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What to do with a leggy umbrella plant

Is your umbrella plant long and scraggly, without many leaves? Here’s what to do with a leggy umbrella plant!

Umbrella plants are beautiful easy to care for house plants with a tree like shape and beautiful tropical green leaves.

These plants are generally very easy to care for, don’t need a lot of special help and are happy in the conditions of most indoor spaces.

However, they can start losing leaves and looking very long and leggy.

A leggy plant has a lot more branches than leaves and isn’t necessarily the most beautiful form an umbrella plant can take.

In other words, it means that it needs some pro-help!

As a proud owner of a Schefflera tree, you need to do everything in your power to prevent it from declining any further.

There are a few reasons why this is happening to your plant, as well as a few things you can do to prevent that from ever occurring in the future!

Below, you will discover some useful tips on dealing with your leggy umbrella plant and returning it to its former look.

what to do with a leggy umbrella plant

Printable Umbrella Plant care guide

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Umbrella Plant plant care guide

What is a leggy umbrella plant?

Before we even start, let’s explain what a leggy plant is. It is a condition that happens when the plant does not get the requirements it needs to thrive.

The stems start stretching out, the foliage starts dropping off, and overall, it does not look like a lush, healthy tree.

A leggy umbrella plant usually means it doesn’t get enough sunlight.

As a result, the plant elongates as much as possible to reach any adequate light to keep on living.

A leggy umbrella plant may also result from improper temperatures, resulting in its leaves starting to fall off and the plant losing its density.

If you have older Schefflera plants, it might be normal for this to happen as leaves age and reach the end of their lifespan.

However, if your plant is still young and you see it’s becoming leggy at the time it’s supposed to thrive, then you need to take immediate action to fix it.

close up of a potted umbrella plant on a shelf

Why has your umbrella plant become leggy?

As we previously mentioned, there are a few reasons why the umbrella plant is drooping and becoming leggy.

Old age

The Schefflera plant can thrive for many years. However, after a certain point, the umbrella plant will droop and become leggy – in this case, you can do nothing about it.

As it gets older, It becomes more prone to shedding its leaves, starting from the bottom and working its way up.

If this is the case for your plant, your best option is to prune it back and let it grow in more full and lush.

Inconsistency in temperature

If your plant experiences frequent changes and temperature inconsistencies, it is bound to react.

Whether it is hot or cold weather, the sudden changes can put the Schefflera into shock, thus resulting in drooping leaves.

This can also happen if you decide to move the plant, especially to a spot that doesn’t meet its needs.

Remember that the plant loves steady, warmer temperatures – somewhere between 50 to 75 F.

close up of a potted umbrella plant on a shelf

It’s all about water

A leggy umbrella plant may also be the cause of under-watering or overwatering the plant.

In the first instance, if the soil is too dry, the plant lacks the refreshment it needs to keep itself in optimal shape.

In the second instance, the roots of the umbrella tree that are exposed to wet conditions begin to rot. As a result, the whole plant becomes soggy and droopy, and the leaves will start to fall off and, in time, wither away.

Not enough nutrients

Every plant needs aces to its required nutrients, and almost all of them are absorbed through the roots.

As with any other plant, the Schefflera needs regular feeding (fertilizer) once or twice a month to receive the proper nutrients and keep growing.

The key is in the light

If your plant lacks light, it won’t take you long before you notice it. The leaves do not necessarily fall off but rather become droopy and don’t grow as large as they used to.

If you are keeping your Scheflera in a spot that doesn’t get enough light, then you need to move it as soon as possible.

Find a brighter spot and place it there – it is how you will encourage growth and promote better health.

close up of a potted umbrella plant on a shelf

How to restore a leggy umbrella plant

Thankfully, there is a solution to any issue that concerns your Schefflera tree! If you want to restore your plant to its glory days, make it healthy and happy, and support its optimal growth, these are the steps you can take:

Give it the light it needs

The plant needs light as much as any other living organism on the planet.

Place it near a window (preferably one that looks toward the east) so the Schefflera can get a few hours of direct, and plenty of indirect sunlight during the day!

Make sure the plant gets even exposure by rotating it every now and then.

Prune it frequently

Pruning a leggy umbrella plant makes room for new sprouts! Try to remove as much of the leggy stems as you can, thus encouraging new branches to develop.

When it comes to pruning a leggy umbrella plant, remember not to overdo it all at once, as it might stress the plant.

new growth on an umbrella plant

Water is important

Give the greenery enough water. For those of you that cannot remember your watering schedule, write it down or put a calendar event in your phone!

Check the soil frequently to determine when the next watering sessions should take place. When the top 2 inches of soil feel dry, water it!

Add fertilizer

Fertilizers give plants the extra boost they need to grow better. You need to add it to the soil once every month to ensure optimal health and growth rate of the Schefflera.

Replant it when the time comes

As soon as you notice the plant has overgrown its current pot, replant it. Find a container that is slightly larger than the current one, and get some fresh soil mix. Give the roots space to branch out and grow!

Support it

For those older plant that seem to wither away due to old age, give them a little support.

Get some stakes and provide them with the boost to keep growing upright. Tie the stems to it gently, and pick a sturdier support structure.

Understanding the underlying conditions can help you deal with a leggy umbrella plant. With a little determination, patience, and love, you will make your plant look incredible again!

Any more questions about what to do with a leggy umbrella plant?

Thanks for reading!

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