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House Plants/Schoffield plant


QUESTION: This man gave me this large plant, very temperamental now I moved and it likes this one window facing south on the west side of my house, but because it has grown higher and in different angles, the one side doesn't get any light, and the side besides the window the leaves are turning yellow. I transplanted it once into a bigger pot, when I moved into my new house in Iowa. But now, some of the branches are about 7 ft tall and my house is only 9 ft tall. How can I keep this plant happy, I read that separating it into three plants or more isn't a great ideal. It has about 23 branches already and the leaves are full.

ANSWER: Hi Kathy,

I believe your plant is a Schefflera. However, there are two varieties that are commonly used indoors and I don't know which you have.

If you post a photo here or email me a photo that shows the entire plant, including its pot, I will be able to identify the plant and also better understand what the issue is and how I can best help you.

Best regards,
Will Creed

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QUESTION: Here is a pictures of it, I love it but it is a feisty plant, very picky. Please help, if I change it again, it will be in a large planter, wide and tall is limited. The one branch is over 7 ft tall and it is still growing except for the leaves that look like they were sun burned.

Hi Kathy,

Your plant is a Schefflera arboricola. It looks healthy enough, but it is badly overgrown because it has never been pruned. Pruning is not at all complicated and it can be done at any time. It will not harm the plant at all. However, it will alter its appearance.

Any stem can be pruned back to any length. Just bear in mind that new growth will emerge on the pruned stem just below where you make the pruning cut. Thus, you control where the new growth comes in as well as the overall size and shape of the plant. Use sharp pruners and just start cutting as many stems as far back as you can stand. The hardest part is getting yourself to just do it!

If you keep it well pruned it will never need a larger pot.

Be sure to rotate the pot so that all sides get equal exposure to the window light. Yellowed leaves can be trimmed off.

I have written detailed articles on pruning and on Schefflera care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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