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I have this schefflera which is growing pretty well. When I got it a year ago it was half this size, and I don't fertilize much. But I don't want it to become too high. I'd like it to grow lateral stems instead of just one long stem reaching for the ceiling.

I read that in order to split the main stem and make new branches, I should cut the plant at the top, juste below the most recent growths. So my questions are:

  • Do you think I can do this now or should I wait some more?
  • Where exactly should I cut if I want to maximize the probability of making new branches?

If this helps, here is a picture of the top of the plant. As you can see, there is a group of three new growths within 1cm. The next one is about 1cm below.

enter image description here

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Cut above a leaf node with sharp, clean secateurs wherever you want the height to be - you can root the bit you cut off in a bottle of water stood on a windowsill. In my own experience, having had the green version of this plant for about 30 years, and having cut the top off many times, they never produce two new stems from where you cut, they just continue to grow upwards, but perhaps you'll get a different result.

I now have this variegated version too - it has two main stems, but only because I rooted the top parts off someone else's plant and then potted up the two cuttings in the same pot once they had developed roots.

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