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umbrella plant #37012
August 12th, 2005 at 11:36 PM
August 12th, 2005 at 11:36 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Toledo, OH
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Purple Iris Offline OP
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Toledo, OH
I have a very healthy umbrella plant. It has grown to touch my living room ceiling. What do I do now? Can I just chop off the top a couple of feet? Is there a special technique to this?

Re: umbrella plant #37013
August 13th, 2005 at 12:27 AM
August 13th, 2005 at 12:27 AM
Joined: Apr 2003
N.Y.
weezie13 Offline
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N.Y.
Purple Iris,
Just wanted to let you know..
I was going to move your post down into
the HOUSE plant SECTION, I think you'll
recieve alot more responses in there
about your plant....

And Welcome by the way, there's lot's to do here,
recipes, crafts, hobbies, Banter Hall for Chatting and getting to know everyone..
It's quite addicting site..
Stick around, come here often and
Don't forget there's lot's to do here
thru every season especially during
those long cold winters...


Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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Re: umbrella plant #37014
August 13th, 2005 at 03:48 AM
August 13th, 2005 at 03:48 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
North Carolina
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terob Offline
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North Carolina
Sorry I can't help you with your question but
wanted to say Hi and welcome!

Re: umbrella plant #37015
August 14th, 2005 at 10:30 PM
August 14th, 2005 at 10:30 PM
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Hi Iris,

Yes, you can prune off as much of the top growth as you want. Bear in mind that the new growth will emerge just below where you make the pruning cut. So be sure to prune low enough to allow room for new growth or else you will soon be back pruning all over again.

Re: umbrella plant #37016
August 18th, 2005 at 01:51 AM
August 18th, 2005 at 01:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Clarksville, Tennessee
gconn77 Offline
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Clarksville, Tennessee
Purple... anyway you can take a photo and let me see the before and after. I have two of the same plants and want to see more how you pruned yours..

Will... being familiar with this plant, can you give me any advise about this plant. The two that I have mean a lot to me, they came from my dad's funeral. Caring, maintenance, soil type, when to re-pot, how to prune, water schedule and how much, etc.

Re: umbrella plant #37017
August 18th, 2005 at 07:41 AM
August 18th, 2005 at 07:41 AM
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Schefflera actinophylla does best in front of a window that gets a few hours of direct sun each day.

Keep it tightly potted and water it when the top inch or so of soil feels dry to the touch. Always water thoroughly until a little water trickles through the drainage holes. Standard indoor potting mix is fine, but don't repot until it is drying out every 3 days or less.

Re: umbrella plant #37018
August 18th, 2005 at 12:05 PM
August 18th, 2005 at 12:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Clarksville, Tennessee
gconn77 Offline
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Clarksville, Tennessee
Unfortunately a few years ago I put the plants into really huge pots... and used soil that did not drain well. One plant suffered from it about a year later.... at the time I didn't know what was wrong with it... but now today, I know that its roots were rotting. Today, I am not able to down size the pots because their roots have randomly grown thru out the huge pot... however, I was able to dig out as much of the bad soil and add better quality and better draining soil. So now both plants are doing excellent.

I did not know about pinching and prooning this plant... So some of the larger branches are thick. I did cut them back, and the plants right now look a little choppy... but I know that they will fill in, in due time.

Re: umbrella plant #37019
August 19th, 2005 at 03:26 AM
August 19th, 2005 at 03:26 AM
Joined: May 2004
East Bay, Cali
JustAGirl Offline
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East Bay, Cali
I don't have any input on cutting the umbrella plant down sorry.

I just wanted to know though is Schefflera actinophylla generally a slow grower? I've had this small one that I bought a year ago or so and it's growing slow as molasses. I've only seen about 3 new branches form and grow..it's starting a new one but it seems the new one is tiny for the LONGEST time then before you even realize it it starts growing into a branch and the leaves just take off growing bigger. This is the only house plant I have because with house plants I tend to kill them..have bad luck with indoor plants not to mention not many places we get good lighting in my townhouse. Anywho..do you think the slow growing is due to the pot size? I may have to transplant soon.

Re: umbrella plant #37020
August 19th, 2005 at 04:13 AM
August 19th, 2005 at 04:13 AM
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Hi "Just" A Girl!

Growth rate is mostly determined by light; the closer you come to providing optimum light, the faster it is likely to grow. For a Schefflera, that means very bright indirect light all day long with a few hours of early and late day direct sun.

An oversized pot can actually retard growth as the plant puts its energy into filling the pot with roots rather than producing more leaves. If your Schefflera is severely potbound (needing a thorough watering every couple of days), then that could also retard growth and would warrant moving it up one pot size.

Re: umbrella plant #37021
August 19th, 2005 at 10:36 AM
August 19th, 2005 at 10:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Clarksville, Tennessee
gconn77 Offline
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Clarksville, Tennessee
Mine has grown a lot in the last few years despite the wrong decisions I have made with them. I purchased a few little ones a over a week ago, and they are growing pretty quickly as well... although, I will do things correctly from the start with these new guys.

Re: umbrella plant #37022
August 20th, 2005 at 01:41 AM
August 20th, 2005 at 01:41 AM
Joined: May 2004
East Bay, Cali
JustAGirl Offline
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East Bay, Cali
Thanks for the 411 Will. I am having to water quite frequently so I think moving up a pot size would benefit my plant. Some new soil while repotting would do it some good. I read somewhere you should put new soil in your pots every year.

Re: umbrella plant #37023
August 20th, 2005 at 01:56 AM
August 20th, 2005 at 01:56 AM
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JAGirl,

What you read about adding new soil every year is incorrect. Never add soil to the surface of the rootball. And only move a plant into a larger pot when it is so potbound that it needs water every couple of days. Many plants max out in a certain sized pot and never need repotting again.

Be careful what you read!

Re: umbrella plant #37024
August 20th, 2005 at 03:45 AM
August 20th, 2005 at 03:45 AM
Joined: May 2004
East Bay, Cali
JustAGirl Offline
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East Bay, Cali
Hmm really? That's interesting...actually now that I come to think of it I read that on a potting soil bag *L* Of course they want you to add right? So you are sure then? So old dirt is ok? Just add fertilizer?

Well I definately need to move up a pot size..the soil dries out so quickly.

Re: umbrella plant #37025
August 20th, 2005 at 03:51 AM
August 20th, 2005 at 03:51 AM
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"Old dirt" can last a very long time because plants use nutrients in very tiny quantities. After several years, it may be necessary to replace the depleted nutrients with a complete fertilizer applied at half strength.

Fertilizer manufacturers are also in the business of overselling the benefits of their products!


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