Dwarf Umbrella Schefflera Arboricola - New grower - mild emergency

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Dinga, Jun 9, 2018.

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  1. Dinga

    Dinga New Member

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    Hi guys,

    So I am a 22 yo student in Cardiff at an art school - previously worked in garden centres and have been around a huge variety of plants but don't know all that much about caring for them.

    Yesterday around 5pm I noticed a large & very nice looking dwarf umbrella perched in our Uni skip - not really covered in anyuthing, looked very much in-tact and pretty healthy to me. My parents have had one of these in their lounge for years so I took a shine to it.

    I popped it in my car, took it home, cleaned all of the leaves individually and the stems (with pretty cold fresh water :/ and a sponge). I then cleaned all of the stems, clipped the dying parts and cleaned up the pot.

    It seemed really very dry so I gave it some cold fresh water (read now that this was the wrong thing to do - gave it around a good bowl of water - maybe 3 mugs worth.) Ive just checked the base and its not really all that wet down there - though the top looks and feels moist.

    Since, Ive put it in my room by my window which gets decent sunlight that is direct - I've read this is bad so I've moved it back a few feet (further than in the pictures).

    -So, since putting it in my room and cleaning it, it seems to be dying more than when i found it - in a skip.

    Ive attached some photos - a few of the leaves really started curling and drooping more - (although most of it was droopy when i found it). I clipped the very droopy ones at the stems.

    My concern - apart from the droopy-ness, is that just about all of the stems look wrinkly and are partly squidgy. The higher leaves seem to be growing upwards and a bit more healthy, but to be honest most of it looks on the worse side of things to me.

    1. Have I killed this plant - and am I possibly the worst gardener ever.
    2. From the images is it possible to tell whether it was doomed from the start - and theres an obvious reason it was in the skip that I, with my inexperience, cannot see?
    3. Is there any way to keep this bad boy growing and save him?

    Thanks in advance!

    Mike
     

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I know you've had a pretty intimate relationship with this plant since you got it, but are you sure the stems didn't already look like this? It seems like a rather ungainly looking thing. I don't know enough about these, but it looks like it has not had enough light to branch out nicely. I read that they often lose leaves when they are moved to a new environment, so you can expect it to suffer for a while. You can cut off whatever still looks really bad. After it seems like it has adjusted to your place, you can cut the height back and hope that it will send out some side branches and fill out (but that part looks healthy enough, so I would keep it for now). Then if it were mine, I would cut off at least half of the main trunk. But wait a bit to let it adjust to your place and your regime and the cutting you've already done. I don't know enough about these, but I would definitely try sticking into soil the top 25 cm or so from the bit you will cut off the top and see if it would root.

    You seem to be making good use of what you're reading. While it is adjusting, having it back from the window should be good, but then move it into better light. Feel how heavy the pot is when it is fully watered, and don't water it again until it feels dry and significantly lighter.

    When you don't feel you have much in the way of gardening skills, starting with a half-dead discarded plant is not really the way to boost your confidence. But you're going about it the right way, almost. Reading first and then acting would maybe be a better approach, but you're getting there. See what it looks like in a month or two. Reply and let us know.
     
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  3. Dinga

    Dinga New Member

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    Ok thank you for the reply wcutler! Its very much appreciated. Will update in a month!

    Mike
     

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