Leathery leaves of box car willie

kristlbelSeptember 8, 2011

I live in Singapore, and it's at least 32C/ 90F in the daytime with high humidity; and around 27C/80F at night.

I'm experimenting growing box car willie and virginia sweets in containers. The plants are placed out under full sunlight.

About 4 days ago, I noticed that all the 7 week old box car willie plants have developed leathery leaves at the lower part of the plant(some leaves have curled/scorched looking edges), save for the new shoots growing out.

The 5 week old virginia sweets leaves don't seem to show any leathery leaves symptoms.

We'd also experienced rain for 3 consecutive days over the past couple of weeks.

Appreciate if someone could tell me if it's normal for the box car willie plants to have the leathery leaves. What should I do? Should I place them in the shade to grow?


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carolyn137(z4/5 NY)

The plants of different varieties can and do respond differently to different weather and environments.

The temperatures you state and being in sun all the time are not good at all for any seedlings. As far as that goes, when the plants get larger with those temps and humidity it's going to be difficult for the plants to even set fruit and you'd probably see a lot of blossom drop as well.

For now I think if it were me I'd put those 7 week old seedlings in only partial sun for just a couple of hours.

Do you expect those conditions as to temps and humidity to be the same in the future and if so for how long?

No, it's isn't normal for Box Car Willie to develop leathery leaves. It's a variety that I introduced by first listing it in the SSE YEarbook many years ago so I know it well. The high temps and rain are no doubt a problem and the plant is very stressed and is reacting in that way,

Hope that helps.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Thanks Carolyn!

It gets slightly cooler in November and December during our rainy season. I'll follow your suggestion and put the seedlings in an area with some morning sun and shade for the rest of the day. It's sometimes breezy out in the garden too, so hopefully it helps with the temperature.

Hopefully I can salvage the seedlings as they have been growing well right up till last week!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 12:36PM
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