Why Are The Leaves on Schefflera Turning Brown [Solution]

Schefflera is an adorable genus under the family of Araliaceae. It may grow around 4-20 meters with a woody stem. Schefflera plants are seen to be exhibiting their supremacy in beautiful umbrella-shaped leaflets arranged in a stalk.

How do you feel in the case of your Schefflera leaves turning brown? I know your feelings! And don’t worry I can be fixed easily. But before you should know the reason behind it.

Underwatering, overwatering, disease attack, high temperature, etc. can destroy this beauty by browning the gentle green color of leaves.

And in this article, I will discuss how you can revive your Schefflera plant. So, without wasting your time, let’s get started.

Healthy Leaves vs Brown Leaves

Schefflera plants include oval sized leaves. The leaves are gentle green in the upper size and dark green in the downward. The leaves are arranged in a stalk that looks like an umbrella.

The mature leaves hold 16-20 petioles or leaflets in a stock and immature leaves are arranged with 8-10 leaflets. The healthy leaves are ver much shiny in nature and have a smooth glassy surface.

On the contrary, the brown leaves are rough on the surface. The green color is denatured. The leaf shape is deformed and the overall glance is devastated.

Problems Seen in The Schefflera Plant Along with Browning

Crispy And Curly Leaves

A brown leaf not only changes in color but also shows many external changes. Normally the surface remains smooth. But the surface of brown leaves is rough and it becomes crispy which can be mutilated.

The shape is generally found oval in all the leaflets. But the shapes become curly and pale. The margins are sometimes ruptured and the overall beauty of the leaves is destroyed. 

Brown Tips In Younger Leaves

Besides the matured brown leaves, sometimes brown tips are seen in the younger leaves of Schefflera.

This may be because of pest attacks or other reasons. But when brown tips or spots are seen at the tender leaves, it is disappointing for such a beautiful plant.

Drooping of Leaves

If the condition is very serious, the leaves start to droop. The brown leaves are the consequences of under-caring for many days.

If you continue the avoidance of the brown leaves and don’t pay attention to the problems, they can not be sorted out and gradually the leaves will fall off turning the plant into a barren.

Causes and Solutions of Schefflera Leaves Turning Brown


If you are worried about your Schefflera brown leaves, at first you should check your plant’s moisture level. The first cause of these plant leaves turning brown is under-watering.

Schefflera plants normally love dry conditions to have proper growth. But the important factor is the dry level should be a concern. More dry conditions will be hazardous to the plant. 

Naturally, a Schefflera plant doesn’t need much watering. When this schedule is not followed appropriately, it may cause deformed colors of leaves. The Schefflera plant leaves start to brown when the soil is almost dry at a percentage of 75%.


Watering once in 15 days on hot summer days and watering once a month on cool weather will be appropriate for better development.

Be alert in this case as if you water more without checking the water level, it could lead to overwatering, and then it will cause another problem. Here is recommended moisture meter to check the soil(Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).


Watering much is strictly prohibited in Schefflera plants. It loves a state where water is not clogged. In the case of taking excessive care like other water-loving plants, Schefflera plants may die sometimes. 

Normally over-watering causes yellowing of Schefflera leaves, but some plants also show brown leaves in the condition of overwatering.

That’s why you should also make sure that your plant is not facing overwatering as well.


Stop watering your plants if you see that the soil is always wet and can not be dried as it needs. If the problem of overwatering is very serious you should go for repotting to save your plant.

Just pull up your Schefflera and plant it in another pot or basket with proper moist soil and peat moss. 

Excessive Fertilizer

Schefflera plants don’t need a lot of fertilizers. That’s why it needs to be fertilized when it is needed.

Sometimes, excess fertilizers are stored up in the plant body of the Schefflera plant. At that time, genetic malfunctioning happens. That’s why the plant starts to uptake the excess fertilizers in an imbalanced way and leads to leaves browning or other problems.

On the other side, fertilizer type also matters. You can’t use any kind of fertilizers here.

If you use such a kind of fertilizers that it can’t tolerate, it will lead to the plant’s internal system breakage of cell division, conduction procedure of xylem and phloem, its life cycle, and sometimes infertility too.


Using fertilizers biweekly at a low level will be enough for the perfect development of this loving plant. It needs fertilizers when it is in a growing stage to have an adorable shape. But you should have proper knowledge of the number and amount of fertilizers that it needs. 

Normally, diluted seaweed or fish fertilizers or compost tea is considered better for Schefflera plants. Here is recommended fertilizer- Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food.

Lack of Humidity

The humidity level should be adjusted to your plant if you want a healthy and shiny plant. At the time of decreasing humidity level to 50%, the leaves will show brown colors. 

The environment and soil should contain adaptable humidity to support Schefflera plants for nourishing properly. You need to provide both of them. Otherwise, your plant will be in drooping condition. 


You can also use a humidifier. Also, If the humidity level is too low, you can get an idea to water more of your plant. Besides, if it is too high, take measures to stop watering or repotting. 

Mismanagement Of Temperature

Different plants are suited to different optimum temperatures. The temperature which is favorable for stem elongation and gradually maturing of other body parts is the optimum temperature. 

15.5 degrees to 26.6 degrees celsius or 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit temperature is best for proper growth of the Schefflera plant. But if the temperature is too high or too low, it won’t be tolerable.

Sometimes, Schefflera plants face a high temperature that dries the cell sap and leads it to have a pale brown color.


To develop your plant properly, you have to maintain this crucial factor of temperature. You should measure the temperature of your plant soil to understand what kinds of measures need to be taken.

Excess and Direct Sunlight

Schefflera plants are mainly lovable houseplants. You can’t place them in such a situation where they may face direct sunlight.

Excessive sunlight that increases the transpiration rate makes the leaf dry. That’s why the overall food system is disrupted and consequently, the brown leaves are shown.


The excessive heat produced in the early afternoon and mid-noon is very harmful to the upbringing of these plants. 

Early morning or late afternoon can give moderate sunlight that is comfortable for the Schefflera plants. So let them have direct sunlight during these times.

Chemical Insensitivity

Do you use any chemical spray for the betterment of your plant? For increasing the shiny look or pest management procedures include using various chemicals. Though you serve it to your plant for a good purpose, it won’t be helpful sometimes.

Schefflera plants don’t tolerate a high level of chemicals. Again, you must have used some chemicals through fertilizers in the meantime. If you use further chemicals, it may not allow planting leaves and that may change their colors to brown.  


The best solution is not to use any chemicals as extra products to your plants through spraying or in any liquid forms. 

Schefflera plants’ leaves are shiny in their way. So let them be nourished according to their systems. Don’t interrupt the normal occurrence of them.

Mismanagement of Drainage

The drainage system is a lot related to Schefflera plants’ leaves browning. These plants can not tolerate overwatered conditions. If the drainage system is not properly adjusted, the excess water can not run out and they store at a place.

The stored water destroys the plant root system and at that time the roots can not uptake proper water and nutrients for the plant. That’s why the overall food processes are at risk and the leaves become brown.


Check properly the drainage procedures that you prepared earlier. Make sure that the process is not damaged. 

If the system is not appropriate, increase the holes under the pot. Pebbles can also be used in this case.

The soil should be sandy loam which will benefit your drainage system.

Disease Attack

You may have brown tips on the younger leaves along with the brown leaves in the whole plant. Sometimes, it may also be caused by disease or pest attacks.

Fungi and viruses are common problems of every plant. Some fungi are borne in dry places and some are borne in wet. Both of them can infect your plant according to condition.

Aphid, worm, mealybug, mole cricket, etc. are the common pests of this plant. These fungi affect the plant tissue system and redirect it to abnormalities. 


Try to keep a virus-free environment for your plant. Have a proper concern on the temperature, humidity, and watering system of your plant so that disease can not be caused.

Spray commercial fungicides such as copper fungicide, sulfur fungicide, Vitavax powder, Dhanuka M-45, Nissodium (Our Pick: Bonide Copper Fungicide).

Also, you can try homemade fungicide. Here are some recipes-

Neem Oil Fungicide 

1 teaspoon rosemary oil, 1 teaspoon peppermint oil, 1 teaspoon of random neem oil, and 2 teaspoons olive oil or almond oil should be mixed in 1-gallon water. 

Baking Soda Recipe

Mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda in one gallon of water. Baking soda is found very effective as a fungicide. 

What Does Brown Leaves Indicate

Root Rot

Brown leaves are shown only in the morphological or external side of Schefflera plants. But anatomically or internally the situation gets too worse.

Logically, brown leaves are shown when the plant systems are imbalanced. So basically it is an indication of internal injuries. The first injury faces roots.

Normally Schefflera plants have a tap root at the early stage and gradually it is modified into the adventitious or fibrous root. As this kind of root is soft, it is rotten or affected easily.

The overwatering condition makes the roots take more water. At a specific time, it can not take more water and the roots are rotten giving a bad odor. 

It can be clearly said that, if the root is not properly developed, how a plant can complete its life strategy properly? So the plant is directed to death.

Imbalanced Plant’s activities

It definitely makes you wonder how many activities a plant completes standing in a fixed place. Well, these activities are also affected in the case of browning plants. Let’s have a little glimpse at them.


Photosynthesis is basically the food preparing procedure of a plant. Plants take oxygen and carbon-di-oxide from air and water and nutrients from the soil. Thus they make their food.

In the affected Schefflera plant, the root system is disorganized. At the same time, the chlorophylls of leaves are disrupted and the plastids can not work properly to make the foods.

Gradually the plant becomes lifeless because of lack of food and sometimes it may also die.


Transpiration is a process of plants by which a plant releases its extra unused water to the environment through leaves. This process is significant for the life cycle of a plant.

Normally a healthy leaf can be involved in the proper transpiration process. But a brown leaf can not systematically complete this procedure.

As this is an indication of the unhealthy plant so we can easily understand that the plant is not getting proper support in this case. At the same time, it also proves that plants may have excessive transpiration that is drying out the plant.

Both of the terms are harmful to a plant’s growth and that may lead your Schefflera plant to death.

ATP Cycle

ATP cycle is the procedure of a plant that indicates the energy production cycle of a plant. If your Schefflera plant is not properly exposed for a better food-making system. Surely, it is not getting its appropriate medium for processing food. 

It is an indication that your Schefflera plant can lead to death.

Final Thoughts

Schefflera plants are too adorable to make one’s whole day charming. But Schefflera plant leaves turning brown can turn this charm into a dissatisfactory. 

The more time you will avoid this, the problem will be more severe. Schefflera plants don’t need a lot of care. A little concern or sometimes using little things will be the solution for you.

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