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House Plants/Schefflera Rooted in Water..Now What?



Hi Will.

I had a huge spindly indoor Schefflera Plant for 10 years, with leaves only at the top of the stalks.  I thought it may be root bound, so I repotted it, and I cut it back to about 2 feet, and assummed that the roots were healthy since it was still producing new leaves.

It gradually dropped the few leaves left at the bottom portion of the plant.  I was left with only one healthy piece of only 2 new leaves on 2 small jointed stems. I put the jointed leaves into a shot glass, and it now has 7 roots that are whitish in color, little over 1 inch, and it has just produced a new stem with a tiny leaf in the center of the two jointed stems.  This is very small.. It is such a sentimental plant.  I gave it to my husband before we married when his mother passed away, and we named it Lillian for his mother's name.  Sounds crazy, but I noticed the new small sprout has one of the 5 leaves in the shape of a heart.  I don't want to lose it, but I'm afraid, and don't know what to do, or when to actually plant it. The rooting process has taken well over a month.  I have attached a few pictures.  Can you please help????  Cathy

Hi Cathy,

I know it probably seems like a long time to you, but to have that much root growth in a month is a good sign. There is no rush to move your rooted Schefflera cutting, but it can be moved to a pot with soil anytime after you have several roots at least an inch long.

Use a small pot no larger than the glass it is now in. Make sure the pot has a drain hole and use a porous, soil-less, peat-based potting mix. Cover the bottom inch of the pot with damp potting mix. Then, hold the rooted cutting over the center of the pot so that the roots are touching the soil in the bottom and fill in the rest of the pot with the damp potting mix while you hold it upright. Tamp the potting mix down firmly so that the cutting stays upright. Then, water the soil until some water runs through.

Keep your Schefflera close to a sunny window. Water it whenever the top quarter of the soil feels barely damp. Be patient and allow the rooted cutting to completely fill the pot with roots before moving it into a pot that is one size larger. Do NOT rush this process.

I have written detailed articles on propagation 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.

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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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