Finding the best way to encourage plants to grow can be tricky sometimes. Do you have a Schefflera growing in your garden that won't seem to branch and don't know what to do? Is there a way to promote branching manually? Luckily, we have the answer and will explain everything below.
If you want to promote branching on a Schefflera plant, you want to pinch the growth tip(s) every week or so. Doing this will encourage the new areas to form a branch rather than become stunted.
Furthermore, if you have a dwarf Schefllera, you may want to wrap wires around its branch base and manipulate it to grow outward.
As we begin, we will cover all things Schefflera and discuss how to get one to branch out. Whether you have various Schefflera in your yard or recently planted your first, we're here to offer some help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
Why Won't My Schefflera Branch Out?
For those with a Schefflera that won't seem to branch out, this could be due to its soil. Typically, this tree/shrub species needs nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil.
On top of that, Schefflera needs to drain well. So if the ground doesn't have enough open pathways for water to run off, you could have problems with its growth.
Schefflera's are also heavy feeders, meaning they take nutrients from their environment rather quickly, so be prepared to give them attention as needed.
Luckily, there are ways to get branches sprouting from your plant, so this shouldn't be a constant issue. All you need is some patience, good soil, and even a little wiring if you have a dwarfed variety.
Moreover, your plant could need more water or sunlight, so make sure to canvas the area before making any rash decisions.
How Can I Get A Schefflera To Branch?
Once you investigate the area and soil conditions around your Schefflera, it's time to form a plan. In general, you want to find new growth tips on your tree or shrub.
When you locate them (if any), start pinching them every few days. Although this may seem odd, the pinching will encourage your Schefflera to form branches and become stronger.
Consistency is critical here, so don't expect great results if you aren't on a schedule. For example, we recommend pinching your Schefflera's growth tips any time you water so you don't forget.
However, if your plant is drawrfed, you will need wiring. As we said, you can wrap this starting at the base of the growth tip and moving toward the end.
You will need to adjust this so the tip doesn't become damaged or die: so be careful. Think of this like Bonsai, except only on the growth tip rather than the entire base of your Schefflera.
It's also a good idea to fertilize your plant during this branching period to encourage better results in a faster period. Although mother nature is powerful, giving your Schefflera a boost can't hurt.
Kebinfen Bonsai Training Wire Kit
This wire kit works for branching Schefflera, comes with four-wire sizes, a wire cutter, won't rust, promises not to damage your tree, and has great reviews from customers.
What Can You Do To Fix A Leggy Schefflera Plant?
One of the best ways to fix a leggy Schefflera is to prune it. Although that can seem counterproductive, giving it a trim will help thicken its branches and even promote new growth tips to sprout.
Ideally, you want to do this every year, right before the growing season. For Schefflera, they tend to grow their most during April to September, so that's the best time for pruning.
Additionally, you might want to trim any leggy branches of your tree or shrub throughout the year. Like any plant, Schefflera doesn't always need to have so many leggy stems, sucking energy away from its base.
When a plant, regardless of species, has too many branches, it can lose essential nutrients. That can cause legginess and an overall unhealthy plant.
So to prevent this from occurring, try shaping your Schefflera, which will keep it full, healthy, and filled with branches.
With that said, many experts recommend placing a Schefflera in the sun outside after pruning. Doing this can speed up your plant's healing process, so it's a good idea.
Of course, don't do this unless the weather outside is nice, as a cold snap could kill your tree/shrub.
Can You Over-Prune A Schefflera?
Yes, it is possible to over-prune a Schefflera. As we covered above, the best time to trim Schefflera is during the spring or summer months.
Furthermore, you want to be careful with how much foliage you remove from your plant. Although a trim can be beneficial, chopping off entire sections of Schefflera can open the door for disease.
Usually, you only want to prune Schefflera where it is leggy. So if a branch (or many branches) droop outward and doesn't have many leaves, you can cut them back a bit.
That said, try not to cut it back too far because you don't want to lose it entirely.
How Much Sun Does Schefflera Need?
For those trying to find a spot for their Schefflera, you want to put it somewhere with plenty of sunshine. Ideally, a Schefflera should get around six hours of sun exposure every day.
That essentially means your plant needs full sun to thrive and grow. This can be especially important for branching and the health of a Schefflera tree or shrub, so the more sunlight, the better.
Even if you grow yours inside, make sure it's near a bright, warm window. If you have a patio, that may be the best option during the warmer months.
Regardless, Schefflera prefers warmth above all things, so whatever you do, don't plant it somewhere with minimal sun and heavy wind.
According to South Florida Plant Guide, Schefflera will grow faster and stronger in the sun, so that's another thing to consider.
Will A Schefflera Grow In Partial Shade?
Yes, a Schefflera will grow in partial shade. As we mentioned, this plant species prefer full sun exposure, but that's not to say you can't grow one in partial shade.
Typically, as long as Schefflera gets at least four hours of direct sun, it will be fine. However, if your tree/shrub doesn't get more than one or two hours of direct sunlight, it won't grow much.
For example, if your plant is under another large tree or blocked by a structure, you could see it become leggy. Your Schefflera may also have issues branching out, so again, location is vital.
If you have already planted your Schefflera in a semi-shaded location, there are some things you can do to help it grow and become stronger. This includes using well-rotted compost, leaf litter, or other organic amendments around your tree/shrub base.
Having as much nutrient-rich matter at the base of your plant will encourage it to grow bigger and fuller, even if the sun isn't always directly shining on it.
How Often Should You Fertilize Schefflera?
If you notice your Schefflera isn't growing quite as fast as you want, you can certainly try fertilizer. In general, you want to fertilize Schefflera during the spring and summer, every eight weeks or so.
According to Ambius, you can fertilize a Schefflera into the fall, up to twice a week if it's warm out. With that said, you don't need to do this constantly, as too many nutrients aren't always helpful.
Imagine drinking energy drinks every day, all day. You will end up crashing and feeling even worse than before. The same applies to plants and their fertilizer, as overdoing it can cause a lot of damage.
What Is The Best Type Of Fertilizer For Schefflera?
Now that you know when to fertilize Schefflera, it's essential to use the correct formula. Typically, this plant species does best with a balanced 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer.
You want to apply this fertilizer directly around the base of your Schefflera every month during the peak growing season. One of the main reasons liquid fertilizer works best for this species is that it seeps directly into the ground, making its way to the roots of your Schefflera.
Considering that your shrub or tree will be a heavy feeder, that can significantly affect how much nutrients your plant can absorb. Using a granular formula may still be fine, although it won't deliver the fertilizer to the roots as fast.
EZ-Gro 20-20-20 Liquid All Purpose Fertilizer
This fertilizer has a balanced 20-20-20 formula, works for shrubs and trees, uses high-grade ingredients, and comes in a 32-ounce bottle.
Is Schefflera Easy To Grow?
Overall, Schefflera is one of the easier plant species to grow and care for. Your plant will tolerate moderate to full sun exposure, so planting Schefflera is pretty simple.
Furthermore, you don't need to maintain Schefflera too often. As we covered, a monthly fertilizing during the spring-summer months can be helpful but is not required.
Also, Schefflera doesn't need too much water, so you don't have to worry about tending to it daily.
Whether you have multiple Schefflera growing in your yard or just planted your first, it's crucial to give it the right conditions. From what we found, you want to pinch the growth tips on a Schefflera shrub or tree to promote branching.
You can also use wiring to manipulate a given section of your smaller, dwarfed Schefflera, but remember to be careful. Additionally, make sure the soil your plant is in has tons of nutrients and is slightly acidic.
Regardless, don't be afraid to fertilize a Schefflera once per month during peak growing season, and remember to prune it every so often.
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