Indoor Schefflera Plant Losing Leaves

Hi Judy,

I hope you can help me, I don’t know what to do 🙁 4 months ago we purchased a beautiful schefflera tree for our house entry area. The entire time we’ve had it, it has consistently lost leaves at a slow rate, but has always produced new baby leaves – both seemed to cancel eachother out. But now, it’s losing lots of leaves and I don’t know what to do 🙁 Some things that may shed light on the problem.

1. The front door is never opened, we always use the garage so there’s no draughts.
2. We live in Colorado. The temperature indoors is pretty consistent – between 70-80 degrees.
3. The attached picture shows the amount of light the tree gets. The nursery we purchased it from have very knowledgeable staff and spent a lot of time helping us understand how to take care of it, and said the light would be enough.

Watering has been very confusing. All the other large plants in the house need watering every 3-4 days because our summers are hot, and they are near windows. But our tree… well, 2-3 weeks can go by and the temp sensor we bought shows the soil is always wet (3-4 or 4). It seems to take FOREVER to dry out and we’ve never experienced that before. Last month, for the entire month is showed it was 4 – wet. I became worried and gave it some water after that month, and now it’s worse and losing even more leaves.

I’d really, really appreciate any advice you can please give u.

Thank very very very much!


Hi Irini,

If the plant is losing green leaves it is over watered; if the plant is losing yellow leaves it needs more water.

Water sensors are not always reliable! The chemicals and salts in the soil can cause incorrect readings. When you water, water well enough so  that the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Then allow the top 25-30% of the soil to dry out before watering again.

Schefflera plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants

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