I received this and 2 other free plants about a week ago. Can anyone help me to identify? Thanks! :)
Looks like Schefflera...
Here is a link that might be useful: Schefflera
Variegated Dwarf Schefflera. They are pretty easy.
I have to overwinter mine in the garage...too big for the house.
I'm not quite sure how to put it, but the plant isn't living up to even a small fraction of its potential because of cultural conditions that are/were limiting its vitality and preventing normal growth. There's a lot of satisfaction to be had from rescuing a plant that's struggling, so let us know if you want to start a dialog to explore what it will take to reverse the decline.
I would LOVE to help this plant. I think this plant was pretty much forgotten about by the previous owner... sad. I'm open to any and all suggestions. :)
It's likely that much of what we discuss relative to this plant will be applicable to others as well. I think the first thing I would do is inspect for insects, especially scale and spider mites. Once you determine whether or not the plant has a problem, and what the problem is if there is one, we can decide how to get the pests under control. Then, let's get the plant into the shower & wash all the dust off the leaves. Leaves are solar collectors that turn the sun's energy into food via the process of photosynthesis, so we want to eliminate dust on the leaves so they receive as much light as possible ..... but don't put the plant in direct sun just yet - the leaves might experience something called photo-oxidation, which is a fancy term for sun burn. Your plant is weak and can't afford to lose it's foliage just now because it would likely (literally) starve to death.
Next on the list would be to get the plant to a very bright and warm spot - brightest and warmest w/o being in full sun is what you're looking for.
At your convenience, lift the plant from the pot & inspect the roots. If the root and soil mass comes out of the pot intact, I'll give you some easy instructions insofar as how to treat the roots, and direct you to pot up a size as a temporary measure until you can do a full repot next summer.
I'll help you flush the soil of accumulated salts, and suggest an appropriate fertilizer you can use to make sure the plant has the nutrients it need to grow and regain some vitality.
Eventually (next summer), you'll prune the long stem back almost to the ground. The stub will back-bud profusely, and you'll soon be on your way to a healthy and attractive plant.
Just a general comment - not a lecture to you: Plants, left to do what they do in a pot are doomed to a predictable decline that follows a common pattern, a pattern the cause of which a huge % of growers don't understand - easily more than 95%. Most of those who have been around GW for a while have an advantage, however, because how to maintain plants in good health over the long term is a commonly discussed topic across most of the forums. It takes specific efforts by the grower to ensure the plant doesn't follow the predictable pattern. It's sort of like the oil in your car. Even if you're completely unaware the oil needs changing regularly, not changing the oil is going to shorten engine life and cause premature problems. The same goes for neglecting a plant's root system and allowing it to be compromised by congestion and a soil that has collapsed. You can wax your car, use premium fuel, flush the radiator regularly ..... which would be akin to keeping the plant tidy, fertilizing regularly, and flushing the soil when you water, but if you neglect the engine or roots .....
You should find this link helpful.
Here is a link that might be useful: Some interesting Scheff insight here, too ...