Is it recommended to rotate the pot of a plan (arboricola dazzle) in order to force her to grow leaves and branches on both sides?

The plant naturally lost the leaves of that side because not enough light on the inside side of the plant. My wife wants to rotate the pot but I think it will lose leaves faster than it will grow other leaves on the part that had no leaves but it is now facing the window.

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and the back side facing the light after being rotated for the first time in 3 years

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2 Answers 2


Plants were never meant to be indoors. House plants are considered long term perishables. That doesn't mean they are unable to thrive and live a long time and be beautiful in your home; depending on the plant, environment, soil, chemicals, watering habits and the amount of light this plant receives.

Just by putting houseplants outside on a covered porch (no direct sun) during the dependable summer months allows indoor plants to get more light than indoors and will be able to make extra food to get it through the winters...this makes your indoor plants last longer and thrive far better than continued indoor habitat.

Getting light from the side will promote only those leaves on the side as those leaves getting the light are making food for the plant. Plants are into efficiency and will get rid of leaves that are NOT making enough food in relation to the leaf's own maintenance needs. Other leaves that are making the food over and above their maintenance levels will be promoted and the leaves not getting enough light will be 'fired' or at least be put on lowered salary. Yes, rotating is essential if you want a more symmetrical plant.

Need pictures and more information such as your maintenance habits, N, S, E or West facing window. This plant if Bamboo is correct doesn't need LOTS AND LOTS of light but getting lots of light will cause it to grow and color far better. That back side needs to get some of that yummy light so the entire plant will grow evenly.

If this was a plant that needed lots and lots of light rotating would mean decreasing light to the sides not facing the light within the rotation sequence. But this plant will do just fine rotating it, possibly every other day 1/4 or 90 degree turn versus 180 degrees. If you go on vacation, a few weeks, a month, no big deal. You won't be harnessed to this plant that closely at all.

Watch the growth of roots and the size of pot. More light, more food, more growth and more growth of roots. With a picture we'll be able to tell you whether it needs to be re potted (with potting soil, no gravel at the bottom).

What are your maintenance habits to include water, type of water and fertilizer?

  • my wife waters the plant once a week, fertilizer just last summer like 4 weeks in a raw, once a week
    – MiniMe
    Apr 11, 2017 at 23:19
  • 4 weeks in a row is too much usually. Need to know what she was using. I only water if the plant and soil TELL me more water is necessary. A schedule is dangerous. Summer even in doors is different than Winter. Feel the heft of your pot after watering. Feel the heft in one week. Feel the heft when you know that soil is dry. When a plant needs watering that pot and soil and plant are VERY LIGHT. Very different than after watering. You'll see. Send pics!!! Thanks!!
    – stormy
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:30
  • And thank you for the new pictures! Quite a few of those big plants need new pots...only 2" more in diameter with fresh potting soil. Cut off any leaves that are old or dying. Wait for more pruning advice. Rotation is a good thing!
    – stormy
    Apr 12, 2017 at 21:33
  • the pots are quite big. If we put bigger pots they will get in our way to the deck outside of that door
    – MiniMe
    Apr 13, 2017 at 0:38
  • hummm...then we need to discuss pruning and then repotting in the same pot, fresh soil. You'd be able to tell by simply putting a hand over the top of your pot and turning it over, gently, popping the plant out of the pot to see the roots. If they are circling or show they have outgrown their pot there are always other alternatives...such as One big pot clustered together with smaller, similar looking pots versus an entire herd of pots that are overgrown. Why aren't those plants on your deck...during the summer anyway, is any of your deck covered with an awning or roof? Where do you live?
    – stormy
    Apr 13, 2017 at 7:09

A photo would have been useful, but I assume you mean Schefflera arboricola 'dazzle'. It's always sensible to rotate house plants regularly when the light comes from a single direction, particularly if your plant is up against a wall or vertical surface one side. However, now that all the leaves have been lost one side, facing it towards the light may not be enough to 'force' new growth from that side. It might need to be cut down or pruned back and allowed to regrow, rotating it weekly, but without a photo, it's hard to say for sure.

  • I am not worried about new leaves , I am worried that it will lose a lot of them. Is that something that is going to happen ?
    – MiniMe
    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:00
  • Hard to say without seeing the plant - it might have another issue you haven't recognised
    – Bamboo
    Apr 11, 2017 at 11:15

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