Hi! I am brand new to the concept of caring for any plant more complicated than those weird viney office plants that are happy to grow in a bowl of water. My husband FTD'd a Hawaiian Umbrella bonsai (Arboricola schefflera) to me for Valentine's Day because he's deployed and he wanted me to have something that would last longer than a boquet of roses - but I think I am in over my head!! I have been trying to soak up as much info as I can find, but it's conflicting.
The leaves on my tree are drooping, there are brown spots forming on some of the leaves (towards the top and bottom of the tree), and they're falling off. Some sites say that I am watering too much and that my tree has something called "root rot" (they say that companies power-grow these plants and that their roots are not as abundant as the foliage on top and therefore don't need as much water as one might think)- other sites say that I am not watering enough!
I originally had the tree next to my bedroom window but we had a cold spell and I was scared for it, so I moved it to an inner wall - away from the window drafts and away from heating vents. It's in a pretty bonsai planter that is slightly raised and sits on a humidity tray with small rocks in it. (it's what was sent by FTD with the plant)
I started by watering every few days like the little blurb (in the booklet that came with the plant) said and at each watering I watered until the top of the soil looked saturated and there was water flowing through the bottom and collecting in the humidity tray. I would water again when the top of the soil was no longer damp and cool to the touch - like the blurb instructed.
Then the spots showed up, then the leaves started falling off, then prefectly good looking leaves started to feel flimsy and began drooping. They don't fall off unless there are brown spots, though. And there isn't any yellowing that my untrained eye can notice.
At the advice of one website, I allowed the soil to dry out and the tree seemed to do better - whenever I water it, it seems like I lose more leaves!! I am SO confused - I swear this tree has a personality disorder!!!
Please, if someone could help me out, I would appreciate it SO much! I love this little tree - I don't want it to die!! If it were an animal, I'd be at the vet in a heartbeat (unless it were a reptile and then I'd be holding it over a warm humidifier because the reptile vets in my area are morons), but I don't know where to go or what to do for a sick plant! (how awful is that?!?)
Thank you so much in advance!