How Do You Prune Umbrella Plants?

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The umbrella plant, or schefflera, is a sub-tropical bush that can be grown indoors or outdoors. Prune schefflera kept indoors with bypass pruners anytime, and prune outdoor schefflera after its growing season, but before the first frost. It takes 20 minutes to an hour to prune your umbrella plant, and you need a pruning tool appropriate for the size of the plant.

  1. Remove branches that sap vital resources

    Clean and disinfect your bypass pruners and wipe them with disinfectant after every cut to prevent the spread of disease. Remove any dead, diseased or broken branches by cutting to the ground or back to the stem. Make clean cuts by holding the shorter side of your pruners flush to the branch.

  2. Prune for appearance

    Make cuts to open up the tree and allow more air and light in by cutting stems that crowd other branches. Break up clusters by removing younger growth at intersections. Remove any growth coming up from the ground.

  3. Prune young plants

    Cut off new leaf formations on young trees to encourage thicker stem growth. Cut back leggy plants or those with few branches, to encourage bush formation.

  4. Prune carefully

    Plan for minimal cutting, as broken skin provides an entry point for pests and infection. Prune your plant carefully, bad cuts cause improper leaf formation and poor growth.