Differentiating Leaf Drop

tanksalot(New England)November 18, 2010

Recently I transplanted my MG-soil Meyer lemon into gritty mix, and the shock caused leaf drop. I noticed that there were two different kinds of leaf drop. The initial drop was at the end of (if my college botany memory is correct) at the end of the petiole. The short stem that connects the leaf itself stayed on, but the leaf itself fell off. Now a few leaves are falling, but the entire leaf, with the petiole(?) fall off. It's clearly the plant's reaction to conditions, but the fact that the leaf drop is different makes me believe that there are two different causes.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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Leaf drop can come from many different variables..

I can guarantee you it was not from the switch to the gritty mix, unless performed wrong..Mine never did that..

Have you excluded everything else but?


    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 2:34PM
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tanksalot(New England)

My Four Winds trees transplanted fine. (Except for the variegated lemon, which I believe is my fault....I sprayed for bugs with time-release pyrethrin). The remaining Four Winds trees look fine today. The two lemons that I had in MG potting mix look marginal. Lost bunches of leaves, still have a few, yellowing leaves. They have been in gritty mix since I repotted everything. I use the dowels and water only when "told to". My guess is that my MG trees got somehow conditioned to the soil, and the shock when going to the gritty mix set them back. I'm watering everything with diluted FP/vinegar. The MG trees are in a high humidity area in the back of the sunroom. Sitting on a bed of brick/water (not IN the water). I believe, come spring, they'll "spring back" (pun was intentional).
Stan F.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 9:44AM
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Hi Stan.:-)

I can never understand how anyone can have healthy trees grown in MG or any other bagged mix this time of the year mores so, unless they have done some drastic reinventing of their mix..?

I still have a couple I have yet to transplant into my mixes that I bought at the end of the year, like 2 months ago..I have been lazy..

These are the ones giving me a hrad time..Not very happy looking, not perky, not vibrant or brilliant green but very dull in color..The leaves also tend to bend dowards.

These two are still damp after several days in a SUNNY window while the ones around them are so much better looking and have been watered twice since the last time I watered those in the bagged mix..They ahve also lost a few leaves...

The ones in my mixes are robust, brilliant in color, flowering and very healthy..Not a leaf drop on any of these..

I definatly believe that teh two in the bagged mixes are staying damp WAY too long..

I makes me realize that one has to play Russian roulete once they are stored in very cool temps with bagged mixes..


    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 11:50AM
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tanksalot(New England)

Yesterday I bought a gardenia for a "test". It's one of those sure-to-die ones, with 7 planted stems in a 6 inch pot. Looked TERRIFIC, with some buds. I bought it with no intention of growing it as-is. Spent an hour blasting off the "soil" that it came with. The soil looked like syrupy black oatmeal. I used a fork and teased the roots apart until I had 7 individual plants with their own roots. Looking at the roots, it's almost impossible to believe that the roots would sustain the plant.

I bought the gardenia to do a "test", and that's why I split apart the potted plants. I'm trying 3 different soils and 6 pots. The soils are 1) gritty mix 2) 4 parts CHC with 1 part MG cactus/citrus soil and 3) 4 parts CHC and 1 part sifted Turface.

There are 2 pots with similar plants in each soil. One plant I pruned and one I left as-is. My thinking is that the pruned one will have more of a balance between the roots and the exposed plant. I'm planning on keeping them together first in a shady place, then in full sun with frequent watering and probably some misting. I'll water with FP diluted.

My idea is to learn what's more forgiving. I'm not a very methodical, attentive person by nature, and the "cautious, careful" approach to raising anything is very difficult for me. Thus I'm looking for an approach which will be very forgiving of overwatering, MINOR neglect and my living a normal (as opposed to plant-centric) life.

I'll set all the plants in a tray with rocks and water in a South window. If a plant really looks "terminal", I'll take whatever actions seem reasonable, but for the time being I've got them all in the shade for a couple of days to recover from the root-blasting.

I'm expecting a similar result with all the plants that I got from the citrus that came out of MG. It's just a matter of which soil & methodology will give the plants the best chance of survival. The "black oatmeal" that I washed off the roots was very, very unforgiving. If that collection wasn't watered EXACTLY at the right time, the plants were doomed. The pot was 85% roots, 14% "black oatmeal".

I just started this today, so time will tell.

Stan F.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 1:32PM
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