Repotting Umbrella Plant (Schefflera Plant) – Everything You Need to Know

Schefflera is commonly found in offices, homes, and other interior settings. These lovely houseplants are long-lived tropical specimens that are easy to grow and require little care. When the container is full, repotting a Schefflera is necessary.

In the wild, in-ground plants can grow to be 8 feet (2 metres) tall, but you can easily keep them smaller by tip pruning. Transplanting a potted Schefflera encourages new growth and maintains the root system’s health.


How Should a Schefflera Plant Be Repotted?

The roots of umbrella plants quickly outgrow the pot, which is why it needs periodic repotting to prevent root-bound issues. The plant should not only be repotted because its roots are confined but changing the soil makes sure the plant receives the nutrients it needs right away for healthy growth.

Here’s a quick guide on how to repot your favorite umbrella plants.

Before transplanting, fill an appropriate-sized pot with a well-drained potting mix, and then finish with a thorough watering.

Voila! Your newly potted umbrella plant or umbrella tree is prepared to enliven your room or workspace!

To avoid issues with root-bound plants, you should understand how big your plant could get. Do not be worried; this comprehensive guide will explain when, where, and how to repot your cherished umbrella plant.

Reasons to Repot a Schefflera Plant

Reasons to Repot a Schefflera Plant

Repotting is necessary for indoor houseplants like umbrella plants every few years to maintain healthy growth.

It grows very quickly and outgrows its container and the nutrients in the soil, making it an excellent tropical plant like the umbrella plant or the umbrella tree. Repotting will therefore give it new soil and more room for roots to spread out.

Here are the two main justifications for repotting your umbrella plant.

1. To address excessive root binding

Although umbrella plant thrives in root-bound environments, excessive root binding stunts the plant’s development.

Repotting it into a bigger container will ensure that the roots spread out more for the proliferation of foliage and guard against damage and root system decay.

Consider repotting your plant every two years and trimming the roots to promote the development of feeder roots that quickly absorb nutrients from the soil.

2. To Replace Depleted Soil

Every few years, the potting soil may naturally lose soil nutrients and microbes (including bacteria, actinomycetes, and fungi). Your umbrella plant will receive new soil enriched with microbes if you repot it every few years or simply switch out the potting medium for a new one. Additionally, it will provide the plant with ideal growing circumstances!

When Should an Umbrella Plant Be Replanted?

The best time to repot it into a new container is in the spring because it will benefit from the growing season and climate. During the growing season, fertilizing once a week and repotting in the spring ensure that the plant receives fresh soil that is immediately enriched with nutrients and soil microbes.

The best time to trim roots is in the spring. It will promote the development of feeder roots, which quickly absorb nutrients. You can repot your umbrella plant every two years to promote feeder root growth or replace depleted soil, depending on its size and rate of growth.

Repotting in the early spring will help the plant roots take root in the new soil and flourish for an additional 6 to 8 months of the growing season.

What Size Pot Should I Use for a Schefflera Plant?

What Size Pot Should I Use for a Schefflera Plant?

To allow for adequate drainage and space for the roots to grow, the umbrella plant needs to be placed in the right pot or container.

Select a pot that is a few inches wider than the one you just used. Consider choosing a pot with a 14-inch diameter if your current pot is 12-inches in diameter. To ensure a balanced soil-to-root ratio, make sure the pot is roughly the same size as the roots.

You can use pots with a diameter of less than 18 cm (10 inches) when the plant’s root system is minimal during the first few years. Use larger and heavier containers as the plant grows taller and develops a deep root system. 

If you are worried about lifting heavier containers or enormous plants that outgrow their container, think about repotting the umbrella plant in the same pot.

Pro tip: To keep the plant from toppling over as it gets taller, use a pot that is heavier.

Here are some of the pot options.

Resin, Ceramic Pot (5-10 gallon)Is less durable but comes in great styles and does not hold water. 
Terracotta Pot (5-10 gallons)Makes sure that water and air are flowing freely but is prone to algae growth
Plastic pots (5-10 gallons)While retaining excess moisture, prevent the growth of microorganisms.
Clay Pots (5-10 gallons)Ensure a good level of absorption but may break easily.

Which Soil Type Is Required for Schefflera Plants?

A well-draining potting mix should be used instead of regular garden soil when planting or repotting umbrella plants. These plants prefer rich, moist potting mixtures with loosely packed, pH-balanced soil (6.0 to 6.5).

As a result, be sure to purchase a potting medium that is suitable for indoor plants and use it each time you repot an umbrella plant. In just a few simple steps, you can create your own commercial mix at home or purchase one from the market.

1. Commercial Potting Mix

The umbrella plant benefits greatly from the use of commercial potting soil because it offers the ideal pH and soil conditions for the growth of the roots and foliage. Pick a potting mix that is simple to water and doesn’t contain compost or bark, which promotes the growth of fungus.

For your cherished plant, use Miracle-Gro® Indoor Potting Mix, which can go up to a month or six weeks without fertilizer.

Use the same potting mix each time you repot an indoor plant like the umbrella plant to prevent soil compaction.

2. Made-at-Home Potting Mix

As an alternative, you can quickly make your own potting mix at home. Vermiculite, perlite, and Sphagnum peat moss are the main components of potting soil. Its pH is naturally acidic, ranging from 3.5 to 4.5.

Here’s how to make a wholesome potting mix for the umbrella plant at home.

  • Add 1 part moistened sphagnum moss and 1 part garden soil.
  • Include 1/2 part perlite
  • Include 1/2 part vermiculite
  • In case the mixture is too dense, add some coarse sand.
  • Using a DIY soil test pH kit, check the soil’s acidity level to ensure it is appropriate.
  • To balance the pH of the soil, add 1/4 part of finely ground calcite or dolomitic limestone.
  • Finally, add fertilizer to the potting mix to add the necessary nutrients. Use dependable plant food, such as Espoma 5-3-3 Plant Tone and Earth Premium Gold.

After repotting the umbrella plant, don’t forget to water the mixture and drain any extra water. When preparing a homemade potting mix, use the batch as soon as possible. If storage is required, put the mixture in a sealed plastic bag and keep it in a cool, dry location.

Read More: About How to Choose Best Soil for Schefflera Plant

How Should a Schefflera Plant Be Repotted?

Repotting makes sure the root has space to develop and remain healthy. Don’t forget to pick up your trowel, gloves, pruning shears or scissors, pots, and a small container—essential gardening tools—ahead of time.

Here are six quick steps for repotting your prized plant without the need for any special equipment or methods.

Step 1: Assess the Need for Repotting

Start by keeping an eye out for indications that your plant requires a new pot or new soil. When a plant is root-bound, you can see the root tips poking through the soil’s surface or the drainage hole. Purchase a new pot that is 2 inches bigger than the old one. Look for indications of stalled or slowed plant growth when considering a soil change. 

It might take place if the soil becomes deficient in nutrients and necessary microbes, or if the roots become crowded. To make sure the feeder root receives vital nutrients right away, the umbrella plant needs soil changes every two years as well as root pruning.

Step 2: Look for the underlying issues

Detangle the tangled tentacles and inspect the roots before transplanting them into a new pot. Remove the plant from its current container with care, and then submerge the entire root system in water to loosen it up.

After untangling the roots with a clean fork, chopsticks, or fingers, look for any obvious indications of a root issue, such as brownish roots or roots that smell like they’ve been blacked. The rest will be removed, but the strong, white, healthy roots will remain!

Step 3: Trim the Roots

Remove any dead or extra roots. Pruning the roots makes sure that they do not quickly outgrow the new pot. Start by cutting off any blackened, dark, or brownish dead roots. To remove them, use a shear that has been disinfected.

Before trimming a root for proliferation, first, clean your shear. Then, cut thread roots but leave taproots alone. The longer, more extensive taproots remain attached to the plant. Trim the thread roots by no more than one-third.

Step 4: Put the potting mix together

Either your homemade potting medium or a potting mix of the highest quality should be used to fill the new pot. Please thoroughly rinse the potting mix or break up the soil with your hands or a spoon before adding it to the pot. 

Remember to put on gloves, preferably plastic ones. Place the potting mix into the pot up to halfway using the trowel or your hands; do not pat it yet.

Note: To ensure a well-drained and well-aerated potting mix, the Schefflera potting soil should contain the right amount of sphagnum peat, vermiculite, and perlite.

Step 5: Plant in the New Pot

The roots should not touch the pot when the plant is in the pot; instead, gently press the roots into the potting soil. It will be possible for the root to grow downwards if there is room between it and the pot floor.

Next, gradually add potting mix around the plant until it reaches the same soil level as the original plant. Firmly pat the soil around the plant’s base. With disinfected pruning shears, remove any extra leaves, including yellowing or browning ones.

Step 6: Water the plant

After repotting, give the plant a good start by giving it a good soak. Allowing the topsoil to dry out by half an inch in between waterings, you can resume your previous watering schedule after a week.

Bravo! Your plant has been successfully replanted.

For a few weeks, keep an eye out for any significant changes in your plant. Within a few weeks, the replanted plant should begin to spread. However, you should be aware that your plant is experiencing transplant shock if you observe slowed growth or yellowing umbrella plant leaves.

Note: Since the fresh potting mix already incorporates a few nutrients and microbes necessary for the replanted plant, you shouldn’t fertilize your plant just yet.

Also Check: Umbrella Plant Watering Guide

Words of Wisdom for Caring For a Repotted Umbrella Plant


Repotting and trimming the roots can be difficult on a plant, especially if it is frail or damaged and needs some time to heal. For a few weeks, give the newly replanted plant extra attention, and wait to fertilize it until it is established.

Here are some helpful hints for taking care of your replanted umbrella plant.

1. Prevent Transplant Shock

Plants that were improperly repotted or handled harshly during the process frequently experience transplant shock. Plant stress, also referred to as transplant shock, could result from it.

Here are a few methods for preventing transplant shock when you repot your plant.

  • Only pot up the umbrella plant in the springtime when it is blooming.
  • Transplanting should be avoided in the fall and winter unless the plant has serious diseases like root rot or a severe nematode infestation.
  • To prevent a change in soil type, use the same potting mix as before.
  • Before changing the soil, don’t forget to water the root.
  • To guarantee that the plant receives the same temperature and lighting conditions, place it in the same spot as before.
  • Although trimming is necessary when repotting, take care when handling them. Use sharp pruning shears to cut thread roots; avoid shaking, twisting, or roughhousing the roots.

Pro Tip: In the event of transplant shock, water the soil with a mild sugar and water mixture to help the soil recover from uprooted roots.

2. Make Appropriate Watering Available

To keep the soil moist after repotting, water the plant thoroughly. Wait a week before watering the trimmed roots again because they are still alive but vulnerable to damage from excessive watering.

You can resume your regular watering schedule after a week. Throughout the spring and summer, give 1-1.5 liters of water once a week. Make sure the top 12 inches of soil are completely dry between waterings, and during the spring and summer, don’t forget to mist the leaves a few times a week to maintain the right humidity.

To catch extra water that has drained from the pot drainages, use a pot saucer, and then discard it.

Pro tip: Only water once every two weeks in the fall and winter. Depending on the state of the soil, give less water than 1 liter.

3. Offer Sufficient Lighting

To ensure that the newly potted plant receives the same lighting conditions as before, place it in the same location. Place them close to the light source in the room because umbrella plants prefer bright indirect sunlight for at least four hours each day.

They can survive in lower light levels and in direct sunlight, but they would struggle with rapidly turning yellow plant leaves. To keep it looking even on all sides, turn your plant once a month. To make up for less sunny days, use growth lights, such as fluorescent or LED lighting ranging from 15 to 25 watts.

Also Check: Umbrella Plant Light requirements

4. Maintain a Proper Temperature

The umbrella plant prefers mild temperatures and low humidity, but it despises excessive moisture. To promote the growth of new feeder roots and foliage, keep the newly potted plant at an appropriate temperature.

Despite the change in weather, make sure the temperature is between 65° and 80°F during the day and 60° or higher at night. It is preferable to use plant covers like plastic sheets, drop cloths, and bedsheets to protect the plant from cold draughts if you reside in an area where the temperature falls below 50oF.

When temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, think about putting your plant in the shade and misting it more frequently.

5. Provide an Appropriate Level of Humidity

The umbrella plant prefers a little humidity. To make the plant look new after repotting, keep the humidity levels slightly high, in the range of 65 to 80%, around it.

To increase the humidity in the room naturally, invest in a good air humidifier or set up a few houseplants. Alternately, mist your plants’ leaves occasionally to raise the humidity, but be sure to dry them off afterward to avoid fungus growth.

6. Provide Plant Fertilizer

Before fertilizing your repotted umbrella plant, wait no more than six weeks. There should be enough macronutrients and trace minerals in the new potting soil to support the growth of the roots and foliage.

Once you begin fertilizing, choose an organic liquid fertilizer with ideal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) ratio, such as Miracle-Gro® Indoor Plant Food. For regular plant feeding, use a balanced liquid fertilizer with an NPK 5-2-3 ratio, such as Monstera Plant Food.

7. Control Pests Issue

Freshly replanted plants rarely experience pest issues until they are exposed to environments that encourage pest infestation. To control pest issues, you can either rely on appropriate pesticides or a homemade remedy like rubbing alcohol or soapy water. The list of pests that might invade your umbrella plant is provided below.

If the infestation is mild, simply pick and remove spider mites. To get rid of particularly bad infestations, wipe the plant with a homemade solution of soapy water or rubbing alcohol. To get rid of a scale infestation and early aphids, use the same technique. 

If the infestation continues, you might want to use the suggested pesticides to get rid of the aphids and scales on your umbrella plant.

8. Manage Fungal Illnesses

If a newly potted plant is overwatered or kept in a damp, moist environment, the fungus may grow there. This could include the powdery mildew that develops on the leaves and stems or the root rot fungus. By moving your plant to a warmer location, the fungus growth might be reduced. 

Take it outside and give it a thorough wash with a multipurpose fungicide for a more serious infestation. A homemade fungicide can also be made by combining two teaspoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of mild soap in a liter of water, and then spraying it on infected plants.

9. Trim the Plant

However, until a month before the plant fully recovers, avoid trimming any parts of the umbrella plant. You can trim the plant when it becomes crowded or scraggly. 

Trimming can be avoided in the spring and summer, and should only be resumed in the winter, when the plant goes dormant, by pruning only as needed.

Cut just above the growth node in any areas that seem lanky. Cut a stem with no leaf growth that is lanky. Leave about six inches of it after trimming. Old, dying leaves or stems should be removed next.


The umbrella trees may not exhibit transplant shock symptoms for a few days and will require a few weeks to recover completely. Make sure the plant receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight during this time, and refrain from moving or feeding it.

The majority of the time, your plant will start to show new growth after about a month and will be sufficiently recovered to move around and/or resume its regular feeding schedule.


It is very simple for both experienced and novice gardeners to repot an umbrella plant or tree, but it could take weeks before your plant begins to grow.

To properly repot and care for your plant, be patient and follow the above instructions and suggestions. By keeping an umbrella plant in your home or place of business, you can help keep your surroundings healthy and toxin-free by removing airborne pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and toluene.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any tricks regarding proper plant repotting. Happy gardening!

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  • Vaishnavi

    Vaishnavi is a student of organic chemistry. She is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic gardener who enjoys sharing plant information and ideas. She also enjoys writing inspirational poems. She portrays her love for plants and nature through her poems.

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