Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pruning Your Umbrella Plant (Schefflera Arboricola)

How to Prune Your Umbrella - Plant 
Schefflera Arboricola, Umbrella Plant
Schefflera Arboricola

I recently received an email from a visitor to my website asking how to prune her Umbrella Plant. She sent along the picture to the right.

Here is her email and my answer:

I'm just wondering how to prune an umbrella plant. My plant is getting out of control, growing upwards and I can't seem to get it to grow like a bush. I'm afraid to cut it to shape cause I might kill it. I've had this plant for over 10 years and from the picture I sent you can see it's still growing good. I just want to trim it down but I want to do it properly. Thanks!

Hi Julia

When pruning an Arboricola (umbrella plant), cut just above a leaf stem or node. I usually cut the tallest stem back into the center of the plant, leaving some leaf nodes for new growth to start. Doing this every once in awhile keeps the plant fuller and shorter.

You can cut the really tall stem that you have growing past the top of the door to maybe 12 inches or so in height. Cut just above a leaf node.
If you wait too long too prune back, the plant can look kind of bad for a time as you wait for it to grow back out.
Cutting it should not kill it, it will just promote some new growth. It also keeps it from getting so tall that the stems start to fall over.

I usually cut anything that has gotten tall enough or leggy enough that it no longer can stay upright without some type of support.

Turning the entire plant/pot once a month will help to keep it growing evenly on all sides.

Hope this helps, send along any other questions.
Thanks for visiting the website, like our Facebook page if you get a chance!

Laura The Plant Lady

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

House Plant Care - Questions and Answers

House Plants - You Have Questions, I Have Answers, But...

Rhapis Excelsa Palm on My Model Home Account

Hi Plant People, hope you all had a nice October. Hard to believe it is already November 2016.

Just realized that since I started working as an interior landscape technician in 1986 and it is now 2016, I have been taking care of, installing, warehousing, replacing, selling or unloading indoor tropical plants and flowers for just about 30 years.

Most of that was direct, day to day care of different types of tropical plants in many different locations, from the west coast to the east coast.

There has been a break here or there for a year or two but for most of the past 30 years I have been involved in all aspects of the interior landscape industry. That's a lot of plants!

On my website, I offer simple, straight forward advice on caring for your indoor plants. As you can tell from the first few paragraphs, I have had lots of experience to work from.

I do offer to answer questions for readers and they sometimes ask things I could not possibly give a definitive answer to because, with indoor plants, you need to be the person standing right there in front of that plant, taking care of it every week, to be able to figure out what is causing any problems it may be having. That is why I ask people to read the pages about lighting for your plants, indoor plant watering and the importance of a healthy root system before they send a plant care question. Those things are really all you need to know if you started out with a healthy disease and insect free house plant.

HOUSE PLANTS CARE QUESTIONS OR PROBLEMS? You can send an indoor plant question but before you do, please read this information on watering your indoor houseplants, how to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your houseplants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

So, please read those pages, and if you still have a question, I will try to answer but please remember, I work during the day taking care of plants so sometimes it takes a little while for me to get out the answers to your emails. So please be as patient as you can and thanks for visiting my website, I do appreciate it and I hope it is helpful to some of you...

Laura The Plant Lady