False Aralia Losing Leaves

This plant is losing leaves like crazy. They are drying up, turning black and falling off. I don’t know what plant is called. How do I restore it to health

Hi Laurie,

Schefflera elegantissima
False Aralia
Dizygotheca elegantissima

Your plant is called a false aralia (Dizygotheca elegantissima also called a schefflera elegantissima or spider aralia)

False aralia houseplants like to stay in one place. Moving it to a new location can cause leaf drop.  Low humidity is another cause of leaf drop as is temperatures below 60°F (15.6°C). You may want to set the plant on a tray of wet pebbles (be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water) or place a small humidifier next to it to increase the humidity. Here are some plant care tips for a false aralia plant (schefflera elegantissima).

Light: Likes 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., but no direct sun.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity is important for a False Aralia.

Water: Keep the soil barely moist but never soggy. Water well, until the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Allow the top 1″-2″ of soil to dry out before watering again. Wilted leaves usually mean the plant is over-watered. The plant loses leaves if the soil is too wet or too dry. During the winter, when the plat is resting, allow the soil to dry out more before watering.Temperature: False Aralias like warm temperatures between 65-85°F, 18-29°C. If the temperature dips below 60 degrees, a False Aralia may lose leaves.

fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in the spring and summer when it is actively growing with a well balanced liquid plant food. Feed a in the fall and winter. Always dilute the plant food to 1/2 the recommended strength.

Temperature: Warm temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). If the temperature dips below 60°F (15.6°C) a false aralia may drop leaves.

You can read all my care tips in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.