I have a large schefflera at my work place. I have been given the honor of caring for all the office plants. That's after the last guy half killed some of them. I already lost one and he jokingly said he was going to have to write me up over it.
They were all plants that I'd never dealt with before and this one has been around since the company started down here 20 or 30 years ago, from what I've been told. I'm loath to be the one to kill it, but I think something needs to be done.
Firstly, I think the soil is holding too much water. I don't know it's make-up, but it will still be wet just below the surface after a week. I've been letting it dry out down 2-3 inches over 2-3 weeks. By dry out, I mean not bone dry, but dry enough. I give it a good amount of water when I water it, but I don't try to drown it. I'm thinking it might do better if I repoted it in a lighter mixture, like non-water retaining soil mixed with some orchid bark and perlite for drainage. I don't know when if ever it's been repoted and I haven't fertilized it in the few months I've been caring for it.
One issue it has is that a lot of the leaves curl slightly. By this, I mean like if you laid a piece of computer paper over your arm and it curls downward. It's not wrinkled or anything, the sides of the leaves just droop down. It has put out a few new "branches" for lack of a better term and they aren't curled at all. The old leaves has something whitish on them that I assumed was dust. It might have been, but with the effort it took to get off with a damp paper towel, I suspect that at some point, someone sprayed leaf shine on it.
I haven't seen a noticeable change since cleaning the leaves. Today is my watering day. My question is what should I do to ensure the tree's survival. It seems to be fairly healthy. It's putting out new shoots up top. It's bare up most of the trunk, but it is putting out new growth near the bottom. It's in a low light situation, but is situated between two tall skinny windows. I don't want to repot it if it's weak, but I'm not sure it'll get stronger if I don't. I suspect some of the roots may be rotting because the potting soil is holding so much water. What should I do with it? Thanks.
I'll post some pictures if I can this afternoon when I water it. It's located in the presidents office, so I can't just start walking in and shooting pictures. I don't have the option of moving it either. We don't have any spot that has any better lighting than that anyway. Thanks.
Bamboo, as you can see, it doesn't have a tray where the excess water can run out, but I do have the other plants, which do, tuned to where barely any water runs out the bottom. I use those judgments when watering this one. It's another reason I want to repot.