Schefflera arboricola: mature specimen – House Plant Journal

Schefflera arboricola: mature specimen

Plant Parent

I need help with a very overgrown Schefflera with tiny leaves…

Shall I simply repot, and if so how much of a bigger planter? Or should I cut back some roots? HELP! I have no idea what to do….which is why it is in this state of course. THANK YOU!!!


This is a beautiful mature specimen – you’re very fortunate!

I think part of the appeal is the exposed roots – it’s very bonsai-like! If you lift the entire plant out of its pot, you can check if the roots are root-bound (I think they probably are). If so, you can repot into a slightly larger pot – maybe just 2-3″ inches larger in diameter from the current pot. When you repot, be sure you gently loosen some of the roots – don’t worry about breaking a few roots here and there. The usual potting soil will do: peat moss and perlite.

While you’re at it, you may want to prune back some of the branches to get the overall shape more tidy. If you’re scared about pruning, just cut back one of the growing tips and watch how it grows back over the next few weeks. Once you’ve seen how it will grow, then you can go ahead and cut back a few others – if you do this in a staggered fashion, then you won’t have an awkward leafless stump.

Good luck and please let me know how it goes!

Plant Parent

Thank you so much for getting back to me and for your very thorough reply. I will let you know how I manage.

All the best!

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *