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How do I take a cutting? Will it kill the original plant?
Which sort of umbrella plant do you have, the one that's like a grass with a leafy 'umbrella' at the top of the stems (Cyperus involucratus), or the one that's more like a shrub (Schefflera actinoplylla) with glossy leaves?
Whichever you have, at 9 ft tall it's certanly a very big one
I have a feeling it's a cyperus. They can grow to amazing heights. Here's mine . You can just about see it in the righthand side of the pic.
If this is the plant you have, Elizabeth, it's really easy to obtain new plants. Just cut off one of the stems and trim the leaves off the ''umberella'' and them trim off the stem so you are left with about an inch . Place in a jar of water and within weeks you'll have a new plant. You will see new roots appearing very quickly.
If It's a scheffiera it's a little more complicated. I have heard you can propagate by air- layering but I haven't aquired one of those. (yet)
Sorry, meant to add that it will not kill the plant. I've given away loads of babies.
That's if it is a Cyperus.
I have a umbrella plant which I have cut the dead leafs and branches quite severe and it survived ,and another I rescued from outside a house that was disposing of a pathetic plant ,I thought cut it back nothing to lose and left for awhile and it burst forth with new leaves.I would not prune to hard just take the dead bits out and yellow leafs and it will be fine,they are tough.
Thanks for all your advice. I'll give it a go before it takes over the house.