only 38 deg. so it should be ok.

BTW, you do a great job on this website. Hurray! Thanks!

Melissa
Melissa
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Dec 27, 2016 3:04 PM CST
Hi Melissa, yes you can do some pruning in Spring. That is the ideal time to do it.

Mine was smaller too before, but grew bigger, especially when I repotted to a bigger container later on. Have gotten cuttings from it too, so you can have more of them later.

It used to be this small before Mar 2012:
Thumb of 2016-12-27/tarev/cbe4e1

Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
Image
msandsm
Dec 27, 2016 3:08 PM CST
I'll do the pruning in spring and hope for good results. Thanks so much! Thank You!
Melissa
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Dec 29, 2016 11:06 AM CST
Hi Melissa, just want to remind you, watch the temps okay, I am monitoring ours and I do see the low to mid 20F's showing about by Jan. I cannot move my plants anywhere, so I will just see how it goes. Hopefully the heat from our house and whatever reflective heat from our pavers will help.

For your plant, you may have to consider pulling it in again if you do see your forecast going much colder. We may have similar zones, but if you are on a higher elevation than we do, you may have snow..
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 30, 2016 1:49 PM CST
The new growth looks healthy and appropriately pendulous. I don't think you have a problem with it. Thumbs up The light and temperature is fine.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
Image
msandsm
Feb 22, 2017 12:36 PM CST
My Schefflera is doing so much better outside, and with a little less water! I'm not sure how far back it's suggested I prune it - it's looking so good that I'm reluctant to prune it, but if it will fill out the plant, I will.


Thumb of 2017-02-22/msandsm/29c855

Melissa
=^..^=
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
Image
tarev
Feb 22, 2017 1:02 PM CST
Glad to see it improving Melissa!
Name: Melissa
Paradise, CA (Zone 9b)
Image
msandsm
Feb 23, 2017 9:48 AM CST
Hurray!
Melissa
=^..^=

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