Urgent help needed!

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by SlimC, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. SlimC

    SlimC New Member

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    Hi! I’m brand new to this forum, in fact it’s the first forum I’ve ever actually posted to! I gave a 30 yr old Umbrella Tree Schefflera that is rapidly deteriorating, wilting, brown, dropping leaves. I’ve experienced some of these symptoms in the past and determined they were a result of overwatering as there was improvement after letting it dry out. Since then I am very diligent with watering schedule and monitoring moisture and until recently it seemed to appreciate it. I have inspected for pests but found no visible indicators. This plant has tremendous sentimental value in our home and it would be heartbreaking to lose it. Did I mention it is 30 years old!? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Marysville, WA USA
    Hi Slim, how long has it been in that pot? It's not ok that it does not have drainage holes at the bottom. These plants need frequent light moisture, but will also rot at the roots if the bottom of the pot becomes an anaerobic toxic wet soup because it's not allowed to drain out. So your plant looks to me like it may have received both over- and under-watering recently. I would repot immediately into an unglazed clay pot with good drainage; and use a very high-porosity, free-draining soil and really ramp up the light to help it pull thru if possible. This will allow you to water frequently to get it the moisture it wants, but still allow air to get down to the roots at the bottom of the pot.

    More light can make up for a multitude of sins. If this has a lot of sentimental value, beyond the cost of a replacement plant, you might also consider grabbing a cheap floor lamp that has several heads which can be directionally pointed at the plant, and fill it up with very bright (16-20 watt or more) LED bulbs. Put this on an outlet timer that keeps it on for 16 hours a day. This would be just a supplement to as much indirect natural light as you can give it in the spot it's at.
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Vancouver BC Canada

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