Umbrella plant dropping leaves can be a significant cause for concern. An umbrella plant of the Araliaceae family can lose leaves because of light problems, soil that is too heavy and too low temperatures, etc.

Umbrella Plant Dropping Leaves

Although these hardy plants may endure some neglect, it’s not unusual for them to lose leaves under stress. Let’s examine the potential causes of your umbrella plant losing leaves and how to revive it.

Why Are Your Umbrella Plants Dropping Leaves? 

Your umbrella plants are dropping leaves because they are stressed due to poor maintenance and caretaking mistakes. Dropping leaves can be caused by over- or underwatering, low light, temperature fluctuations, repotting, pests, illnesses, under- or overfeeding, low humidity, or a new site. Naturally, old leaves will fall as well.

– Light Problems

Schefflera favors direct, bright lighting. In low light, they not only have the potential to drop their leaves, but their growth will also become lanky and spindly. They will become what is commonly known as “leggy” as they try to get to the light.

Your variegated specimen needs extra light if it starts to lose its color and turn a consistent shade of green. A bright natural exposure indoors is fine if you protect the plant from too strong sunlight, but sunlight in the early morning or late afternoon usually works well. 

– Watering Issues Is the Most Frequent Cause of Leaf Loss

The plant can be sufficiently stressed by either overwatering or underwatering to experience leaf loss, but you must be cautious about making the proper diagnosis. Although they thrive in moist environments, Schefflera are far more tolerant of drought than of soggy soil.

In general, Schefflera should be watered only once the top inch of soil becomes dry. Water the soil deeply and allow the excess water to drain through the perforations. If the leaves become black before falling off, that may be a symptom of overwatering issues. If this occurs, unpot the plant and look for mushy, rotten roots in the dirt. The higher sections of the plant may not exhibit symptoms until it is too late since root rot is fatal.

A Schefflera is not a cactus, despite being more tolerant of dry soil than a damp pot. Plant stress might also result from underwatering. Also, remember that completely dry soil won’t absorb water either. Underwatering may be indicated by yellowing foliage. A plant needs extra water if its leaves have spots on them. 

Umbrella trees are typically grown in a naturally humid area, so with a plant humidifier, you can easily provide them with the wet air they crave indoors whenever you like. It’s okay to sprinkle the foliage with warm water occasionally, only, so make sure you are not overwatering.

– Soil That Is Too Heavy

Indirect stress and leaf shedding are both brought on by heavy soil. The optimal media contains adequate aeration and drainage to maintain oxygen around the roots, even after watering.

Umbrella Plant Dropping Leaves Causes

Although a high-quality potting mix is typically acceptable, consider adding cactus soil or increasing the aeration with perlite or coarse sand. Over time, the soil in your Schefflera can be impacted by two things:

– Freezing Temperatures

Tropical plants called Schefflera are native to regions where the temperature rarely drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They may drop their leaves due to cold stress. All-green varieties are typically slightly more tolerant of cold than variegated cultivars.

– Strong Winds and Drafts

Schefflera dislikes drafts, just like the majority of houseplants. A hot stream or a cool stream might cause leaf loss. Try to keep your umbrella plant out of any strong drafts.

– Over or Under-fertilization

Umbrella Plants consume only a little food. Their system can be shocked by overfertilization, which results in falling leaves. If you have overfed the soil, flush it to help get rid of the extra. Additionally, you can notice a leaf drop if the plant is largely skeletal. However, an underfed specimen should also exhibit other signs, such as small, pale, or undersized new leaves.

– Acclimation

Changing the surroundings of a Schefflera frequently results in transient leaf loss. This frequently occurs while making new purchases or moving a summer-growing plant indoors. Acclimation refers to the process of the plant adjusting to its new surroundings.

– Humidity is Wrong

Schefflera can tolerate the dry air in our homes fairly well. Although low humidity is not ideal, it is more of a stressor rather than the main cause of leaf drop. However, your plant won’t object if you boost its humidity, which might make it more resilient. 

Plants that are grouped experience a modest increase in humidity. Although some gardeners spritz their plants, increasing humidity could be more effective.

– Repotting

Your umbrella plant may lose leaves due to the stress associated with repotting. After repotting, Schefflera almost certainly loses a few leaves at the very least. They are somewhat traumatized by it (much more than pruning). The plant requires repotting every two to three years and doesn’t mind being slightly rootbound.

If the container is too tiny, severely rootbound Scheffleras may shed their leaves; a restricted root system can only support so much foliage. In a relatively tiny container, Scheffleras can thrive. Just be certain that it weighs enough to balance off their top-heavy canopy.

– Infestations

The leaves of an umbrella plant appeal to most avid gardeners because of its resilience. Although the plant has considerable pest tolerance, an infestation could weaken it and cause it to drop leaves.

The typical juice-sucking insects can be an issue, but spider mite invasions are much more frequent. They can swiftly colonize a struggling Schefflera and prefer dry environments.

Warm-climate shrub Schefflera Arboricola, sometimes known as the Dwarf Umbrella Plant, has gained popularity as a hardy evergreen houseplant. Although this tropical plant can be clipped to remain compact, it can quickly reach the ceiling. They can survive various situations but prefer strong indirect light and moist soil.

The Arboricola is a dwarf variation of the Actinophylla, which grows even more quickly. In addition to the conventional all-green forms, there are variations with white or gold variegation. The Umbrella Plant occasionally loses leaves; however, persistent leaf loss typically points to poor growing circumstances or mishandled maintenance. If these issues are resolved, leaf loss is usually stopped; with the right care, the plant can soon produce new leaves.

The lowest leaves are typically more impacted. Be cautious that fallen leaves won’t usually come back in the same spot and may prematurely give the plant an “umbrella” appearance. Address leaf loss early if you want a bushier style.

What Are Remedies for Umbrella Plants Shedding Leaves? 

The remedies for umbrella plants shedding leaves are to fix the light, fix the water uptake, ensure the right temperature is maintained, prepping the soil, fertilization, humidity requirements, repotting, preventing infestation, avoiding drafts, and helping your plant acclimate to new conditions.

– Fix Light 

Move the plant away from the window a few feet if you notice scorching on the foliage, or improve its protection. When there is noon shade outside, the plant thrives.

A Schefflera can endure decreased light, but it must remain vigilant. For a while, the plant may suffer in low light before abruptly starting to produce leaves. Consider increasing their light if you need healthy new growth to prevent problems later.

– Fix the Water Uptake 

Reduce irrigation throughout the cooler months. Just enough water should be provided to keep the plant from drying out. Also, ensure the water is at room temperature because cold water can shock their roots. 

Always give the plant a thorough soak after a protracted drought. To ensure that the entire media has been wet, put a wooden chopstick or similar object into the soil. Umbrella plants or Schefflera thrive in under watered soil. Hydrating the houseplants once every 10 to 15 days will maintain them healthy and green in most households.

– Ensure the Right Temperature

Apart from that, umbrella plants can tolerate a wide variety of indoor temperatures and flourish best between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If they are stored next to a window, shield them from cold temperatures. In USDA Zones 9b–12, the plant can be cultivated all year round outdoors.

– Prep the Soil 

Peat helps to retain moisture but gradually breaks down into tiny particles that might cause the soil to become overly compact. The same is true of bark, compost, and other organic materials.

Umbrella Plant Dropping Leaves Cure

If the drainage is inadequate, salts and other toxins from fertilizer and highly mineralized tap water can accumulate in the soil and harm roots. Avoid only partially watering; always allow water to drain fully from the pot to remove any accumulation. Water it heavily once per month or two to keep the soil refreshed and fresh during the growing season. Also, make sure to make the tap water safe for your umbrella plant!

– Fertilization 

A Schefflera will respond to light feeding during the growing season if the plant is healthy. Once every month, a half-diluted dose of a balanced fertilizer helps to feed their growth. In the late fall and into the winter, stop feeding.

– Humidity Requirements 

Although humidifiers are fantastic, you may increase air moisture by placing water trays close to the plant. A typical option is to place a saucer filled with pebbles and water underneath a pot. Being a tropical plant, you can also maintain it by placing it in damp conditions, such as in a bathroom or kitchen, as long as you give it indirect light daily.

– Repotting

Some general advice for repotting to remember is:

  • It’s time to repot if you need to water your plants more than twice a week.
  • To avoid burning the new, delicate roots after repotting, wait a few weeks before fertilizing. Fresh soil typically contains enough nutrients.
  • As a Schefflera grows, its roots may protrude from the ground. Refrain from covering them with fresh soil. It can suffocate the plant.
  • Early in the growing season, repot the plant to give it time to recover.
  • Although it can be tempting, it’s best to wait until a plant has adjusted to its new environment before repotting it.

Cut just above the leaves with a pair of sharp pruners or a knife. Make cuts to separate denser bunches and level the appearance of the plant. Pruning a Schefflera plant carefully will stimulate it to spread out as well as up, giving it a thicker, bushier shape.

– Preventing Infestations 

An effective preventative approach is to clean the leaves. Particular attention should be paid to the undersides, where pests tend to congregate. If you notice an infestation, regular applications of horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps will help you eliminate it.

Leaf troubles can be brought on by fungus and leaf blight; misting may even help create the conditions in which they flourish. To dispose of diseased leaves safely, prune them.

– Avoiding Drafts 

Give your plant protection, or move the pot if it is directly in the path of an air current. Air currents can damage your plant, especially if you live in an area with strong currents. 

– Helping Your Plant Acclimate 

Strive to match the lighting conditions your Schefflera received before the move to reduce the problem. A specimen moving indoors for the winter should be placed in the area with the most light. The plant will quickly recover with the right care, and its new foliage will adapt to the new environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do Dropped Umbrella Leaves Grow Back?

Yes, the leaves can grow back after they have dropped – at least, new leaves will form. It’s normal for any plant to drop leaves but active shedding usually indicates a problem so you’ll have to investigate first to make sure it is not abnormal. Note that usually the bottom leaves are affected first. 

2. Why Are Umbrella’s Leaves Turning Brown then Yellow and Falling Off?

Your umbrella’s leaves are turning brown then yellow and falling off because of incorrect parameters. If your humidity is extremely low and the soil is too dry the leaves will start to turn brown on the edges and eventually turn yellow. Thereafter they fall off.

Umbrella Plant Dropping Leaves Thoughts


As the plant grows, the old leaves will inevitably fall off; therefore, an umbrella plant that is losing leaves may still be perfectly healthy. Usually, the leaf becomes yellow from the tips to the edges. While the trend can be slowed with the best treatment, aging will inevitably cause some loss – here are some things to remember:

  • Make sure you are watering your plant the right amount to avoid underwatering it and causing it to wilt or overwatering, which will lead to root rot.
  • Make sure you fertilize your plant sparingly because the umbrella plant does not require much food to stay healthy.
  • Maintain adequate humidity and temperatures because the umbrella plant thrives best in these conditions.
  • Keep your plant in an airy spot in direct, bright light to foster the best conditions for growing the umbrella plant.

Some leaf loss is always okay but stay on the lookout for any signs of a prolonged leaf dropping so you can make timely decisions and keep your plant safe from harm.
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