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Avatar for kjdunbar27
May 25, 2018 8:33 AM CST
Pennsylvania (PA)
Hello,
I have a foot and a half tall umbrella Plant. It was actually purchased with intention of keeping it potted and in a large enclosure which houses a small chameleon. I typically mist the plant twice a day all over. I haven't actually been directly watering the soil, but I did try that with my last umbrella Plant and it died. I'm noticing that this one is also showing signs that it is starting to suffer. Im not sure if it is too much water, not enough or if I'm dealing with a light issue. It spends 12 hours under UV and heat of around 75-80 degrees. The pot does have drainage. Please let me know any information you have. I have enclosed a photo of what the dieing areas look like.
Thanks,
Kara
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May 25, 2018 9:25 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
It's hard to give you a definitive answer without seeing a photo that shows the entire plant, including its pot. Also, what light is it receiving besides the UV?

One thing I can tell you is that it will only absorb water through its roots in the soil, not through its leaves. If you have not been watering the soil, then that is definitely part of the problem. Your other Schefflera did not die because you watered the soil unless you were watering far too often.

I also observe some white stuff on the leaves but cannot make out what that is.

I look forward to your providing additional information.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
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Avatar for kjdunbar27
May 25, 2018 10:40 AM CST
Pennsylvania (PA)
Hello,
I have not been giving it any extra light besides the UV and it is also under incandescent. Perhaps I should move it closer to a window?
I added a picture of the pot. It has an internal drain in the bottom. The white stuff on the leaves is just calcium ( for the chameleon) that spilled on the leaves.
I have mostly only been misting the plant because I was afraid of overwatering as I read that was an issue with this type of plant. How often should I water the soil to safely not over-water it?

Thanks for any info! I appreciate your time.

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May 25, 2018 11:12 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Yes, it needs some natural light. Incandescent and UV is not beneficial to plants as it is in the wrong part of the light spectrum.

I am not interested in what the pot looks like, only how your Schefflera is potted into it.

Any plant can be overwatered. How often and how much to water depends on the size of the pot relative to the root system. That is why It would be helpful to see a photo that shows how the plant is potted.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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May 25, 2018 6:31 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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Hello kjdunbar27, scheffleras are tropical plants, but they do have good drought tolerance. Drought tolerance though does not mean depriving them of water, they are not desert succulents. What you need to provide is well draining media, using good potting soil and adding more pumice or perlite to make it airy, not compacting too much in the long run. Then water thoroughly the root zone as needed, not making them sit in too much water.

I would suggest you position your plant closer to the window to get more natural light. Do away with misting of the leaves, there is not much air movement around there, so you are just risking fungal issues. Unless you can run a ceiling fan or open up a window a bit to allow more air around then that would be a good option.

If your weather permits it, you can bring out the plant and do a good power wash of the leaves, to remove whatever is there. It will love morning full sun, and dappled afternoon sun. I grow mine outdoors, and we get into a very dry and very hot condition here with very low humidity in summer to fall, so that is the time I really try to help them with some frequent misting and thorough watering at root zone. Definitely a different growing condition than yours. Just relating it to you so you will understand how drought tolerant it can go.

I have seen them grow as well in my homeland where they are left in full sun, but the difference is their temperatures are stable, not going lower than 70F everyday with occasional showers and rain, even typhoons, with high humidity levels. Our media there is loam soil with volcanic attributes so it s quite rich and well draining. Just letting you know again what factors will help this plant thrive better.

It is a balancing act for this part, not too wet and too bone dry. So got to adjust your watering regimen and plant positioning as the seasons change.
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May 27, 2018 6:48 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ☼🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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I'm wondering if the plant does not like the calcium, and/or if the calcium is altering the PH of the soil.
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