urgent help is needed for Michelia Alba

loveblueroses(10a)March 20, 2014

Just bought my M. Alba four days ago. I am so upset now because some leaves have
turned red:( will it die soon??? What is wrong? Too much sunshine or water or wind? Please help

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

There is no way that we can answer your questions. It's your job, as a consumer, to do your homework before you bring a plant home so that you are able to provide it with the best possible care from day one.

Only you are able to determine if your plant has been exposed to extremes of one kind or another since it has been with you. It sure sounds as if something is out of whack, doesn't it?

What kind of environment did it have at the nursery? Is it planted in the ground or in a container? If in the ground, was it planted with peat or other amendments in the hole? Do you know what the pH of your soil is does it drain readily after a heavy rain or watering? If in a container, what sort of potting medium did you use? Is the plant situated in full sun?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 12:30PM
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It was all green in a black plastic container & put inside the nursery house. The nursery owner told me not to plant in the ground until a year or so. She said that I should water it every 8-10 days from Dec to Feb and once a week the rest of the year. Thus, I didn't water it until Monday evening, but watered it a bit again Tue evening since it was hot like 76f. But then found some leave turned red color yesterday evening: ( So, I moved it right away from full sunny place to underneath our house where have some sunshine day time.
Sorry, I just check it now but don't know the pH of the soil, it feels a bit wet but no water is drained after that. Please see the pix(sigh, don't' know how to upload multiple pix) well, it is red on the top of the leave s but green on the back though.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:22PM
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More pics

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:45PM
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More pics

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 11:50PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

That sure looks like sunscald to me. Find a bright location with protection from the hottest afternoon sun.

When you water, it must be done thoroughly. Drench again and again until the excess is draining freely from the bottom. Don't let it sit in water.

I'd advise that you ignore the advice from the nursery owner. Your plant should be watered on an as needed basis, never by the calender. Use your fingers to poke around in the soil. It should feel somewhat dry before watering. Depending on many factors, that could mean every day or several days.

I do wonder why the owner recommended not planting it directly into its permanent location. That seems risky to me, unless you're somewhat experienced at container growing.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 4:02AM
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Most everything I have and read about scald is that it refers to sun burn of a trees bark. Leaf burn from too much sun and too little moisture is scortch.
However those leaves look like they may have a
phosphorus deficiency.

Here is a link that might be useful: about leaf scortch

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 6:52AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

OP's original comments said it came from a greenhouse. Putting it outdoors before hardening off is the problem,

So I agree with the opinion that the problem was excess sunlight.

Beyond that, the terms scorch and sunscald are often used interchangeably. Whether or not that matches with the technical description, the key thing to understand is that the underlying problem is excessive light that damaged the cells.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 9:48AM
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Thank you all for the valuable advice. I watered it thoroughly until some water coming out from bottom. Will these leaves die eventually? Now I move it to a spot where it can get some morning sunshine then will move back later so it won't explore to the direct full sun... But I can do these moves weekends only:( I wonder how soon it can undertake the sunshine the whole day without getting sun scale. Well, by browsing here, one has a big m. Alba in his yard in the same city SF. And, my worker has it plant in the ground since day one in easy bay they got it a good deal at a street fair, I just can't simply wait for a street fair taking place in half year or so. Thus, we drove all the way to the nursery in San Jose ca to buy one. Anyway, can someone tell if it is really unhealthy & will die soon or later?? I just take this pic with the morning sun on it. By the way how to upload more than one pic within a same post?? Thanks again

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 12:13PM
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Update my M A; it has a lot of new leaves now:) hopefully it will have its very first flower soon...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 3:13PM
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