Please help me save my sick plant

baggett67July 22, 2013

I have had this plant on my desk for probably 8 years and it has done very well with little to no attention until a week or two ago when it's lowest and highest leaves started to curl up, change color and severely wilt. I have changed the soil and provided a tiny bit of plant food and some extra water and light, but nothing seems to be helping. Very sad to sit here, helplessly, watching it die.

By the way, if someone can tell me what type of plant I have, that would be a bonus.


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Its is a schleffera, the species is still at large to me. It looks like it is suffering from overwatering. it is most likely already lost

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Has anything in the plant's environment changed recently?
How much light is it getting?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:41PM
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def looks like a schelferra, even a variegated one maybe? def not getting as much light as it wants. with a change in the last week or so, maybe the heat/air conditioning changes at the office recently?

you can trim off the dead stuff, sounds like you are trying to do what you can. I recently just hacked all the leaves off our umbrella tree at work, completely down to the trunks and it is coming back.

when I overwatered a cutting the leaves would turn yellow before dropping not brown and shriveled like that.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:50PM
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8 years is a long time to be that small. The conditions were probally not Ideal, but it would seem that a sudden evironmental change would trigger this (i.e, overwatering, light change,heat/cold exposure,overfertillizing) just a few most common. If it is dying from the top and bottom then it makes me doubtful about root rot because usually the plant dies vfrom bottom to top. But I still beieve it is water related

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 2:51PM
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Thanks for all everyone's feedback, The only recent change I can think of is possibly less light since my daughter has been shutting the window blind due to monitor glare the past couple months. It is probably small for it's age due in part to me ignoring it. It has been small, but healthy for most of its life. I hardly ever water it, but have watered it a couple times recently, since I read that the curling leaves might be caused by a lack of water. It seemed to perk up a bit for a few days after watering, but ultimately, more and more leaves keep curling up and browning. Very sad.

Can I take a "cut" and save part for a later planting??? I have no idea what I am doing here. :-)

I saw this link where someone has one living in water alone. Looks just like mine did when it was healthy.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:00PM
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You need to get it more light fast. Scheffleras like bright light. Is there another place in the house where it can be put where it wont be an issue to have the light glare? Poor thing is starving to death because it cant perform photosynthesis to make its food. It can be saved!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 5:06PM
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Your plant looks like Schefflera actinophylla variegata.
A fairly rare specimen.

Has your Scheff been in the same pot since you've had it?

Reason I'm asking..I purchased a few pots like yours, repotted, results were horrible.

When you repotted did you see roots? If so, how much space is between root ball and inner container?

If roots are tight, your Scheff needs a larger pot. Roots need room to grow.

I'd remove brown leaves. Repot if necessary. Place in bright light. Water, until water seeps out of drainage holes..
Does your pot have drainage?
Do not add more fertilizer until plant resumes health.

Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi Brian, welcome to Gardenweb! I'm not sure your plant is still alive, but hope so!!

What did the roots look like when you changed the soi?

It looks like the drip saucer has had water sitting in it repeatedly (I recognize the look of it from my 'old days' of doing that.) This can cause roots to rot. The fertilizer may have been too strong, agree to not add more until/unless it gets to looking better. Also agree, more light!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Guilty as charged. I have been watering it that way for 8 years. I was told by someone to just pour water into the drip tray and let the plant suck up what it needs.

Your comment about the roots really concerns me. I noticed when I changed the soil the other day that there seemed to be almost no roots for a plant this size. Sigh... I have become attached to this little guy over the years.

Any chance I can cut the top off and have it sprout some new roots in a glass of water?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:28AM
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