renegade office plant

Asked February 4, 2019, 3:10 PM EST

Hi, Please help with plant ID and advice on how to tame this plant. It started out as a little 4" plant and now it's taking over my office. It is in a dry sunny university office.

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We can't see the leaves well in this photo, but from the whorled leaf arrangement, it appears to be a scheflerra or a heptapleurum, which is related to scheflerra. There is a dwarf heptapleurum, 'Geisha girl' with smaller leaves, closer to the size of yours.

The heptapleurum has smaller leaves than a standard scheflerra and can get very tall with unbranched stems that can need to be staked. The way to prevent this long bare stalk is to pinch out the growing tips, starting when it is young. This makes it fuller. You could experiment with a more drastic pruning on one of the stalks at a time to see if it tolerates it and puts out bushier new growth.