Dying Umbrella Plant

cornmeal

New Member
Hey there,

Happy Sunday, hoping everyone has a nice day ahead of them.

Just came to ask about my Umbrella plant. I bought it from Home Depot where it was beautiful, large and perfectly healthy, but about a month and a half later, the leaves and stalks are browning and falling off one by one. I tried my best to follow the instructions that came with the plant and the ones I found online... most importantly the watering schedule which I could never get down.

I'm unsure whether I'm watering it too much or too little. It said to let the soil dry out before watering again, so I made it a habit to water Sunday and Thursday. But after it started to wither, I only watered it on Sunday. The cage it's in sits near a window so it's getting light. Both the pothos and the money tree I bought the same day are doing wonderfully.

Would anyone be able to give me any pointers?
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey there,

Happy Sunday, hoping everyone has a nice day ahead of them.

Just came to ask about my Umbrella plant. I bought it from Home Depot where it was beautiful, large and perfectly healthy, but about a month and a half later, the leaves and stalks are browning and falling off one by one. I tried my best to follow the instructions that came with the plant and the ones I found online... most importantly the watering schedule which I could never get down.

I'm unsure whether I'm watering it too much or too little. It said to let the soil dry out before watering again, so I made it a habit to water Sunday and Thursday. But after it started to wither, I only watered it on Sunday. The cage it's in sits near a window so it's getting light. Both the pothos and the money tree I bought the same day are doing wonderfully.

Would anyone be able to give me any pointers?
Umbrella trees flourish here in Florida because of the intense sun. When there is rain it usually drains quickly from the sandy soil. My guess is you either don't have enough light (like a plant light that's a spotlight that can penetrate into the entire cage) or that you're watering too much. My umbrella plant is thriving under a Sansi spotlight in my Veiled's enclosure. My mist king goes off 1.5 min before lights on and 1.5 min around midnight before fogging. The umbrella plant can be reached by the misting but it's roots don't get soaked.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Another thought - is it by any drafty areas? You said the cage is near a window, could it be impacted by that? Windows do give some light but it might not be as much or as direct as the umbrella plant needs.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Would anyone be able to give me any pointers?
  • We read the directions that come with any plant, then do our own research and follow the consensus.
  • We also—as a matter of course—tend to repot before placement; this can reveal some things (root crowding, rot, soil parasites, etc.) that may not be obvious topside.
  • Good drainage is paramount; most of our pots have large holes in the sides at the bottom like these:
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Source: https://tztelsly.en.made-in-china.c...ic-Flower-Pots-Durable-Drained-for-Plant.html

Hope there's something here that helps...

Why are the leaves of my Schefflera turning brown and crispy?

umbrella plant leaves and stalks are browning and falling off

Maybe I should mention that despite 6 mistings per day, misting water never reaches the plant pots due to the dense foliage. We water separately on a schedule that accounts for each plant's individual needs.
 

cornmeal

New Member
Another thought - is it by any drafty areas? You said the cage is near a window, could it be impacted by that? Windows do give some light but it might not be as much or as direct as the umbrella plant needs.
Possibly. Living up in gloomy, cold Ohio may not be the best thing for it. My chameleon's cage itself sits between two windows which I always keep shut, but this time of year the cold does tend to seep through the windows a bit. (I usually put up plastic seals during this time, maybe I'll do it this weekend.)

As of light, the only lights it has are the cage's lights and the indirect light of the two windows.

And from what you guys are saying, I'm most likely over watering it. I may have taken the directions "water thoroughly" too seriously, haha.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I agree with the over watering hypothesis. You can test that out by cutting back on watering a bit and seeing if it bounces back with new growth. To @Klyde O'Scope 's point, having well draining soil and letting the plant dry out between waterings is key as well.

It's funny I've found the instructions all say avoid direct sun but here in Florida they are kept out in the open at Home Depot and get the most sun out of any plants and do great. I do think depending on the light they get, they change shape (tall vs bushy) and coloration, though.

As you said you could put window film over the glass to insulate it and prevent drafts.
 

cornmeal

New Member
Odd. Thank you all, took it out, removed all the completely dead leaves, watered it a tiny little bit, and put it back in her cage. Hopefully it'll do well once I cut back on the H2O.

Normally I'd let it dry out for 2-4 days before watering again but it still began to wilt. I'll keep at it though.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
The same thing happened with the two umbrella plants I bought in June. One completely died and the other wasn’t doing well at all so I took them out of the cage and threw the dead one away and the other is sitting on the floor next to the cage and is doing better. It’s not dying but it’s not growing either.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
repot it in hydroponic potting medium...make sure roots get water 2-3 times a week....a full spectrum 6500k light has got to be right on the plant.....or the plant underneath it.......your umbrella plant will grow just fine
 
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