Shefflera plant -help!

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Hi everyone
I am at a loss as to what to do with my plant.
I first got it in 2020 (windowsill size) and over the past 3 years it has steadily grown and ive never had a problem with it until about 6 months ago when it's leaves started to turn yellow and drop off. It was out growing its pot so I bought a huge pot (with a hole at the bottom) hoping that would sort it but it's still losing its leaves. I don't over water it. I desperately dont want all the leaves to die as I spent so long growing it. Any advice would be welcome! Thank you!
 

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Hi @DianaB , I think the answer to your problem may be in the word ''huge'' This plant is definitely more tolerant of dry compost than wet. If when you re-potted it into a HUGE pot, you would quite likely have a fair bit of compost all around the roots that would stay wet for longer than needed, and this would possibly cause the yellowing leaves as the roots could get too much moisture. In any case it is always best to increase the size of the pot very slowly. A lot of plants prefer to keep their feet nice and tight and secure.
I would take it out of the huge pot if I were you and have a good look at the root system - that way you may be able to see the problem more clearly. and re-pot in the most appropriate way. Take off the yellow leaves, keep it fairly dry for the rest of the winter, and feed it up and water it well again at the beginning of the growing season in the spring when it will very likely grow some nice new leaves for you. Good luck.
 
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Hi @DianaB , I think the answer to your problem may be in the word ''huge'' This plant is definitely more tolerant of dry compost than wet. If when you re-potted it into a HUGE pot, you would quite likely have a fair bit of compost all around the roots that would stay wet for longer than needed, and this would possibly cause the yellowing leaves as the roots could get too much moisture. In any case it is always best to increase the size of the pot very slowly. A lot of plants prefer to keep their feet nice and tight and secure.
I would take it out of the huge pot if I were you and have a good look at the root system - that way you may be able to see the problem more clearly. and re-pot in the most appropriate way. Take off the yellow leaves, keep it fairly dry for the rest of the winter, and feed it up and water it well again at the beginning of the growing season in the spring when it will very likely grow some nice new leaves for you. Good luck.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!
I guess my reason for putting it in a huge pot was because the roots seemed to be getting quite wild and very long. What should healthy roots look like? I will definitely take it out and check the level of moisture and look at getting a slightly smaller pot.
I should add the leaves were turning yellow in its small pot but the roots were quite visible and escaping!
Thanks again
 
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Amazing, I was fancying getting a potted fruit tree and wondered about pot size. That led to an RHS article on 'Overpotting'. Compost holds water and then it is cold and heavy, better to go up in small stages each year and not overwhelm it. I reckon Tetters has hit the nail pretty square on the head.
 
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Praise indeed Oliver, thank you for that :shame:

Diane, When you look at the roots, it will be very apparent if they are rotten, and they can get a bit smelly as well. If in fact they seem very tight and dry, they may have the opposite problem. If the plant was VERY overdue for potting on, it might be the case that the water you gave it didn't actually get a chance to get through to the centre of the root ball. If this was the case, the root inspection will certainly let you know.
The fact that the leaves were already yellowing might possibly indicate LACK of water, and indeed any given nutrients fed to it.
Removing the yellow leaves will make it look better anyway, and loosening the root a bit with your fingers would help when putting it in its new (slightly) bigger pot.
If this IS the case, I would be tempted to give it a good soak out of the pot, and some nice new compost too. After this, leave it in a nice bright spot to get as much light as possible. Don't forget that plants do not enjoy central heating, so it needs to be away from radiators - a north facing aspect might help. If it IS very dry, it might also help if you give the foliage a bit of a spray to increase the humidity.
It will be interesting to know how you get on 🙂
 
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Praise indeed Oliver, thank you for that :shame:

Diane, When you look at the roots, it will be very apparent if they are rotten, and they can get a bit smelly as well. If in fact they seem very tight and dry, they may have the opposite problem. If the plant was VERY overdue for potting on, it might be the case that the water you gave it didn't actually get a chance to get through to the centre of the root ball. If this was the case, the root inspection will certainly let you know.
The fact that the leaves were already yellowing might possibly indicate LACK of water, and indeed any given nutrients fed to it.
Removing the yellow leaves will make it look better anyway, and loosening the root a bit with your fingers would help when putting it in its new (slightly) bigger pot.
If this IS the case, I would be tempted to give it a good soak out of the pot, and some nice new compost too. After this, leave it in a nice bright spot to get as much light as possible. Don't forget that plants do not enjoy central heating, so it needs to be away from radiators - a north facing aspect might help. If it IS very dry, it might also help if you give the foliage a bit of a spray to increase the humidity.
It will be interesting to know how you get on 🙂
Many thanks for your advice! Yes I suspect it had become dehydrated in the small pot....it took me a while to get around to sorting it out so I do hope the roots aren't permanently scarred from their ordeal 🥴 Hopefully I shall find time this week to do an inspection - will keep you posted! 😁
 

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