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Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

Posted by Windnose 5 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 19, 12 at 20:06

Hello,
I got this plant from WalMart about a year and a half ago. I have no idea what it is; it's label just said "Bonsai." Here's some pictures of it from this summer:
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/IMAG0630.jpg
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/IMAG0634.jpg
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/IMAG0633.jpg (You can kind of see the fuzz free ends of the branches in this one)
Does anyone happen to know what plant this is?

More importantly, it did REALLY well this summer. I put it outside on the porch with the rest of my mom's plants and every time I went out there to check up on it, it was always blooming. It was full of foliage and a very healthy green. As it got colder and we had to move the plants inside, I suspected it was going to die back a bit and not look quite as healthy. But now, almost all of it's leaves are starting to fall off! Some of the leaves are still green when they fall off too! I took a closer look at it today, and noticed that it looks like a fuzzy brown mold is growing where the leaves are coming out of the plant. This mold-like stuff is mostly affecting the side of the plant that was facing away from the light (I have since turned so the side with the most damage is getting the majority of the light). D: This is so disheartening; is there some sort of remedy (preferably something I can make at home that won't cost much but anything will do) that will rid my plant of this? I wish I could just run through with some cutters and just trim off the affected parts, but if I do that, there would be hardly any leaves left and that would probably kill the plant.
I'm not 100% sure if the white on the soil is white mold or just residue from stuff in our water; I believe it is just from the well water we used to water it with; we now use rain water (have been for a couple months now). There appears to possibly be some green mold growing on the soil now as well; or that's the beginning of moss; I don't know. My main mold concern is the brown fuzzy stuff.

I transplanted it into that blue pot in the middle of last spring. I don't remember what type of soil I used.

I suppose, since I don't know what type of plant this is, it could naturally grow this fuzz in autumn/winter. But I've never heard of a plant doing such a thing. I don't particularly remember having this problem last year.

Pictures of my now sick little plant:
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/100_1196.jpg (The "front"-same side as the pictures above)
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/100_1198.jpg (A branch that was in the back- it's been dead since before I bought this plant; I kind of liked the way it looked from the front view, but finally decided that it was time to cut it off. You can see the fuzz on this branch)
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/100_1201.jpg (Fuzz on live branches)
http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd209/Windnose/100_1203.jpg (More fuzz on living branches-somewhat blurry picture)

ANY help would be greatly appreciated!
~Windnose


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

Posting your pics:
Here's some pictures of it from this summer:


Pictures of my now sick little plant:

(The "front"-same side as the pictures above)

(A branch that was in the back- it's been dead since before I bought this plant; I kind of liked the way it looked from the front view, but finally decided that it was time to cut it off. You can see the fuzz on this branch)

(Fuzz on live branches)

(More fuzz on living branches-somewhat blurry picture)

You may want to put a link to this thread in the bonsai or house plant forum to get a more full range of info. This forum doesn't deal much with container plants. Your plant looks fine to me (although it looks like there are issues starting to develop with the soil,) but it's probably time to do some bonsai maintenance stuff that I know nothing about.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

Alright, thank you for the response!

I was hesitant to post the actual pictures because of their size. >.<

I'll post links in those forums.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

No such thing as too much plant porn. Good luck!


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

in photobucket.. use the HTML CODE .. vs the image code ... and your pix will show in your post.. putting too many links.. like you did.. means lazy peeps like me.. wont bother to look at them all .. props to purp for doing it for you ...

you did not use SOIL ... that is mother earth.. words mean things ...

so to aid your quest for knowledge ... you need to research POTTING MEDIA ... and particularly .. BONSAI media ...

trees/shrubs do NOT like a high peat media ... it holds too much water.. for the needs of a tree ... especially in a pot that small .. its all about them getting a sip of water.. and then draining out excess [does your pot have drain holes???] ... plants like this .. are kept what you might think ... ridiculously dry.. as compared to many houseplants.. that prefer to be near sopping wet all the time ....

proper watering is the key .. after you have solved proper media ...

never forget.. watering is an art.. not a science.. and no one will be able to tell you.. specifically.. in your house.. how to maintain this thing.. we can give you variables.. but you will have to puzzle it all out while we try to help ...

good luck .. learning should be painless and fun ...

ken

ps: i sterilize all my indoor potting media.. prior to use.. see link for microwave instructions ... it reduces or eliminates all the mold/mildew spores.. and any bug eggs that might be in it ... once a baggie of wetted soil steams.. it is my opinion.. it achieved a high enough temp ... you do not have to cook it ... wet thoroughly prior to such ... [offhand.. steam means boiling or 212 degrees?? ... while sterilizing is somewhere around 160??? .. so once it steams or you see water drops.. just stop cooking it.. and let it cool for a day ... anyone have the proper numbers.. feel free to correct me]

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 20, 12 at 14:24

Horticulturally, "soil" is anything a plant grows in, and the word speaks nothing about its composition. You find garden soil/topsoil/mineral soil in the gardens/beds/yards and container soil (aka container media) in a bag (usually). Both/all are soil(s). The phrase 'soilless medium' serves only to confuse. A medium is a soil, so it essentially means a soil without soil. We're supposed to extrapolate that it's a soil without a mineral fraction, but even that is wrong in most cases because any added perlite is a mineral fraction. Potting mix is a soilless medium is still a soil.

The OPs plant does not want to be and shouldn't BE kept "ridiculously dry", and houseplants don't want to be "near sopping wet all the time ...." Houseplants (almost ALL), other than cacti, and the OP's Fukien/Fujian tea (Carmona microphylla aka Ehretia buxifolia) plant prefer to be evenly moist, with the soil having about the same amount of moisture as a recently wrung out sponge.

Watering is an art AND a science ....... and there are hundreds (thousands, more likely) of people who can offer very specific instructions on how to maintain this plant in a variety of environs.

Al


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

I propose that the 'white stuff' is mineral salts and the green stuff is algae. Both of which are not necessarily pathogenic but could be an indication of poor watering practices.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 20, 12 at 18:04

I agree - the soil is simply inappropriate - especially so because of the shallowness of the pot, which require very coarse soils to ensure plants any kind of opportunity to approach their potential growth and vitality levels. At container capacity, the soil pictured is undoubtedly 100% saturated, and remains so until the water evaporates or is used by the plant. Since the saturated conditions compound the problem by making it difficult for the plant to absorb water, the plant is dying of thirst in a sea of plenty, shedding leaves actually as a drought response, with it's only salvation being what regeneration of roots it can manage as the soil begins to dry down.

In addition, saturated soil conditions quickly kill fine roots. The plant then has to expend valuable energy to regenerated those roots, energy that would otherwise have gone into growth or properly fueling the plants metabolism.

Using a wick in one drain hole (there are 2?) & tilting the pot steeply toward that hole after watering until the pot stops draining would help a LOT, but the key really is to use a more appropriate soil.

Here is what I use for all my bonsai, pre-bonsai woody material, and houseplants:


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

This pot does have two fairly large holes in the bottom, as most bonsai pots do; so the pot is definitely able to drain as necessary. I do agree with you all though; the soil is inappropriate and keeping and I haven't like it since after the first week of putting the Fujian Tea in it.

I just looked through the different bonsai soils I have. I do have a small amount of a tropical/sub-tropical mix leftover that is recommended for Fujian Teas. Do you think I should swap the current soil for this tropical mix now? There's not enough left in the bag to fill the pot (if I'm lucky, it might fill half the pot), so I would have to mix it with whatever potting soil my mom has leftover, which would probably end up being soil like what is currently being used. Though, I do have a bonsai mix that I bought for a couple Junipers I had. Maybe, instead of half tropical bonsai mix--half inappropriate potting soil, I could do a mix of half tropical bonsai mix--quarter conifer bonsai mix--quarter inappropriate potting soil. I kind of want to put some of that potting soil in the mixture to prevent the plant from becoming too dry. As Al mentioned, the Fujian Tea likes to stay at least a little wet; if I forget to check up or am unable to check up on it for a few days and it becomes too dry, I can basically just kiss it goodbye.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 20, 12 at 22:12

That the pot has 2 holes doesn't bear on how well the soil drains. That's ruled by other physical laws that are influenced primarily by soil particle sizes and how the sizes are distributed.

You need to do SOMETHING about your soil's water retention in that shallow pot. Repotting now is a bad idea, but it might be necessary. It's either that, or learn to deal with the excess water retention, which you CAN do. If you're up for some reading, I'll link you to a thread that discusses how to deal with water retentive soils.

After you're done reading that, there is a thread with information that EVERY bonsai enthusiast should understand if he wants to be able to keep his trees alive healthy. It discusses container soils and how water behaves in container soils. It also has a recipe for the soil I showed in the picture, which makes a superb bonsai soil and is even ADJUSTABLE for water retention.

Read the links & see which way you lean.

Al


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

I'm no bonsai expert, but it doesn't seem like anyone addressed the fungus-like growth on the plant. If the cause is the potting mix, great, but what about treating the symptom as well? Should windnose be using an antifungal spray, baking soda spray (I've heard a pH change can kill fungus on leaves), or ??


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Oct 28, 12 at 16:37

This thread has been posted in other forums, and in one or 2 of the other posts I mentioned that the growths are buds, which on this plant would probably described as globose and tomentose (roundish & covered with matted trichomes [specialized plant appendages/hairs]). As such, they're a normal part of the plant's anatomy.

Al


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

Hi everyone,

First of all I have to tell you that cinnamon does not get rid of the mold. I have repotted plants in a better mix and scrubbed the containers with comet,(has bleach) and still, no results . I will try 50/50 water and vinegar.
I will try any treatment that seems logical, Thanks to the person who suggested this.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

when moving a plant from outside to inside or visa versa you can cause shock which can cause leaf drop, some plants can handle this type of move without any issues, I know ficus trees shock very easy and will drop all their leaves but they will get new ones so this could have been what started the leaf drop but I have never had any success with bonsai plants. bonsai is not a plant but a growing technique by trimming and limiting root growth and size limits the plant/tree/bush growth, depending on where you live try going to a collage Extension or Horticulture Center. I live in reading Pa so we have the Penn State Extension near us they have a wealth of knowlage.


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RE: Mold/fungus? How to get rid of it? Also, plant ID!

when moving a plant from outside to inside or visa versa you can cause shock which can cause leaf drop, some plants can handle this type of move without any issues, I know ficus trees shock very easy and will drop all their leaves but they will get new ones so this could have been what started the leaf drop but I have never had any success with bonsai plants. bonsai is not a plant but a growing technique by trimming and limiting root growth and size limits the plant/tree/bush growth, depending on where you live try going to a collage Extension or Horticulture Center. I live in reading Pa so we have the Penn State Extension near us they have a wealth of knowlage.


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