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Thu Dec 15, 2011, 03:06 PM

I'm afraid to cut my schefflera back.

I've read much of the advice around the net over the years, so I know it's a hardy plant that will bounce back quickly, but there are two things holding me back.

The first thing is timing. I've been told to do it around now, when the days are short; but I've read that it's best to do it during the summer, because the longer days will help it grow back more easily. Any idea which of these is actually correct?

The other thing is that when I bought it, it had already been cut back, so it has terminated stalks about 4-5" above the soil, and branches coming off the sides of those that go up nearly 4' now. I'm worried about where to cut it so that it is more likely to develop side-shoots in a direction that will end up with a nice-looking plant rather than a lopsided or oddly-shaped one. I was very careful about cutting my rosebushes (when I had them) above certain leaf buds, in order to train the bushes the way I wanted, but I don't recognize any such clues on this plant.

Could someone here please offer some helpful advice?

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Reply I'm afraid to cut my schefflera back. (Original post)
redqueen Dec 2011 OP
Denninmi Dec 2011 #1
redqueen Dec 2011 #2

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 04:02 PM

1. I agree with the thought of waiting until spring.

Last edited Thu Dec 15, 2011, 05:34 PM - Edit history (1)

It will grow faster then.

As to where to cut it -- the plant doesn't care, you can basically take off the majority of it if you want to.

I think what you need to do is to be careful to pinch out the tips of the new growth several times when those shoots get to be about 4 to 6 inches long. That way, rather than a few long, straight shoots that will want to flop over, it will branch into several each time you pinch it. That will make it more full and compact in the long run.

Finally, remember that schefflera shoots root pretty easily in water or in soil with a rooting powder -- you can cut up and root the trimmings, and then replant them in the same pot to make it even more full and bushy -- I do this with that type of plant quite often. They wont' all root, but if you do it right, most will.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 15, 2011, 04:34 PM

2. Thanks!

I'd be happy to wait until spring. I'm in no hurry to cut it back at all despite knowing it has to be done. It's a little lanky, but I still like the bigness.

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