6 Causes of Schefflera Leaves Turning Black [Actionable Solution]

Are you facing the problem of your Schefflera leaves turning black? Beautiful umbrella-shaped glossy green color leaves are appropriate for the term Schefflera plant. But black spots or the whole leaf black- this is unpleasant.

Cold attack, overwatering, fungi attack, etc. can easily damage your plant leaves or stems and can make it black. But you should be alert and confident to remove these and help your plant to be grown in a cultured way.

This article will help you to have ideas on these ways. Don’t be worried and take a little time to finish it. You will find the answers to your problems.

Schefflera Leaves vs Black Leaves

Schefflera leaves are normally very glittering in nature. Their dark green color has a special glossy look. This extraordinary color gets a new form when its umbrella-shaped style is added.

14-20 leaflets in a matured plant and 8-10 leaflets in a young leaf are seen. This leaflet type is considered a special one that gives an umbrella type look to Schefflera leaves. 

On the contrary, a black leaf is not appealing in that sense. The color is properly demolished and the leaf lamina or leaf blades are sometimes curled. Margins are torn and all over the look of that plant is devastated in a black leaf of Schefflera plant.

Black Leaves Types

The black leaves have some criteria in this sector.

  • It may be totally black from the starting of the petiole as a new leaf.
  • It may turn a little portion black 
  • Black spots can be seen on the pale green leaves.

Well, these three terminologies contain almost the same causes but still, there are some differences. Some causes are specific for different black portions. Again, the same reason can introduce all kinds of problems.

Causes of Schefflera Leaves turning Black

We should go through the common problems that introduce Schefflera leaves black, black spots on Schefflera leaves and a little portion of Schefflera leaves turning black.

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is the reason for growing black leaves. If you overwater your plant, the vascular bundle means the xylem and phloem system will be disturbed because of root rot.

Let me tell you the further details.

The vascular bundle is the main systematic pathway of a plant that starts from the root. The vascular bundle system consists of the xylem and phloem. Xylem takes water and nutrient from the root and phloem serves it to the whole plant body.

In the case of overwatering, the root system becomes disorganized. It doesn’t get a proper environment as excess water is clogged in the roots. The root rot problem starts and then the overall conduction system is hampered. 

Because of this problem, the leaves of the plant drop off and if any new leaves are borne in that part, the leaf color becomes black instead of shiny green color.


Checking water potentiality. Simply the solution is reducing the watering amount. Check the water potentiality of the soil to observe the overall plants condition by a moisture meter (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).

You can also check the dry level of the soil by pinching your hand to the soil. If almost 50% of the soil is dry, it needs water. Otherwise, don’t water it.

There is again a terminology called repotting. If you find the roots are too congested with the waterlogged condition, you need to go for repotting. 

Repotting procedure is an easy task. 

  • You have to take a new pot.
  • Uproot the plant from the previous one.
  • Make a proper soil mixture with soil and peat moss. 
  • Place the plant in rooting hormone and then plant it in the pot.

2. Cold or Frost Attack

In the regions where the temperature remains below 8-10 degrees celsius, it becomes very tough to tolerate for Schefflera plants. The frost attack causes the leaves to turn black.

Like all the plants, Schefflera plants have an optimum temperature in what they can grow best. The optimum temperature is 15.5 to 16.6 degrees Celsius(60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a plant of a temperate region.

If the Schefflera plant gets too little temperature than it needs, it stops the functioning of the stomata that are responsible for photosynthesis. So the food processing system is imbalanced. That’s why the plant leaves turn black in some portions. 


The plant should be placed in such a situation where temperature cannot affect it. If the plant is in a hanging basket or in a pot, you may place it in a warm place in your room on very cold days. 

Again, you may previously plant in a planned way in your garden where the frost problem won’t harm if you are in a cold region.

It leads to an idea of a greenhouse. Well, this is an advanced process of developed countries which is created for crop cultivation. But if you can manage the system, you can also create such an environment by giving a boundary with glasses to protect your plant from extra cold.

You need to fix a proper temperature for your plant inside the glass bounded area. The glasses won’t allow the cold temperature to enter inside and thus your plant may be protected

3. Microbes Attack

This is a severe problem for the Schefflera plant. Different kinds of fungi can create different types of black leaves in a Schefflera plant. Downy mildew, powdery mildew, etc. are the most common problems for a Schefflera plant.

These microbes attack plants in different positions. It can affect the leaves and makes them burn. That’s why the black color is formed. 

Well, the aphid is the other type of microbe that can affect the Schefflera plant. It causes black spots on the Schefflera leaves. Spider mites can be also responsible for the black leaves.


The appropriate solution for downy mildew is baking soda. If you want to for the easiest solution, mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and apply or spray it on your Schefflera plant.

#Water treatment

The water treatment is nothing but washing the leaves in a heavy stream of water. You can use pipes, in this case, to give water stream to your plant.

4. Virus Attack

Well, Schefflera plants are not too susceptible to pathogens. It will be affected only then when virulent pathogens will get the perfect environment for growing.

Viruses normally attack chloroplasts. It affects a portion of chloroplast and stops the chlorophyll production of that place. As a result, the portion where the virus attack happens takes a blackish pale look.


In this case, the first solution is to protect your plant from virus attacks by resisting an environment favorable for plants. As virus normally doesn’t attack Schefflera plants, you may easily protect your plant by giving perfect humidity and watering to your soil.

A virus attack may cause severe harm to your plant. If you see an attack on your plant, immediately remove the plant’s parts or leaves that are becoming black. By removing those leaves, the other leaves won’t be affected.

#Bleach solution

Though having all the precautions, if your plant is affected by the virus, use a 10% bleach solution to protect your Schefflera plant.

5. Fungi Attack

Fungal attack like phytophthora is not common in Schefflera plants. But if it attacks, it will surely destroy your plant’s beauty and lead it to die.

Fungi attack the root system of the Schefflera plant and create root-knot. These roots can serve the plant by providing important elements and lastly, it causes the pale color of leaves.


Copper fungicide, nissodium, sulfur fungicide, vitavax powder, etc. are the commercial fertilizers that are used to remove fungi (Our Pick: Bonide Copper Fungicide)

#Neem Oil Recipe

If you want to go for a homemade recipe, mix 1 teaspoon of rosemary oil, 1 teaspoon of random neem oil, 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil, and 2 teaspoons of almond or olive oil in 1 gallon of water.

Spray or apply the neem oil to the affected plant.

#Baking Soda Recipe

Mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda in 1 gallon of water and apply it to your plant.

6. Bacterial Growth

The bacterial attack is uncommon for Schefflera plant leaves. But it also may turn the leaves black if the pseudomonas effect happens.


Remove the affected plant parts to stop further affection. The fertilizers needed for plants should be increased if needed. It may add some beneficial points to your plant problem.

Plant Problem Caused by Black Leaves

The black leaves not only demolish the color of a Schefflera plant but also introduce many other problems.

Curled or crispy leaves

The Schefflera plant that is showing black leaves indicates unhealthy leaves. Due to any problem, the leaf margins are also affected which introduces curled or crispy leaves.

The leaves lose all their beauty and become pale.

Weak stems

The stems are weak in case of these effects. The Schefflera stems turning black is also the common problem along with leaves turning black. As the same attack has happened to the whole plant, the stems also exhibit black spots or black color.

The stems can not get proper nutrients and can’t reach the leaves. Ultimately, the stems also become faint which leads to plant death.

Plant health

Well, these blackish portions overall express the bad condition of the plant health. The transpiration process, photosynthesis process, respiration process, and energy cycle are all developmental processes that are stunted.

Final Thoughts

Schefflera plant is such a plant that doesn’t demand much care. It needs a little amount of water, fertilizers, and a perfect environment for better growth. If you are able to provide these requirements properly, you must not have trouble nourishing it.

Several times surroundings may not be appropriate for its proper growth. You should be careful about that materials. Ignorance or avoidance of a little indication may cause the damage of total problem.

Just examine the overall conditions of your Schefflera plants regularly and take proper measurements to provide a favorable condition for its growth. Happy gardening!

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