The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

Newbie with a question

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Shari on February 03, 2004 07:28 PM
I'm new here, but I see lots of great responses to questions, so I thought I'd ask my question and see what happens.

I have a Hawaiian Schefflera that I've had for several years. When I moved last summer, I failed to notice that the plant's watering requirements had changed drastically with the different environment and blithely watered it just the same as I had in my old apartment. As it turns out, I was overwatering it for several weeks, and it dropped about half of its leaves before I realized my error. Fortunately, the plant is fluorishing now. Unfortunately, there are no longer any leaves on the bottom halves of the stems, and the plant looks a little pathetic! Is there any way I can encourage new leaves to grow lower on the stems instead of at the tips?

Thanks in advance for all the help!

by weezie13 on February 03, 2004 09:31 PM
[wayey] Shari [wayey]
Hello Shari,
Welcome aboard! Glad you found us!!
I am not too knowledgeable of a houseplant gardener, but I just wanted to make sure
that you knew there were alot of houseplant
gardeners here that come through at all different
times of days and weeks, sit tight, someone will be through to give you the heads up on your plant.

But I wanted to make sure you take a minute to
take a peak at the info that Bill, our head gardening guru has compiled.... there's alot of
good reading there. for houseplants and outdoor gardening...
Also we've added a couple of new sections here,
*Recipes, *Crafts, *Hobbies,
.....Please add some posts anywhere's you
see something that catches your eye....
or add one if you don't see it....
*Banter Hall for chatting,
*Games for us gardeners waiting for spring.

Lot's of good things to keep us busy here...
And lot's of nice people to meet!!


* * * *

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Will Creed on February 04, 2004 02:28 AM
Hi Shari,

That is a good question because it is one that many folks have about many different plants.

Many of the more common houseplants, including your Schefflera arboricola, do not branch. They simply grow straight up adding new growth only at the ends of each stem. Once leaves on the lower portions drop off, they do not grow back.

Pruning is the only solution. A leggy stem should be cut back to a height of 2 to 6 inches. Then the new growth will come in starting just below the point on the stem where you made the cut and grow upward from there.

With your arboricola you can cut back all of the leggy stems at once or you can cut back one or two of the tallest ones every month or two. The former approach is more radical and will leave you plant looking terrible until the new growth comes in. The latter approach is more gradual, less noticeable, but takes longer to gain the desired results. Your choice.
by Shari on February 04, 2004 03:10 AM
Is it okay to cut the stems below the point of the lowest leaves?

Interestingly, one of the stems had a set of leaves that grew back all by themselves. I wonder what made it do that?

by Will Creed on February 04, 2004 11:27 PM

Yes, it is OK to cut below the lowest leaves.

Active Garden Forum

Search The Garden Helper: