Help! Scheffleras are dying indoors - is it too little light?

ashratnamMay 26, 2013

Greetings everyone.
Summer's raging down here in India, the daytime temperatures are reaching 47C. A lot of the plants we'd kept out in the courtyard including some Scheffleras were literally being 'burnt' by the sunlight.
To save them from the sun, and because I thought they'd both do well and look good indoors, I brought them inside. One is placed near a window, another in a place that doesn't receive much direct sun. I believed they were okay with not getting that much light.
The results have been disastrous.
They're clearly looking very very sick. The natural reaction would be to think they aren't getting enough light. How much light do they need exactly? Isn't having them next to a window going to be enough?
Please provide some advice and tell me what I should do, as for now I'm shifting them outside again (in the sun)

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How long from when they were outside in the sun to when all the foliage turned like that? It looks more like damage from sun rather than from lack of light. Most Schefflera are rainforest plants, or even monsoon forest plants. They generally need higher humidity . Without that temps getting up over 40 tend to fry them. If they were in a courtyard like that palm you had problems with previously then that's where the problem started. I think you should have brought them in earlier. They are quite a tough plant and should bounce back with new foliage, if they weren't left "cooking" for too long. Just that they won't look good for a little while yet though.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 6:04AM
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Hi again
Well, they've been inside now for around 10 days. The plants had been outside for when it started getting really hot for about 4 weeks, the leaves really started burning dry some 2 weeks ago. So maybe these could be sun damaged leaves which are just wilting slower because they're no longer in the sun. How much light do they really need when indoors? And looking at them do you think I should try keeping them indoors and seeing how they fare for the next few days?

This post was edited by ashratnam on Sun, May 26, 13 at 10:05

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:10AM
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I'd say it was only sun'heat damage. Don't give them too much water, they don't have the leaves to help take it all up. This is another one more suited to the Mumbai climate rather than what you get in Rajasthan. If you have an area in the garden where it's more shaded and humidity is higher they should be okay. Basically, if you have the room then you need to get some shade trees growing so you can develop a microclimate more suited to the plants you want to grow.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 5:17AM
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Thanks again for your wonderful, advice. I've already got a cassia fistula growing but it's going to be a while before its in any state to provide protective shade. So I'll bring these ones back inside and see how things go for them then. And how much light do they really need indoors. I mean where in the house can they be kept. I also read that they will try to loose leaves which were better suited to the outside and shoot some new ones that are better suited for the darker surroundings. Is that so?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 6:25AM
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The cassia will be good, but you're right, it might take some time. If you can put up some shade cloth and have some misting system going just the increase in humidity could help. But you'd need to shelter from wind as well. A strong dry wind would take away all the effects of misting very rapidly.

A number of plants drop leaves with changing situations. I get various trees losing leaves at different times. By the time the last of the old leaves have fallen the tree is full of new leaves opening out again. Mostly it happens with the change of conditions between wet and dry. Although, my African Mahogany drop a lot of leaves at the start of spring when we get out hottest weather. Looking up at the tree tops you don't notice the loss of leaves as they're being replaced simultaneously. But the ground is deep with them.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2013 at 9:26PM
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