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Discolored/malformed leaves

Posted by intotheblueFL none (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 14:40

Hello all..

This is my 3 year old, 7' tall unknown cultivar which was the root stock base for a graft from Thailand that died.. but the root stock ended up sprouting.. and becoming the fastest growing, most prolific species that I've ever seen. She typically grows between 18"-36" per year.

This year, however, some tips have sprouted and keep sprouting twisted, discolored and malformed leaves that keep coming. All tips show at least a fleck or two of discolor, but two tips are completely twisted up.

I've tried spraying with Azamax in hopes of it being pest related but no help.

What is this and how can I cure it?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

Yes, you all know I'm going to say it.....I believe your issue IS actually thrips or spider mites - does your pesticide treat specifically for those? If not they will not even be affected by it. It will probably also take more than one application, depending on the number of them. Sometimes the pesticide will further discolor the leaves too. I see one new leaf that does not look deformed, that is what counts, if new ones are sprouting healthy.

Also, spraying your plants leaves and on the tips with a really strong jet of water to dislodge some of them is very helpful too. Then I would let the water dry and at sundown spray with pesticide. I would repeat weekly or every other week until you see the leaves sprout looking normal. I hope this helps!

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

Thanks for the reply! Yes, some new leaves look better than others. What's crazy is that only 2 tips are seriously affected. The other 7-8 look semi-decent. Overall, she's not growing like she usually does either.

What's the best overall store bought insecticide that everyone is having good luck with but isn't crazily toxic to every living thing within a 5 mile radius?

Attached is an overall shot of the plant. For size reference, that's a 25 gallon pot that she's in. The Lemon Lust next to her is up to my chest and I'm 6'1".

This post was edited by intotheblueFL on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 22:48

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

Well, I would recommend insecticidal soap, however honestly it just wasn't strong enough to make a dent in them for me.

What I personally like to use is a product with Spinosad as the active ingredient. You will probably have to go to a nursery or buy online as the big box stores do not typically carry it. You may be able to find pre-mixed for about $10, or the concentrate for about $20. If you're only doing small areas though the $10 would probably do you just fine.

It is considered organic, as it is a bio-agent. Once dry, it will only kill things that eat / bite / suck on your plants instead of killing anything and everything that comes into contact with the sprayed area. It is mild enough that you can use it weekly if needed without burning the leaves like many of the sprays with imadacloprid or whatever that stuff is. (which, in the event of a really bad infestation I will resort to using in small doses.)

That's just what I use, I'm sure others use some that work just as well too. Your plants are beautiful! Keep up the good work!

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

any thoughts/objections to DE? I've dusted the trunks and topsoil w/DE but thinking about giving the underside of my two CL's rescues a good rub down of DE. I'm not aware of how this can hurt and maybe it'll help kill some thrips?

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

I think its heat stress related. A large majority of my plumerias exhibit the same conditions every year beginning mid- June through mid-July. In my part of Florida, this is when sunlight and heat really starts to get intense. The plants that experience this the most are exposed to nine to ten hours of direct sunlight everyday.
After they adjust to the shock of the Florida heat and the extremely hot black plastic containers, they always bounce back beautifully and the leaves regain their normal look starting mid-July. I've observed this behavior the last five years and I don't worry about it anymore. I just make sure they are extra well watered during this period.

RE: Discolored/malformed leaves

  • Posted by No-Clue So Cal Zone 10 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 22:11


Some of my plants are doing the same thing the last few weeks. Not all the leaves on the same plants are that way but some leaves are. I'm hoping it's just the shock of the heat and once adjusted they will be ok.

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