Coffee and Tea Plant leaves Fell Off, Nothing But Stem

scarletdaisies(6)May 13, 2010

I posted this topic a few months ago and I'm trying again to see if anyone knows why and how to fix them. I have a few coffee plants and bought one tea plant, both lost their leaves probably due to cold, but now it's warmer, but no leaves on either. All they have are the stem. Are they dying? What can I do, what did I do wrong, and is it too late?

If anyone knows how to fix them, please let me know.

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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

No experience with either. But are they located indoors?

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:32AM
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scarletdaisies(6)

Yes, even under bushes, they did not do well outside. They are now on the porch where they normally do well.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:36AM
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noinwi

I don't know about the coffee, but the Camellia sinensis(Tea) should do well in zone 7. When we moved from the PNW(zone 7), I left a potted Tea plant with a friend and it's done well for her outside, blooming every year. Is the porch an enclosed one? Is it shady? What happened to them outside? Maybe you should pop them out of their pots and check the root ball...it could be too dry/wet, etc. A little more detail will help us help you.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 2:21PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

They don't do well at all in the sun, the porch is not enclosed, but does cover most sunlight, they were hanging in a window inside and started losing their leaves, so the cold might have gotten to them even though they were in a heated room. When I put the others, they were in another window sill and did well, outside the leaves turned brown, then fell off. They are unusually dry all the time even though I water them regularly. They did well in the same pots until spring came and I tried to put them outside too soon. If they could live in the window where they were, they would do just as well outside. The window was very cold.

I'll check the rootball, but since I know they did well last year in the same pot, do they need repotting? They were just repotted last year in their own pot.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 3:56PM
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noinwi

I would check the root ball if you can because when you water, it might be draining down the sides of the pot and not getting to the middle of the root ball, leaving it too dry. Also, when you move plants from inside to outside, you must take the time to harden them off...get them used to the climate change gradually. I would leave them on the porch where they get light but not direct sun, make sure the soil is thoroughly moist, not wet, and wait to see if they will put out new growth when they are ready.
Both coffee and tea grow to large shrubs when planted in the ground, so they may not be happy kept in pots that are too small, but you didn't mention the size of pots you have them in.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 10:42PM
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scarletdaisies(6)

Most were repotted last year. The tea plant is in a 9x9x9 pot, it stands 7 or 8 inches high, but it has only one stem, no other shoots. The coffee plants are in a 7 1/2 inch x 7 1/2 inch pot, but there are small stems next to the main stem.

I found no ball at the end of any of them, but I have to say by the way the roots look brown and easy to pull away, I think they are dead. The stick sticking out of the dirt didn't turn black and break off, but it's just sitting there in the dirt.

I found a bug about 1/3 of an inch that looked like a pale version of a rolly polly bug. Don't know the name of it, but could it have killed the plants? I didn't find anything else living in any of them, just one bug.

All seemed dry even though I soaked them earlier today, what makes a plant drink water like that?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 11:20PM
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maifleur01

Neither pot is big enough for either plant. Sounds like being unfamiliar with a plants growing conditions may have killed them if they are truely dead. Put both outside in the ground and hope they recover. Although both plants do not well in this area the pots that they are most happy in are measured in gallons not inch sizes even when small. To keep either in a pot as small as you mentioned you need to learn about root pruning and how to keep each happy.

Most posters, including myself, have learned through killing plants. Often times we learn more from our errors than our successes.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 12:56AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Most posters, including myself, have learned through killing plants. Often times we learn more from our errors than our successes.

Truer words were never spoken!

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 7:39AM
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noinwi

"Most posters, including myself, have learned through killing plants. Often times we learn more from our errors than our successes."

LOL, that's why I suggested looking at the root ball(which is the whole "ball" of soil surrounding the root mass). I've watered and watered plants before, only to find out later(after they were dead)that the water was not penetrating the center of the pot!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 8:48AM
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