Schefflera (also known as dwarf umbrellas) is always in demand for plant lovers who love to decorate their homes with various houseplants. The main reason for their popularity is they are so easy to take care of and they are amazing to beautify your home. But one big problem is, their leaves turn yellow very often.
When you see them turning yellow your first priority is to save them from further yellowing. But if you don’t know the reasons behind the yellowing, you won’t be able to stop it from getting worse.
So, why are the Schefflera plant leaves turning yellow?
Incorrect watering, improper sunlight, low humidity, pest attack, nutrient imbalance are the 5 reasons for yellow leaves on Schefflera.
Don’t get panicked about this at all. Because in this article I have explained why your Schefflera plants are turning yellow and how you can bring them back to a lush green appearance.
Without making any further delay let’s walk you through the whole process-
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How To Treat The Yellow Leaves On Schefflera Plant
1. Incorrect Watering
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons that turn the Schefflera leaves yellow. We mostly think that watering a lot is good for the plant but the reality is the opposite. Overwatering actually does more harm than any good.
Schefflera plants don’t need a lot of watering. So, when they start to receive more water than they need, their root system gets hurt. And this is why the roots fail to supply enough water and nutrients to the whole Schefflera plant. As a result, their bottom leaves start turning yellow and falling off.
Underwatering also turns the Schefflera plant leaves yellow. But this is not very common for them since they don’t need much water. It is overwatering that you should be worried about. Because in addition, it also promotes fungal diseases like root and stem rot.
Do not let the Schefflera roots wet. But if you have accidentally overwatered them then stop watering for a while until the soil completely dries out. You can also place a saucer below the Schefflera pot so that the excess water can drain through the hole into the saucer.
If your plant is larger than the pot then yellowing will easily occur. So, repot the Schefflera plant in another pot of suitable size. When choosing the pot make sure it has enough drainage holes.
Now, you might be wondering how much to water?
In the case of houseplants or potted plants, there is no constant amount of water. It depends on plant size, temperature, humidity, etc. For example, during the summer you have to water it once or twice a week but during winter you will need to water it only once every two weeks. Likewise, bigger containers will need more water than any small container.
So, you have to inspect the soil condition before watering. Get a soil moisture meter so that you can quickly understand how much watering to do (Our pick: Atree Soil Soil Tester Kits with Moisture, Light, and PH Test for Garden).
Again, when the soil is too dry and the plant leaves have turned yellow, it means they need water at once. But remember that you need to water very little during the winter season. Once the water requirement is balanced in your Schefflera plant it will start becoming healthy again.
2. Improper Sunlight
Schefflera plants need medium to bright indirect sunlight to thrive. Since it’s a houseplant direct light isn’t always necessary for them. When they are exposed to direct sunlight for more than 5 hours their leaves start to become yellow because of the sunburn.
On the other hand, if they don’t get the minimum amount of sunlight everyday they will not be able to make food for themselves by photosynthesis. As a result, the plant growth will become very slow and the leaves start to turn yellow.
Keep an eye on how much sunlight your Scheffleras are receiving. They like sunlight but it’s better if the light is indirect. So, put them in a corner of your home where direct sunlight won’t burn their leaves.
Remove the burned leaves from your plant to reduce extra stress. Rotate the pot every few days so every part of the plant receives sunlight equally.
3. Low Humidity
When the leaves of your Schefflera are turning yellow or brown on the edges, it means there is low humidity in the air. You see, Scheffleras are tropical plants so when the air is very dry they become uncomfortable in that situation.
This is the most common problem, especially during the winter. Because at this time of the year heaters are on which makes the air very dry. As a result, the leaves start turning yellow or brown on the edges then later the whole leaves turn yellow and start wilting.
In this case, you need to increase the humidity by misting the leaves from time to time every week. Mist your plant in the morning so there is enough time for the leaves to evaporate the water. Because damp leaves easily get infected by fungal attacks and start rotting.
Another thing you can do is make a pebble tray. Fill a tray with handfuls of pebbles and pour some water on the tray. Place it under the Schefflera pot. In this way, the moisture will evaporate around your plant and increase the humidity.
4. Pest Attack
Some sap-sucking insects like mealybugs, and scales spider mites attack the Schefflera plant and suck all the moisture out of the plant. The result of their feeding is yellow spots on Schefflera plants. The severe attack turns the whole leaves yellow or brown.
Weaker plants are more prone to these pest attacks than healthy ones. And if they go untreated the whole plant starts to wilt and eventually it dies. This is why it’s very important to take care of these insect problems before it’s too late.
First of all, separate your pest-infested plant and keep it away from the rest of your houseplants because the insects can easily fly to any nearby plants. Then you need to apply a very good insecticide that is suitable for house plants (our pick: Bonide (BND951) – Systemic House Plant Insect Control).
Also, remove the affected yellow leaves from the plant. These leaves will not turn healthy again so it’s better to get rid of them.
There are some amazing home remedies for these pest problems. Neem oil and dormant oils are very effective against pests. Moreover, they are a very safe way of insect control if you have babies or pets in the house. The recipes are given below-
#Recipe 1:- Neem Oil Recipe
- 2 teaspoons of neem oil
- 1 liter of water
- Mix the neem oil very thoroughly with water
- Spray on the Schefflera plants every week
#Recipe 2:- Dormant Oil Recipe
- 1 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing soap
- 100 ml of any cooking oil (olive oil\vegetable oil\soybean oil etc.)
- Add the dishwashing soap and oil together in a bowl and mix very well
- Store this solution as a stock mixture in a bottle.
- Add 2 teaspoons of this mixture with every 200 ml of water and pour it into the sprayer.
- Spray on your Schefflera plants every week.
Note: Sometimes homemade solutions don’t adjust with the plants. So before starting to apply any homemade insecticide try it on a small leaf of the Schefflera plant first. If the leaf seems okay then apply to the whole plant.
5. Nutrient Imbalance
Potted Schefflera plants need a boost of nutrients from time to time. Because the soil in the pots or containers is very limited on nutrients. When plants uptake nutrients during their growing season soon the soil gets very exhausted.
Without enough nutrients, the Schefflera plants do not produce their required food. And as a result, the leaves become yellow. But there is one more thing If you feed them an excessive amount of fertilizer the roots will get damaged and the leaves will still turn yellow.
Feed your plant once every 2-3 months with a water-soluble well-balanced houseplant fertilizer that is completely safe for use inside the house (our pick: Aquatic Arts Indoor Plant Food)
But if you already have overfed your Schefflera plants, stop feeding them at all for a couple of months.
Another thing you can do to reduce the effect of overfeeding is by watering them. The trick is to water them thoroughly so that excess nutrients get washed off. But you have to make sure the extra water quickly drains away from the pot.
Here are some homemade houseplant fertilizer ideas-
#Banana Peel Fertilizer
- Dry the banana peels
- Use the mixer grinder to make it into powder
- Store the powder in an airtight container
- Put a few teaspoons on the Schefflera pot
- Water lightly after application
- Wash the eggshells
- Dry them completely
- Then crush them with the help of mixer and turn into powder
- Put a few teaspoons around the base of the plant
- Water lightly to help it mix with the soil
Yellow leaves in the Schefflera plant are very common. Apart from the reasons above, natural aging will also produce lots of yellow leaves. In this case, the plant will not recover. But otherwise, by taking the right measures you can revive your Schefflera plant with very little effort.
I have tried to discuss the reasons for yellow leaves on Schefflera plants in detail. I hope this article helped you to understand how to take care of your Schefflera plant in the easiest way.