Ming aralia dying

gardeniarose(z10FLA)June 18, 2006

I will try to keep this short. I had a beautiful, healthy Ming aralia for 2 years. It was growing well. The plant was actually 3 separate stalks that were planted together in one pot. I got it into my head to check the roots to see if it needed repotting. After I pulled the plant out of the pot (and seeing that it didn't need to be repotted) it wasn't so easy to just shove it back into the pot because it had hardly any roots on it and the dirt just fell away from it. So I potted it into 2 separate pots. Well, one of the newly potted plants is near death. It is totally wilted and dropping whole stems. Can it be saved? The other "half" is doing better but I had to cut the whole top of the plant off because it just was not springing back. I have been misting it every day to help prevent too much water loss through the leaves. Thanks in advance!


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Lynne, Misting probably helps, and a tent made of clear plastic held up above leaves may help, but it just may be case of being glad one plant is holding on. Sounds as if root system wasn't strong and healthy. I'd keep newly repotted healthier plant out of drafts and in filtered light until new growth appears...water cautiously. giving new roots time to grow. Be sure drainage is excellent.

My philosophy is as long as a plant is doing well, just cross your fingers and ignore the books which tout repotting. I have had Aralias (as well as Cycads, Crotons, Dracaenas, etc.) in same pots for over 10 years. True, they might have grown taller faster with repotting but they are healthy and suit/fit their allotted space.

Good luck. josh

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 12:18PM
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Thanks, Josh. I think the part of the plant that was not doing so well is now toast. However, when I cut the top of the stronger half off, I put it into a vase of water just for laughs. Well, within one hour, it sprang back to life. I am hoping it sets roots in the water so I can pot it up and have another plant. I am afraid of doing the rooting hormone thing with it since it still looks fine after several days in water only. Only time will tell. Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 2:55PM
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Lynn, glad your cutting is dong well. I've rooted small 6"-8" cuttings easily in water or damp soil...good luck. josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Good Article on Aralias

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 12:14AM
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My Ming aralia is about 10 yrs old and about 5' tall. It is doing ok but it seems to have stop growing and leaves are starting to drop. This ming is foundly know to me and my office mates as "the tree of life". The plant has only been repotted once when it was loaned to me (office with a window) for better sun light. Can you give me some advise as to whether I need to repot the plant. It currently sit in a 3 gallon container. If I repot it, what is the best way to repot, soil, drainage etc. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 6:03PM
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Organic Rock, Click on the "Good Article on Aralias" in the earlier post...has all the info you'll need. But just my opinion is that a 3-gallon pot is almost too large now...these plants don't have huge root systems and will rot if overpotted/overwatered.

If it's just the older leaves dropping, this is natural. They get shaded out by newer growth and especially with my older plants I have to run my fingers through foliage at times when older leaves turn yellow to dislodge them from branches. I just put them in pot as mulch. Has this never happened before with your plant? With almost any other plant I'd suspect spider mites but I've read often that this plant seems immune to pests (and I'd agree).

Have you moved the plant recently toward more or less light? Any changes in temps or watering? Might just be that it is a variety that has reached its natural height for the growing conditions and is slowing down in growth but will still be a beautiful plant...I rather like the gnarly stems and actually remove some foliage to show the trunks/branches off. Good luck. josh

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 10:47AM
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Organic...Josh's advice is good. I would be very hesitant to repot your plant. Even before I repotted mine (which was a mistake!), while the plant was doing great, it periodically had dried brown leaves which dropped. I think that is just a normal process of growth.
The cutting that I took off the top of my plant back in June...I had it in plain water all along and it did eventually root. When I repot it, I will put it in a pot that is just barely large enough to accomodate the trunk and roots. I think these plants like to be a little cramped. By the way, they are very drought tolerant. Sometimes I'd forget to water it for a month and it thrived. It never has any spider mites. I basically ignore it and it keeps on going. The only time it suffered was when I messed with it and repotted it! Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:25AM
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GardeniaRose, Delighted to hear that your plant is doing well. Thanks for the update. Congratulations! josh

    Bookmark   September 19, 2006 at 7:00AM
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I had two pots of Ming Aralia and after they were doing well for about 2 years I purchased a larger pot and joined them. They are doing well except the lower stalks do not get thicker and are spindly I have trimmed as advised and they get lots of new growth but the main stalks are still not heavy enough to support the growth. So I bought metal pieces that fit together in a circle to support. SO I need to know how to get the bottom stems to grow thicker and stronger

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 4:38PM
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