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Posted 1M ago by @HandyLeucospora

Sad, pale, droopy Schefflera

#DwarfUmbrellaTree I have NO clue how to revive my little Umbrella, please help 😭 She was on a mad one when I first got her and repotted her in October 2023 - sprouted all the little guys at the top in a month 🤯 The last month or two she has become this sad, pale, pathetic mess… I have no clue if I’m under or over watering - I water every ~2 weeks and the first two inches of soil are always dry when I do, but she doesn’t perk up at all after it. She’s been by our south-west facing window (not pictured as I’m trying to shade her) this whole time, so maybe it’s too much sun? I can see what seem to be calcium marks on her leaves from the water, which is very hard where we are in London. Does this little diva need bottled / rain water?! Pls help 😥
0ft to light, direct
Last watered 1 month ago
I will caveat that I haven’t owned a scheffelera in a long time, but will attempt to help.

1. It might need more water than Greg is advising. I would start by keeping a closer eye on how dry the soil is and adjust your watering schedule based on that vs. what the app is saying, esp since it’s a tropical plant. If you’re unsure you can always check the bottom of the pot—my advice is to only water when it’s completely dry, vs the first 2 inches of soil.

2. If it is completely dry I would give it a good soaking, monitor the moisture levels and wait 2-3 weeks before watering again. I acknowledge I live in California and the climate here couldn’t be more different than LDN, but my tropical plants don’t mind getting more water less frequently.

3. Looks like it’s not getting enough light. You mentioned it’s in a SW facing window, but it looks quite leggy. Consider putting it outdoors if you can—just make sure to ease it in, starting with morning light and afternoon shade before graduating to full sun. Here in SoCal these guys sit in the direct sun all day, so it should be pretty happy once it’s established.

Hope this helps.
Hard water is probably a major contributor to your problem. It causes calcium build-up (which you are experiencing), which hinders its ability to draw in nutrients. Try bottle water/ rain water, it's good that you let it dry out in between watering, but 2 weeks does seems a little long. I keep my bonsais in a more rocky mix then my other plants. My tropicals need watering every 4 days or so. The "chop-stick" method helps if your in doubt. Hopefully this helps and keep us updated on its recovery. Good luck!!
Thanks so much!! We have plenty of rain so she will be rain-watered in future 😂 I will probably re-pot her in more well-aerated soil. She will get demolished by the wind we have if I put her in our balcony so I may just keep her by the window. Good tip re dryness if bottom of pot. Thanks, both!