Schefflera Help!!

Tigger3165May 7, 2013

I received an umbrella tree as a sympathy gift from my vet after I had my dog put to sleep. The plant seemed okay (not completely happy, but sturdy and healthy) when it got here, but it has seemed to get sadder all the time... I know NOTHING about plants, and I kill all of them that I thouch, but we consider this Reba's (the dog I had to have put to sleep) plant, and we REALLY want to keep it alive.

In all the pictures I've seen, the plant is all green, but mine, the branches are a reddish... is that normal? And the base of the Trunk (? If that's the right term) looks brown and dry. I have only had it 5 days, I've watered it once because the soil seemed completely dry when I got it. I keep it in a sunny room, but where its not getting direct sunlight.

Is there hope for my sad plant????

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Tigger3165

This is what the base looks like

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:26PM
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Tigger3165

The leaves are droopy and wrinkly and the branches are brown/reddish.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

HHI & welcome to GardenWeb. So sorry about your loss!

Your tree looks fine! Scheff leaves just hang at that angle. You're absolutely right to let the soil get dry (not crispy/dusty, like a desert, but to where it no longer feels moist, and the whole thing is more light-weight) before adding more water. It's normal for the trunk to turn brown and hard as it ages because it's a tree type of plant.

Step 1: Remove decorative foil.
Step 2: When dry again, take to sink, water until there is flow from the holes in the bottom of the pot. When it's finished dripping, you can put it back in the cache pot.
Step 3: That may not be enough light. If you have a window where the sun would shine on your plant in the morning, that would be super.
Step 4: Think about how your tree will need a bigger pot soon so there is enough room for more roots to grow.
Step 5: When you have a few minutes and the inclination, take a look at some of the great discussions on this forum about repotting tree-type plants, and the kinds of soil in which they grow best to get comfortable with the idea of tackling that soon.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:02PM
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Tigger3165

Thanks so much for your response!! I don't have even the slightest hint of a green thumb so any advice is welcome! I'll start doing my research now!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:14PM
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bedtime

I agree with purple. That's a healthy looking plant there. The leaves are shiny and green with hardly any blemishes and the drop is normal, especially for the lower leaves. The trunk looking brown and dry is actually a sign of maturity. As the tree grows and the green stalk stretches to accommodate the growth it cracks like that. That's cracking is the tree's bark.

I'd not recommend re-potting for a while if you're new and you've just brought this tree into a new environment. That would probably be too much stress for it. There really is no urgency for it.

I water my schefflera only when the top 1-2 inches of the soil are completely dry. I like to fair more towards the dry side then the wet side. If by accident you were to forget to water it the leaves would let you know by becoming limp, but don't let this happen intentionally.

Try to find out a little more about the plant and try not to make assumptions. This is a tropical tree and not your regular outside tree you're used to so it's bound to have it's differences.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 1:32PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

It is not only healthy but gorgeous

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Tigger3165

Thanks again! I have been googling how to care for it all day... Fingers crossed that I can keep it healthy!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Tigger,

What a beautiful tree!!!

I am sorry for your loss....

Good Luck!!

Laura

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 9:37PM
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bedtime

I forgot to add, I think this is more specifically a shefflera amate. Perhaps someone could confirm this.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 8:06AM
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Tigger3165

Just wanted to let you guys know that I moved it between 2 windows (I have no idea which directions they face) so it gets more indirect sunlight, and it already seems like its perking up! Thanks for all the tips!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 7:48PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Bedtime, IDK, doesn't look like S. arbicola though.

Tigger, that sounds great!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:30AM
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bedtime

purpleinopp,

I'm quite certain its a Brassaia Actinophylla but I'm debating if it's the 'Amate' version or not. The leaves do look rather large and glossy so that points to 'amate'.

This post was edited by bedtime on Fri, May 10, 13 at 8:10

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:05AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Yes, I think this is the same kind of Scheff a friend of mine had in OH. The last time I saw it, it was to the ceiling, and taking up an entire corner of her living room.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:35AM
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Ashtash

this is my poor pitiful tree. I am too am very concerned about the brown stem. The top of the tree is producing pretty new growth. It was double trunked/stemmed but one stem died. You can see it in picture Help Another pic is below

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 3:11PM
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Ashtash

how can I streghnthen and straighten the trunk?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Tigger3165

Hi again! I just wanted to thank you guys for helping me before and let you know that my scheffy seems to have adjusted well now that I gave it some time and repotted it! There was NO ROOM for any growth at all in the old pot! It was ALL root and VERY little soil! I repotted about a month or so ago, and now it's like my plant is on steroids! It seems every day in finding the beginnings of more new growth! It's such a relief! I do not even come close to having a green thumb, but I'm trying to keep this plant happy and healthy!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Tigger3165

Some new growth :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:16AM
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sradleye

tigger - pretty nice to come looking for help and be told everything is fine. tree looks great. time for more plants :)

ash - I think the trunk is really interesting looking like that, but if you want to strengthen you could pinch off some of the leaves and the plant will put more energy into the trunk. if you really want to straighten it out you could probably check out some bonsai techniques for shaping. should be the same concept

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Ashtash received some less than encouraging replies to the same question on another forum unfortunately. Hope he/she comes back to it here, where we LIKE that kind of thing.

Tigger, that's enough to bounce for joy! Your dog is strangely ambivalent, hmmmph!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 6:10PM
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