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Question
I have a sheffalera plant..and the leaves are falling off, several everyday. The tips turn black, some of the leaves turn completely black, some of the leaves have brown spots on the leaves, some have tiny black spots on the back of leaves.

Please help...I also have a small one in the same room ...I have other plants in the house,,don't want this to spread if it a fungal disease.

What would be good to spray it with? Perhaps Neem oil?

I have sprayed it with an alcohol/baking soda mixture,,,,dish soap/water mixture...nothing works.

Thank you Christeen

Answer
christeen
1st check closely for any bugs on the under side of the leaves...It is probably not a bug problem but it doesn't hurt to rule that out 1st...If you see a fine webbing it could be spider mites...Leaves get a mottled appearance when they are present...Brown spots could be scale insects...Put a leaf with spots (or other unknown problem) on the underside in a plastic bag, seal it and visit your local garden center...You may have to go to more than one to find someone knowledgeable...Let them look at it to ID the problem...Quiz them on schefflera plant care while there...
If you find bugs wash the plant foliage off thoroughly with a hose sprayer...Then spray the foliage with a safer soap insecticide that you can buy at the garden center...Many times home-made remedies do more harm than good...Ask the garden center people what they recommend spraying for your problem...
Normally when a plant starts to yellow or drop leaves it is because it has been moved into a less light situation...It can also be caused by not being fertilized on a regular basis...Indoor plants need to be fertilized on a weekly to monthly basis during the growing season...
More than likely your main problem is improper watering technique...Water by weight...Put a saucer under the pot, water it and let the plant sit in the excess water for 5-10 minutes... After that time pour off any excess water in the saucer and pick up the pot...It should feel heavy...Don't water again until it feels considerably lighter in weight...Indoors check it every 5-10 days...Plants usually die from too frequent waterings, not from too much water at one time...Watering frequency depends on many factors(pot size, sun exposure, wind, day temps, etc.)...
Hope this helps...Let me know what you think about my solutions to your problems...
Good luck...
Rick in southern NJ

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Richard Hern

Expertise

I can answer many common garden center/greenhouse houseplant questions such as , proper care, propagation of, pest problems, identification, growing mediums, construction, etc. & many more..

Experience

I currently manage a private 16 acre estate. i am in charge of the general maintenance of buildings and i supervise the landscape maintenance staff. i teach landscape/horticulture evening classes for a community college in NJ. I taught landscape/horticultural classes for a NJ vocational high school for 5 years. prior to that I owned & operated a landscape/garden center facility for 20 + years. My experience is in commercial & residential sales & care of houseplants as well as landscaping.

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NJLANA

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BS degree in Zoology (Entomology)
Certified landscape/horticulture teacher NJ

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