Schefflera Plant Pruning: Tips On Cutting Back Schefflera Plants

Variegated, green and yellow, Dwarf Umbrella Tree (Schefflera arboricola), in morning still wet from rainfall against wooden fence.
Image by sorsillo

By Liz Baessler

Scheffleras are very popular house plants that produce big dark or variegated palmate leaves (leaves made up of several smaller leaflets growing out of a single point). Hardy in USDA zones 9b through 11, they are often kept in pots indoors in colder areas. However, life indoors in a pot can be hard on a plant, and can often result in leggy, unhealthy looking shapes. That’s when it’s time to prune. Keep reading to learn more about trimming schefflera houseplants and how to prune a schefflera.

Trimming Schefflera Houseplants

Scheffleras can have a single trunk, but they tend to have multiple stalks that branch off as the plant gets higher. If your plant isn’t getting enough light or nutrients, or if it’s just in too small of a pot, some of those stalks might get long and leggy. They might flop over under their own weight or produce leaves only at the ends.

These are all signs that it’s time for schefflera plant pruning. Pruning a schefflera plant is not especially hard – if you see a long and unhealthy looking stalk, cut it back! Cut any bad looking stalks down to 3 or 4 inches high. This should encourage new growth and make the plant more compact and dense.

It may also help to move the plant to a sunnier window or transplant to a bigger pot.

How to Prune a Schefflera Plant

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Schefflera plants can grow as tall as 15 feet high and just as wide. Luckily for most, it’s not likely to get that big in a pot in your living room. It may, however, get taller than you want. Strategically pruning a schefflera plant can encourage it to grow out as well as up and make for a denser, more bushy shape.

Trimming schefflera houseplants can be achieved by cutting off the tops of the tallest stalks about an inch above the spot where the next leaf down is attached. This will encourage more growth outward from the stalk instead of upward.

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