Ask a Question forum: Why are my new Schefflera leaves brown?

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Name: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
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sabigrows
May 23, 2018 3:35 PM CST
My boyfriend has has this plant for many years and a couple months ago I beheaded it and it's been sprouting babies like crazy Smiling However I noticed the new foliage is a bit brown and wrinkly and I read that it could be from lack of water? It's in a pretty big pot and it has rocks for drainage but I also know this plant is some what tropical (correct me if I'm wrong!) and it enjoys humidity.

So, why are the leaves brown-ish?

P.S I beheaded this plant because it was really leggy and not compact and bushy like we want it to be. I read online that too much intense direct light can cause that? Right now it's on my porch and it gets 5-6 hours of direct morning sunlight (6 am-11am) and then about 5-6 hours of shade, then the last evening sunlight until the sun goes down. Is it in too much light?

P.S.S - This plant wants to be a tree pretty badly, but we have no space to plant it in the ground and we don't plan on living where we do for very much longer, so is it safe to trim the roots and prune the branches in order to keep it small? Would trimming the roots back hurt them?

Thumb of 2018-05-23/sabigrows/f80076

[Last edited by sabigrows - May 23, 2018 3:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 23, 2018 7:40 PM CST
Sabi - I don't see the brown and wrinkled leaves that you mentioned. Is there much more to the Schefflera than what is in the photo?

Your Schefflera arboricola is tropical and is not likely to survive freezing temps. It does not require high humidity.

Outside it needs protection from direct sun. Light shade all day would be best. Indoors, it should be in front of a very sunny window.

You can safely prune it back to keep it at any size and shape that you prefer for as long as you want. There is no reason to prune the roots at this time. Pruning back stems does not have to be accompanied by pruning roots.
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: Sabi
Nothern California (Zone 9a)
Image
sabigrows
May 24, 2018 10:56 AM CST
WillC said:Sabi - I don't see the brown and wrinkled leaves that you mentioned. Is there much more to the Schefflera than what is in the photo?

Your Schefflera arboricola is tropical and is not likely to survive freezing temps. It does not require high humidity.

Outside it needs protection from direct sun. Light shade all day would be best. Indoors, it should be in front of a very sunny window.

You can safely prune it back to keep it at any size and shape that you prefer for as long as you want. There is no reason to prune the roots at this time. Pruning back stems does not have to be accompanied by pruning roots.



Thank you very much for your response. I guess the new baby leaves aren't as bright green as the bigger ones are, but I suppose that's normal. They just looked a little pale. I will keep it in indirect sunlight on my porch. I did have it in direct sun for more than 6 hours.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Profess plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 24, 2018 11:26 AM CST
It is normal for new leaves to be a lighter shade of green. That will change as they mature. Direct outdoor sun even for a few hours can damage tender leaves. Try to avoid that.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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