Cut back the schefflera

The Ultimate Guide to Cutting Back the Schefflera

Schefflera, or umbrella plants, are popular houseplants that are easy to keep. They can thrive with artificial light or under moderately bright light conditions and are only susceptible to a few pests. The Schefflera may need trimming if they become too large or unsightly. This is how you need to trim your Schefflera. The principle is easy to understand.

Examine your plant

Examine your Schefflera and see if it has one or more trunks.

This has a big impact on how you need to prune your plant. Multiple stems Schefflera can be pruned in several ways. They can grow fuller and bushier because they have more room for leaf growth. Single stem Schefflera are more prone to developing into a tall, thin plant. When cutting, consider the natural shape of your plant. If you fight against your plant’s natural growth when pruning, it will be more difficult than easy to shape as the plant grows. When buying a new plant, you should pay particular attention to this aspect. If you want a full, bushy plant, make sure you choose a Schefflera with numerous stems so it grows plump and stretches out to the sides and up. If you want a plant that grows taller and relatively thin upwards, you can choose a Schefflera with only one stem (you can just cut off the other stems that sprout from the ground).

Decide what you want your plant to look like now and in the future.

Some people want a slender and tall plant, while others prefer a short and bushy shape. The shape also depends on where you want the plant to be and how much care you want to put in. Pruning is part of deciding how the plant will grow and helping it along the way. On the Schefflera, the growth nodes are found at the point on the trunk where the leaf buds are located. Because the Schefflera typically has lush growth and lots of growth nodes to cut at, you can think about how you want it to grow in the future. Pruning allows you to encourage growth in certain directions. Make your decision before you cut the leaves. Have a plan before you start to avoid making mistakes and not cutting off too many leaves.

Check the general conditions of your plant.

Before you prune the plant, you should ensure it is properly potted and healthy. Make sure the plant has good, moist soil. Before you prune the plant, you can take the opportunity and transplant it if you suspect the roots have grown too dense and you want to encourage growth. You should also make sure the leaves are healthy. You can treat such problems if the leaves look colorless or have brown spots. Either the plant was overwatered or it didn’t have enough nutrients in the soil. The Schefflera should not be kept in wet soil. Allow the soil to dry out between watering intervals. If your plant’s condition doesn’t improve, you can replace the potting soil.

Cut your plant

Shorten the height of your Schefflera by cutting off the upright stem just above the knot.

In other words, you should trim the stem just above a leaf bud. Cutting the top off the stem can prevent the plant from gaining height too quickly. It will become fuller in the cropped area. Use pruning shears, which cut like regular two-bladed scissors. Other types of shears tend to crush the stem rather than cut cleanly. Sometimes lack of light is the reason for the unwanted growth of the Schefflera. The plant grows taller to find the light. Keep this in mind when looking for a suitable habitat for your Schefflera.

Reduce the width of your Schefflera by cutting back the horizontal branches just above a leaf bud.

Remember that you develop new growth at the interfaces. You can prune the plant back further than you originally planned so that it grows fuller in the future. Schefflera can be severely cut back. So don’t be afraid to cut them back heavily. You should use double-bladed scissors to avoid crushing the trunk.

Cut back all stems 6 inches (15 cm) to the base to rejuvenate a bare, unsightly plant.

Sometimes these plants are neglected and look overgrown. If you can’t find a way to shape the plant through regular pruning, you can prune it back completely. This will give your plant a fresh start and allow you to control future growth better. Don’t worry about your plant dying. It will sprout with renewed vigor, given sufficient light, moisture and nutrients. When you prune your plant, you want to ensure two or three buds are left on each stem. This gives the plant ample opportunity to sprout new growth. The larger parts you cut from your plant make great cuttings to grow new plants from. Plant a cutting with at least two leaf bases in moist soil for a few weeks. The cutting has enough growth nodes to continue growing. The roots should grow from the base at the bottom of the cutting. The plant can then be repotted.

Final Tips

It is normal for the Schefflera to shed its leaves along the trunk’s lower part as it ages. Cut off the old leaves when they die. So that your Schefflera grows full and round, you can turn it towards the light again and again. On the other hand, it will become bare on one side, while the other side will be overgrown with many leaves. Occasionally pinch the growing shoot with your fingers to encourage the plant to develop more side shoots and grow fuller. By removing the shoots from which the stem develops, you force the plant to grow outwards instead of upwards. If a Schefflera has multiple stems as a small plant, you can braid them into an interesting stem that will remain braided as the plant grows. When braiding the stem, remember that all items must be rooted in the ground. If you’ve become an expert at pruning your Schefflera, you can think about taking the next step and developing a bonsai plant from your Schefflera.


About the Author


Fernando James

James has offered expert financial insight at CouponAnnie since 2020. As a freelance writer, he has been published in a variety of prominent publications. He's been featured on the Washington Post and Financial Planning Magazine, and has been quoted by Money Magazine, Retailmenot, and more.