Why Are My Schefflera Leaves Turning Brown?

If you have a Schefflera plant, then you know that one of the most common problems is brown leaves. These plants are typically very healthy and robust, but sometimes they do not grow as well in certain environments. This blog post is going to discuss the reasons why your schefflera leaves may be turning brown!

Why Are My Schefflera Leaves Turning Brown? 

Your schefflera plant is turning brown as a result of overwatering or leaf burn. Overwatered leaves tend to be wet and droop, whereas burnt leaves will be very dry and crispy.

As a result of this, I’ll now go more in-depth into these reasons and what you can do to prevent them from recurring in the future.

Brown Schefflera Leaves from Too Much Water

Schefflera plants are tropical and love to be watered, however, they can’t handle being over-watered. If you notice your schefflera leaves turning brown and falling off, it is a sign that the plant was overwatered.

The roots of this type of plant do not grow very deep so if there’s too much water in the soil around them for long periods of time, then the roots are unable to breathe properly. This leads the plant turning brown and eventually dying.

It’s best to only give water to your schefflera when the top inch of the soil is dry. It’s also a good idea to check the saucer under your container for water that has collected there. If you see any, it is best to take out this excess water before watering; otherwise, the roots will again be deprived of oxygen and begin turning brown.

You can test the soil by sticking your finger around two inches deep; if the soil is dry, then you can water. Another option is to use a moisture meter, which offers the most accurate results.

How Can I Prevent Root Rot?

Root rot results from too much moisture around the roots and not enough drainage in the soil. As mentioned above, schefflera plants do not have deep root systems so they need well-draining soil; if their substrate does not drain properly, then root rot can occur!

You can fix root rot by first removing the plant from its pot, then taking off as much soil as you can without damaging the roots. Next, rinse the root system with a hose until all of the dirt has been removed and there is no more buildup around it.

Next, prune any rotten roots and discard them away from your plants. The final step is to re-pot your plant in a container of fresh soil that drains well.

Brown Schefflera Leaves from Too Much Sunlight

Apart from overwatering Schefflera plants, another common reason why your schefflera leaves are turning brown is that there’s too much sunlight hitting them for long periods of time.

If you notice this problem occurring in your home or office setting where they receive plenty of sunlight through a window all day, then consider moving the plant if possible!

Although Scheffleras can handle light well enough (just not direct sunlight), prolonged exposure will burn their thin leaves, which ultimately forces them to turn and fall off. It should be noted that plants placed near east or west-facing windows will receive light earlier and later in the day; which is fine for most scheffleras.

Brown Schefflera Plant FAQs

The schefflera can be a difficult plant to keep care of. As such, I will now cover some of the most frequently asked questions on brown schefflera leaves.

Will brown schefflera leaves turn green again?

No, it is unlikely for brown schefflera leaves to turn green again. The plant’s leaves are dead and should be removed. The good news is that new leaves will grow green again.

Should I remove brown leaves from my schefflera plant?

Yes, remove brown leaves that are dead. If you wish to remove them, then place your hand around the base of a leaf while gently pulling upwards; this should detach it from the stem fairly easily.

Will too much water cause my schefflera to turn brown?

Yes, if you keep overwatering your schefflera, then there will be too much moisture in the soil which can cause it to turn brown. If this is occurring, you will need to simplify your watering routine.

When I touch my schefflera plant, it seems like there is moisture on it?

It is likely that the leaf has been overwatered and there will be water on it. If this happens, you should let your plant dry out so the roots can breathe properly again.

Why does my brown schefflera have black spots?

The black spots are most likely the result of overwatering. Schefflera plants do not like to be wet for long periods of time! The brown spots usually indicate that a leaf spot has developed on the leaves, so be sure to apply neem oil (Amazon link) to prevent further spot development.

Will direct sun exposure cause my schefflera leaves to turn brown?

Yes, schefflera leaves can turn brown if exposed to direct sunlight. Scheffleras are not plants that require full sun, so place the plant in an area where it receives bright but indirect light instead.


In conclusion, there are a variety of reasons why your schefflera leaves turn brown. The most common reason is that they’re being overwatered or from receiving too much sunlight.

You can fix this problem by taking out any excess water from its substrate and re-potting the plant with fresh, well-drained soil. You also need to remember not to give too much direct sunlight on the foliage for long periods of time as this will burn them!

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If so, please do check out my other posts on these wonderful plants.

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