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QUESTION: What type of plant is this and how should I care for it?  I've killed two plants already because I didn't search out this information and I'm determined to never let that happen again! So sad!  Any help you can give me is deeply appreciated

ANSWER: David
Your plant is a schefflera plant...It could be a miniature variety called arboricola...It is hard to tell from the one picture you provided...
More than likely your main problem is improper watering technique...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, drainage, temps, etc.)...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 5-14 days...
Indoor plants also need to be fertilized on a weekly to monthly basis during the growing season...

Hope this helps...Let me know what you think about my solutions to your problems...
Good luck...
Rick in southern NJ



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Oh wow! I've never fertilized at all!  What should I use and, really? Every week?

Answer
Not necessarily once per week...Most indoor tropical plants require you to add fertilizer on a weekly to monthly basis during the growing season...You can just add it to the water you use to water your plants...It's important to replenish the nutrients in the soil...It could be the reason your plant looks malnourished...Visit your local garden center (not chain store) and see what they recommend for indoor house-plants...They will be happy to help you if you buy from them...Follow the directions on the fertilizer package to get the best results...
Also spray misting and humidity requirements will vary from plant to plant...Misting once or twice a week will help keep the plant clean. Overdoing it can cause mold and fungi 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.

Organizations
NJLANA

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

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