Why a False Aralia (Spider Aralia) Loses Leaves

We have a false aralia that is having leaf drop issues at the top but with new growth at top and bottom. We adjusted watering and location to no avail and aren’t sure what to try next. Thanks

Hi Erik,

Learn to identify a False aralia or Spider Aralia, and learn why it loses leaves.
False Aralia
Schefflera elegantissima

Sadly, there are several reasons why a False Aralia loses leaves.

The plant loses leaves if the soil is too wet or too dry. Keep the soil barely moist but never soggy. When you water, 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.  During the winter, when the plant is resting, allow the soil to dry out more before watering.

These plants like 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. Is it near an air conditioner?

Aralias require moderate to high humidity. If the air is too dry, a False Aralia loses leaves.

If the plant drops so many leaves that it looks  thin, you can aggressively prune it back in the spring to help it become bushier

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