Dwarf Schefflera with leaf drop

brosenbauerSeptember 26, 2010

A friend just bought me a dwarf schefflera for a house warming gift. I have never had a bonsai before, she had said it was fairly easy to care for. I put it right by the window in my living room which never gets direct sunlight but gets a good amount of indirect sunlight every day. At first I didn't understand the proper way to water it, so the leaves were turning brown and dropping off. After doing a little research, I found out the proper way to water it, so now I run the plant (in a drainage pot) under the sink faucet for a minute or so and then let the plant sit there and drip away any extra water instead of letting it soak in the water. Recently I've noticed it still is dropping leaves, these leaves are all green. It still is producing new leaves fairly quickly, but about every 3 days or so, the older leaves drop off. The plant is only about 6" tall and is in a drainage pot, inside a decorative pot that is about 3.5" wide and 4" tall.

Please help. I don't want this plant to die, it's very pretty. I've also been misting every day, sometimes twice a day to promote aerial roots.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Scheffs are one of the most durable of all trees you might grow indoors. Lift the plant from the pot and check the roots for rot. If there are slimy or sour smelling roots, or roots that show as rotten because the pith (center of the root) is left after the cortex (outer coating of the root) pulls off when you tug on it. If you find root issues, correct by cutting back to sound root tissue.

Scheffs take it very dry, very well. Let your plant dry down until you can't detect moisture in the soil before you water. You can use your finger if the pot is small, or a sharpened dowel stuck deep into the soil if it's too deep for the finger test.

Keep your plant in good light, but be careful not to let the plant overheat. If the leaves feel very warm when your hands are warm and you touch them, you need to be careful about how much light they are getting or make sure there is air movement.

Proper watering: Water from the top until at least 10-15% of the water applied exits the drain. If you can't water this way w/o risking root rot, your soil is probably inappropriate.

Stop misting. It doesn't help the plant in any way. The effects of the mist are gone in minutes, and water droplets that remain on the soil for extended periods can supply the incubation period necessary for fungal spores to develop. Scheffs tolerate dry conditions well. I have beautiful plants (scheffs) at the office, and it is extremely dry there in the winter - no problems.

Keep your eyes open for scale, mites, and mealybug. React as soon as they are discovered. Check your plant over carefully at your earliest convenience.



    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 3:41PM
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Oh Thank you for the info. I can't wait till mine grows big like yours.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 12:18PM
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