How to Prune an Umbrella Plant/Schefflera

I have an Umbrella Plant that I take care of at work. When my boss thinks it is getting too tall he wacks it down some. So I have 2 questions the first is what is the proper way to cuts these plants back and the second is on one side of the main stem there are no branches which makes it look a little strange. Is there anyway to encourage it to put on a branch. Thanks Terri

Hi Terri,

The plant looks very good, full and bushy.

If a Schefflera Plant loses its bottom leaves, becomes leggy, or just gets too big, don’t be afraid to aggressively prune the plant. When cutting back the thick stems or trunks of a Schefflera, make the cut a little above a plant node. New growth develops from the node. When just cutting off leaves that are in the way, you should cut at the base of the leaf stem. As far as encouraging new growth on the bare side of the main stem, here are a few tips that might help.

Be sure the bare side of the plant is facing bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. Make  small slits in the stem above any plant nodes you see. A plant node, also known as a leaf node or stem node, is the part of the plant that causes leaf growth. Nodes are located along the plant’s stem. Finding plant nodes is important to effective pruning  and also to regenerating new leaves. New stems and leaves should eventually grow out of these slits.