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Why are the leaves of my Schefflera turning yellow?

The leaves on your Schefflera could be turning yellow for a number of reasons, but don’t fret! We’ll get to the bottom of this.

schefflera plant


The most common cause of yellowing leaves among Scheffleras is improper soil moisture–in particular, overwatering. Only water your Schefflera when 50-75% of the soil volume is dry. In the winter, you can allow your plant to dry out a little more between waterings.

When you water your plant, make sure you provide enough water so that liquid flows from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and into the saucer. It’s extremely important to discard any excess water in the saucer, as your Schefflera will not respond well to “wet feet,” which causes the roots to rot and the eventual death of the plant.

Providing proper and consistent soil moisture is important in caring for a Schefflera. Alternating between bone dry and wet soil from ill-timed waterings can create stress and cause your Schefflera to yellow.

Your humidity level

While these plants do fine in normal household humidity, extremely low humidity and dry soil cause leaves to brown on their edges and eventually yellow. Mist, add a pebble tray, or place a humidifier nearby.

Improper Light

Generally, Scheffleras will thrive when placed in medium to bright indirect sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the foliage will burn. While Scheffleras can adapt to low light areas, their growth will slow. Too little light can result in yellowing leaves. Take note of the light your Schefflera is receiving and move accordingly. 


Weakened or stressed Scheffleras become more susceptible to insect infestations. Sap-sucking bugs like spider mites can drain your plant of moisture. This problem quickly manifests itself by yellowing leaflets and fronds. Scale, mealybugs, and spider mites occur frequently in indoor conditions. If not killed early on, these small pests proliferate and move all along frond parts into nooks and crannies. The piercing mouths of the insects exhaust your plant and accelerate yellowing, especially if your Schefflera is already unhealthy from poor lighting, a nutrient deficiency or improper soil moisture. 

Some yellowing is natural

Is your Schefflera pushing out new growth? If there is new growth on your plant and the yellowing leaves are older, particularly at the bottom of the plant, this yellowing is natural. Your plant sheds its old leaves and sends energy to new growth.

Need more help?

We're confident your Schefflera will be back to normal in no-time, but if you've followed the steps above and things just aren't improving you can contact us here.