why is my schefflera dying

Schefflera Plant Dying? (8 Amazing Tips to Fix It!)

The Schefflera plant dies mainly due to overwatering. Bacterial leaf spot disease can also kill your Schefflera. Poor lighting conditions impede the growth of the Schefflera plant. Transplant shock can kill the Schefflera plant too.

Schefflera is also called an Umbrella plant. Schefflera plants can be kept indoors. Schefflera looks pretty with its unusual foliage.

Schefflera can be grown with ease. Some people do run into issues while growing it. Let’s see what those issues are and how to solve ’em!

Why is my Schefflera turning yellow?

Schefflera leaves turn yellow due to overwatering. Schefflera leaves also turn yellow when the plant receives less light than required. Schefflera leaves could turn yellow due to Spider Mite infestation too.


Overwatering is the common reason why Schefflera leaves turn yellow. Water the plant only when it needs some. Check the soil with your fingers if needed.

Overwatering creates waterlogged conditions. Roots can’t absorb nutrients efficiently in waterlogged conditions, thus the leaves turn yellow.

Water only when the majority of the soil goes dry. Make sure the soil has good drainage and the pot has drainage holes.

Completely waterlogging the plant/drying out the soil stresses the plant. Water your Schefflera consciously.

Tip: Yellowing is seen in the bottom leaves in the case of Overwatering.


Yellowing of the Schefflera foliage usually happens in low-light conditions. Make sure you give the Schefflera plant abundant indirect sunlight.

Poor lighting doesn’t help the plant thrive. Abrupt changes in light conditions are not good for the plant too.

Direct sunlight hurts the plant too. So, be careful where you place the plant pot. Do not change the position of the plant abruptly too.


Pests like spider mites suck the sap out of a weak plant thus making it weaker. This often results in the yellowing of the leaves.

You need to control these pests effectively. Scale and Mealybugs may cause this issue too.

Why is Schefflera dropping leaves?

Schefflera plant drops a lot of leaves when the plant is subjected to drastic changes in Temperature, Humidity, or light.

Abrupt changes

Such symptoms are seen when the location of the plant is changed suddenly. The plant gets stressed. You need to acclimate the plant to the new location slowly.

Interior conditions stress indoor plants. You need to provide your plants with a constant environment so that they can thrive.

This leaf drop may be seen for months as the plant needs a couple of months to settle into new conditions.

Tip: Place the plant in a place where it gets abundant indirect sunlight. Let the soil dry between the waterings. Do not move the plant unnecessarily.

Place the plant in a place where it gets consistent Temperature, Humidity, and Light.

Insect pests

Check the fallen leaves for insects or signs of them. If you do see them then it’s time to spray the plant with insecticide.

Inspecting the plant helps to identify an infection early on.

Why are my Schefflera leaves curling?

Schefflera leaves may curl slightly due to changing external conditions. If the leaves curl entirely they may be hosting insects like Aphids and Mealybugs.

Check the leaves for these insects. If you do find them inside the affected leaves, you need to act quickly.

If the infestation is in the early stages, water splashes from a garden hose will dislodge the aphids. Spraying Insecticidal soap or Horticultural oil works wonders!

Tip: Hang sticky cards around the plant to identify pests early on!

Why is my Schefflera sticky?

Schefflera leaves become sticky because of sooty mold which is seen as a result of fungal activity. Fungi consume the Honeydew produced by aphids and produce a sticky substance called Sooty mold.

If you see ants around your plant, know that they are helping aphids thrive. Ants love to eat Honeydew. So, by controlling ants you can control aphids.

To treat: 

  • You can wash the sticky leaves with a garden hose to dislodge those pesky pests. This works if the infestation just started.
  • If the infestation is severe, you can spray the affected leaves with Neem oil.

Schefflera leaves turning brown

Schefflera leaves turn brown due to bacterial leaf spot disease. Schefflera leaves can also turn brown due to underwatering. 

Bacterial leaf spot

Leaf spots start in the leaf margins and eventually enlarge and turn black. Leaf drop is seen and the symptoms are similar to Alternaria leaf spot.

To prevent:

  • There’s no way to treat the plant once it gets infected. The best way to prevent this disease is by keeping the leaves dry.
  • Remove infected leaves as soon as you see them and keep the plant healthy.


Schefflera can survive dry soil for a time, but not for too long. Drought conditions cause browning in the leaves of Schefflera.

One needs to water the plant abundantly to keep it healthy. Do not let the soil go dry for a long time.

The leaves of a plant go limp, and wilt when it experiences drought. This is followed by drying and browning the leaves. Leaves become crunchy.

To fix: Place the plant pot in the sink without the saucer. Fill the water up to 3/4th of the sink. Let the pot sink water in via the drainage hole. Keep the plant pot in the sink for 45 minutes. Drain excess water in the sink once the top portion of the soil becomes wet. Place the pot back in its saucer.

Schefflera dying after repotting

Schefflera plant dies after repotting due to transplant shock. The Schefflera plant in shock loses a few of its leaves and appears droopy.

This happens when the Schefflera is moved into a bigger pot than it was grown in. This is just a temporary shock and the plant needs some time to get acclimated to the new conditions.

Give your newly planted Schefflera bright indirect sunlight. Give the plant abundant water to aid new root growth.

Schefflera leaves turning black

Schefflera leaves turn black due to frost damage. Bacterial leaf blight and Alternaria leaf spot disease can also blacken the Schefflera leaves.

Cold damage appears in Schefflera leaves when the temperature drops down to 50F. The damaged leaves can no longer synthesize their own food.

What do you do with a leggy Umbrella plant?

The best way to fix a leggy Schefflera is trimming. Trim off the parts that are leggy and the plant should grow new, healthier branches.

You may want to place the plant outdoors in the summer months if you want a quick revival of the plant. Prune these plants regularly as they respond well to pruning.

Do Umbrella plants like humidity?

They are not too picky about the humidity around ’em. Low humidity favors the growth of the insect pests like Scale and Spider mites.

So, it is recommended that you place your Umbrella plant in a place with optimum humidity.

Happy Gardening 🙂