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


  1. I take care of plants at a hotel and there are several large Rhaphis palm in the lobby. I have found several sprouts of flowering stems lately that look like coral reef pieces... is this healthy, I removed them

  2. Yes they should be removed. It is normal but I would have no way of knowing if your Rhapis palms are healthy or not just by that.


Thanks for visiting, questions and help or advice are always welcome...