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House Plants/Too tall Schefflera


Will, we have a relatively healthy single trunk Schefflera that has grown to 9 feet.  Some leaves at the bottom are beginning to turn brown and fall off while the top seems very healthy with new growth.  It sits on an outdoor covered porch except when it gets very cold (Coastal SC).  Can the plant be trimmed to 4 or 5 feet in height and develop new growth at that level?

Hi Dan,

The short answer is yes, it can be pruned back to your preferred height and it will generate now growth at that point and grow upward from there. The top section, cut back to a length of 2-3 feet or less can be propagated at the base of the plant or in its own small pot.

It is quite normal for indoor plants to lose older, lower leaves as they add new growth on top. Regular pruning is the only solution for controlling excessive height and lower leaf loss.

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.

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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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