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 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.