Last Updated on January 26, 2022 by Fabiola L.
You take pride in the care you dedicate to your plants, but then you notice brown spots on Schefflera leaves and wonder what went wrong? Is it the soil, watering, position, or worst – a sickness? Maybe you should remove the plant to protect your other flowers.
A sick plant is every plant lover’s nightmare, but luckily it’s reversible in most cases. Learn what these brown spots mean and how to care for your Schefflera properly.
Why Are The Leaves On My Schefflera Turning Brown
Schefflera is a common houseplant that is tolerant to pests or diseases. However, there has to be an issue with the amount of water and sunlight the plant receives for something to go wrong. Some plants react drastically to changes in the environment and need time to adjust.
The first sign is brown spots on the Schefflera leaves. The leaves are thick and dark green with a glossy finish. Once they get deprived, sick, or attacked by a pest, the center turns yellow, then brown. Some leaves might look like they have burn spots even.
Are Schefflera Easy To Grow?
Schefflera is a low-maintenance plant that makes a great addition to your home. They’re a hardy plant that can live for many years. Schefflera is popular as a natural air purifier for your home.
The plant can remove several toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene. Smokers should get a Schefflera as it can absorb toxins released from cigarette smoke. Wipe the leaves regularly to remove dust accumulation.
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Prevent The Schefflera Leaves Turning Brown
To determine the cause for brown spots on Schefflera leaves, look back on the watering schedule. Is your plant getting the necessary water? Schefflera needs frequent watering. It must be potted in a container with drainage holes and placed over a saucer. It would be best to water it until you see water coming out of the drainage holes. Then, empty the saucer. Water again when the top layer is almost dry to touch.
If the spots are firm and crisp the Schefflera is thirsty and you should water it more often. If the spots are soft, mushy, and darker, it’s receiving too much water. Always use room temperature water, as cold water can also cause spots. Avoid hard city water when you can, as it causes buildups in the soil.
How about sunlight? Is the Schefflera next to a window or in a dark corner? Schefflera plants need something in the middle. Place it in a bright room but away from direct sunlight and draft. Sunrays can cause burns on the leaves that turn into brown spots.
When did you get your plant? If you recently purchased it from a garden center, it’s still adjusting to your home. Remember that the plant suffered light and temperature changes while being transported. Some leaves might even fall out.
Planting And Growing A Schefflera Plant
Schefflera is a beginner-friendly plant that doesn’t require much attention. There are two common varieties you can choose from Schefflera amate and Schefflera arboricola. It’s also known as the umbrella plant or dwarf umbrella plant.
This is a tropical plant that requires a warm and humid environment. A temperature between 60°F and 80°F is ideal. Make sure to mist it frequently. It tends to spread out towards the light source as it grows, so rotate the pot regularly.
Fertilize the Schefflera once a month during spring and summer with a small amount of liquid fertilizers. Use mild fertilizers like diluted compost or seaweed fertilizer.
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Is Schefflera An Indoor Plant
Schefflera can be grown outdoors in a tropical climate, in USDA Hardiness zones 10 to 12. It can be planted in partial or complete shade and requires well-draining, rich soil. The outside Schefflera will bloom! It also grows taller, so it might require some support in the form of staking.
The soil around outdoor Schefflera dries out quickly, so it will require more watering. Replenish the nutrition in the ground by fertilizing more often.
How Toxic Is It?
This plant is toxic for both pets and humans. The sap that appears when you cut a leaf in half is irritating to the skin. Use gloves and handle with caution.
Can You Remove Schefflera Brown Leaves
The Schefflera has a habit of changing leaves so old, sick, and tired leaves will fall out on their own. But beware that they might not grow back in the same spot. To speed up the process and direct the energy towards the healthy leaves, you can cut the brown ones.
Take a pair of sharp garden scissors and disinfect them. Then, remove all the completely brown leaves. If the leaf has brown edges, cut only the edge. Don’t go overboard – removing more than 20% of the leaves will stress the plant and won’t give you the desired result.
Can You Propagate Schefflera Leaves?
You can propagate healthy Schefflera leaves and grow new plants. Start by cutting a small stem off the plant with green leaves. Then, cut the leaves in half. A whole leaf will take up the moisture from the soil, which we need to grow roots.
You can propagate it in soil or water. However, the soil is known to work better when it comes to Schefflera. Dust the tip with hormone rooting powder and place it into the ground. Let it propagate for a few weeks. Then you’ll notice new growth around the old leaves.
Bottom Line: Causes For Brown Spots On Schefflera Leaves
The common cause for brown spots on Schefflera leaves are problems with water, sunlight, and stress. However, it’s not a sign of disease or pest as the Schefflera is a resistant and hardy plant.
It thrives best in tropical climates, so it needs a humid environment and lots of water. Overwatering leads to soft brown spots, while dehydration causes crisp spots. Bright light is a must, but direct sunlight causes discoloration and burns the leaves.
If you’ve just recently purchased your Schefflera, let it acclimate to your home. Then remove the damaged leaves and let the healthy growth thrive.
Mary is a passionate gardener who loves spending her days getting her hands dirty and nurturing her plants. She‘s an avid reader of gardening magazines and is always looking for new ways to make her garden thrive. When not outside tending to her plants, Mary can be found inside reading up on the latest gardening trends, comparing notes with fellow gardeners, and finding the perfect pottery planter for her next planting project.