Brown spots on Schefflera leaves are one of the most alarming sights for many gardeners as it can mean an unhealthy plant. Schefflera with brown leaves, Schefflera stems turning brown, or even black spots on Schefflera leaves can be some of the telltale signs of Schefflera diseases.

Schefflera Leaves

When gardeners spot leaves falling off Schefflera plant stems, it may be time to check how to revive a Schefflera plant. There can be several causes as to why Schefflera leaves are turning brown or falling off, and we’ll be looking into all the possible reasons in this comprehensive article.

Why Are The Leaves On My Schefflera Turning Brown?

Underwatering, overwatering or infections are several possible reasons why your Schefflera leaves are turning brown. Some causes are easy to determine and treat, while others may require some careful considerations. Below are some possible causes of your Schefflera leaves turning brown and the remedies that can be used to revive a Schefflera plant.

– Schefflera Leaves Turn Brown When They Have Not Been Watered

Like many plants, Schefflera requires water to survive. When the plant does not receive enough water, one of the first symptoms it displays is wilted leaves that eventually turn brown. This is an indication that the Schefflera plant is dehydrated and will need water to return to its normal, healthy state.

The texture of the brown leaves will be crispy to the touch. This condition is a clear sign that the Schefflera plant has not received enough water and has gone into survival mode. In this state of survival, the plant will shed as many leaves as possible to contain its energy reserves as producing leaves takes up a lot of energy.

Schefflera stems turning brown

– What To Do

A Schefflera plant that lacks water can be also vulnerable to pests and infections due to its weakened state. Fortunately, a dehydrated Schefflera plant can easily be revived by giving it the appropriate water amount it needs.

– When They Are Overwatered

When the Schefflera plant receives too much water, on the other hand, it can also show symptoms of unhealthy growth such as brown spots on leaves. The signs of an overwatered Schefflera plant are the yellowing and wilting of its leaves, which will then eventually turn brown.

An overwatered Schefflera plant can easily be determined by the texture of its leaves. When the leaves are soft and mushy, the most likely cause is overwatering the plant. Overwatering not only makes the leaves turn mushy and brown, but it can also lead to root rot.

Root rot can invite pests and infections, which can further aggravate the weakened state of the Schefflera plant. An overwatered Schefflera plant can be revived by ensuring that the root system has a high chance of survival.

– What To Do

An overwatered Schefflera plant will require a little time to recover. During this period, the watering amount should be slightly reduced to make sure that the soil is not overly wet and the roots do not drown further. This moist soil condition encourages the root system to become healthier and grow out new roots.

Some gardeners also gently pull out the Schefflera plant from its wet soil and carefully remove the rotted part of the plant’s root system. Once cleaned, the Schefflera plant is transplanted in a soil mixture that is more conducive to drainage while still retaining the optimal moisture content for the root system.

– Can Be Due to Infections

There are cases in which the brown spots on your Schefflera leaves are caused by pests, bacteria or fungus. The leaves of the Schefflera plant can be one of the most susceptible parts for bacterial or fungal infection, especially when the conditions are ideal.

– Fungal Infections

The most common reason for this occurrence is a fungal infection, which is caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. This fungus creates spores that remain in the diseased tissue parts of the plant. The growth rate of the spores tends to be limited to mature leaves and is often indicated by pink or white areas on the leaves along with gray flecks.

Humidity increases the spread and growth of the spores. These fungal spores then spread through water, which can be sourced from irrigation or rain.

The fungal spores are also spread through contamination by contact. Clothing, tools and even skin can become carriers of fungal spores, which can cause the Schefflera plant to eventually produce leaf spots, deformities and other unhealthy plant symptoms.

– Fungal Infections — What To Do

There are several steps you can take to treat fungal infections that cause brown spots on Schefflera leaves.

    1. Remove the suspected infected leaves that have brown spots. Once removed, the leaves with the brown spots should be placed far away from other plants and lightly sprayed with a fungicide. This ensures that the fungus has a lower chance of survival and a lower risk of infecting other plants.
    2. Prune any branch or part of the Schefflera plant that has turned an unhealthy brown or black. This ensures that the risk of spread of the infection is lower. The same method of disposal as the infected leaves should be used, and the infected parts should also be sprayed with a fungicide to lower the risk of infection.
    3. Spray a fungicide on the remaining parts of the Schefflera plant. The dosage should be used as indicated in the packaging to prevent the plant from being burned. Spraying the healthy plant with fungicide also ensures that any spores that may have remained will be killed off.
    4. Make sure that the infected and sprayed Schefflera plant is exposed to the appropriate amount of sunlight. As the fungus thrives in moist conditions, heat and air circulation can affect the growth rate of the fungus and its spores. Exposing the Schefflera plant to sunlight can also encourage healthier growth.
    5. Ensure that the Schefflera does not become overwatered again. This can be done by making sure that the soil it is grown in is not heavy and promotes appropriate draining while retaining enough moisture. Watering frequency should also be checked to make sure that the plant is only watered when the top 1 or 2 inches of the topsoil becomes dry.

Some gardeners have observed that the fungus usually dies off after 2 to 3 applications of fungicide. Care should be taken to follow the application steps as indicated on the fungicidal product’s packaging. Take note that the dosage and frequency should be accurate so as to avoid further harm to the Schefflera plant.

– Pests

When pests are the suspected causes of the browning of your plant’s leaves, they can be treated with insecticidal soaps. The most common pests of Schefflera plants are aphids, scales and mealybugs.

Now that we’ve identified the possible causes of brown spots on your Schefflera leaves, let’s discover what we can do to prevent this condition from happening in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all.

Tips on Keeping Your Schefflera Plant Healthy and Strong

The Schefflera plant is native to countries like Australia and Taiwan, which normally have a subtropical climate. As the plant is used to warm weather most of the year, here are some tips to keep your Schefflera plant healthy and thriving.

remove brown spots of Schefflera leaves

– Sunlight

The Schefflera plant grows best in bright indirect light, although it can tolerate partial shade. Some Schefflera plants even prefer to grow in direct sunlight, making them quite versatile as indoor and outdoor plants.

One tip to remember is that the brighter the light exposure, the more frequent the watering. However, care should be taken to ensure that the few inches of the topsoil should be dry before watering.

– Soil

The ideal soil texture of the Schefflera plant is loose with some moist compost mixed in. This ensures enough drainage and water retention for a healthy root system.

– Temperature

Temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit can be detrimental for the Schefflera plant since it is used to warm temperatures. High humidity can also affect the health of the plant, so it is best to ensure that the plant is placed in a location that receives warmth and good air circulation.

– Fertilizer

The Schefflera plant can be a big feeder and will appreciate appropriate doses of liquid fertilizers. For gardeners who prefer to provide a more regulated feeding, slow-release fertilizer pellets can greatly benefit the Schefflera plant.

a bunch of Schefflera Leaves


Should I remove Schefflera leaves with brown spots?

Removing Schefflera leaves with brown spots can help maintain plant health and appearance. Prune affected leaves to prevent further spread.

What is a homemade brown spot remedy for Schefflera plants?

A homemade remedy for brown spots on Schefflera plants is a mixture of water, mild soap, and neem oil. Apply it to affected areas.

How do I encourage new growth in my already browning Schefflera plant?

To encourage new growth in a browning Schefflera plant, provide adequate sunlight, water regularly, fertilize with a balanced formula, and ensure proper drainage.


The Schefflera makes a great indoor and outdoor decorative plant. Here is a recap of what we’ve learned so far about why there are brown spots on Schefflera leaves and how to prevent them from happening.

  • Underwatering and overwatering can cause the leaves of the Schefflera to turn brown.
  • Pests and infections can also be another cause of the browning of Schefflera leaves.
  • Prevent brown spots on Schefflera leaves by making sure that the plant is appropriately watered.
  • Lower the risk of pests and fungal infections by making sure the Schefflera plant is exposed to sufficient sunlight, warm temperatures, low humidity, good air circulation, and is planted in loose but moisture-retentive soil.
  • Pests can be eliminated by using insecticidal soaps, while fungal infections can be remedied by fungicides.

The Schefflera plant is a wonderful companion shrub for many homes and gardens. With sufficient knowledge of its proper care, gardeners can expect the Schefflera plant to become a beautiful tropical addition to their lives and homes for years to come!

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