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Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Posted by bevo2000 8 (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 23, 10 at 18:18

Hello all,

This is my first year wintering my guava. It is in a big pot and placed at a south facing window for plenty of light. I only water it if the leaves appear to wilt (the water drains quickly from the pot).

Some of the leaves are turning yellow, and I am worried that I may have been watering too much. I want to keep it alive until April so I can take it outside. Please let me know if there's anything I am doing wrong.

Please see the pictures below.

1) Guava

2) I only add water if the leave about to wilt like this

2a)

3) Leaves turning yellow at bottom of plant

Thanks,
Dustin


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

I wouldn't worry about it. I have had the tropical guava loose ALL its leaves and it would leaf out again in early spring (not that I would recommend that!) I usually keep mine very dry in the winter (just to the point of leaf wilt). Also have to keep mine cool because it's got to overwinter in a garage due to its size. Try to keep it on the humid side and avid proximity to indoor heat sources. Good luck!


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Where do you live? I see you are in zone 8 . Maybe you could take it outside for some sun during warmer days?


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

I wouldn't worry either. Itlooks like it is just the lower leaves turning yellow. If that is it then you should be fine. I don't know the watering requirements for guava but you should google it. Water requirements differ with each tropical fruit and some are more specific then others. I say this because I almost lost one of my tropicals because I did the same thing you did. I didn't water until it was almost dry and I almost killed it!
Andrew


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

I am no expert on pot culture. But I would suspect the dry conditions would cause that kind of leaf drop. I would not wait so long to water. Guavas grow naturally under pretty moist conditions. Just my opinion.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

That's what I was thinking Harry, before I got rid of mine I could not water it too much. The thing took more water than any other tree I have. It could be different since yours is indoors, but mine needed a ton of water even in the winter in my unheated greenhouse.


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one more thing

Forgot to mention, what kind of mix do you have it in? I would think using al's gritty mix would be great in your situation. Just do a search for Al's mix if you don't know of it. It is basically pine bark fines, turface (or the floor dry stuff from Autozone if you can't find turface), and granite grit. I use Perlite in place of the granite grit because I can't find the grit in my area. With this mix it is pretty much impossible to overwater. It is so well aerated that you could basically water everyday and not have to worry about rot.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Thank you all for your responses. jsvand5, I have the ingredients for Al's mix, but I am not using it in my big pot because it would be too heavy for me to move in and out by myself (a hand truck didn't help). As a result, I am using compost and perlite right now. I just hope that the plant would survive another two months.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

If you substitute perlite for the grani-grit the mix should be pretty light. Good luck either way. I am sure it will make out fine till spring arrives.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Hi:
I would not worry about the yellow leafs too much. Guava trees are typically hard to kill... I would water it before the soil becomes totally dry (stick your finger in the soil) and I would make sure it has resonable air humidity. You should be good to go...

Good luck, this is one of my favorite fruit trees!


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Thank you everyone for your help.

I have another issue with another guava tree I placed in the garage hoping it would go dormant. The garage is dark, and I watered it once in the last two months. It was doing fine until recently when I noticed the tip of the branches (the smallest leaves) began to dry up and fall off.

I was hoping that it would just "sleep" until spring, but that apparently that's not taking place. What should I do now?

Please see the picture below. I am experimenting to determine which method works so I can repeat next year.

Thanks,
Dustin


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

What temperperature was it in the garage? Those burns almost look like cold damage.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

The temperature is about 25 degrees warmer than outside. It did get down to about 15 degrees outside in Dallas. So I guess the coldest temp in the garage was about 40. However, in the same garage is another smaller (16 inches) guava without any damage. That didn't make any sense to me.

Thanks for your input.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 27, 10 at 17:20

Bevo - thanks for asking me over. There are a number of things that could cause the symptoms you describe. Can I ask what you're using for fertilizer, what dose, and how often? When last application? When you water, are you watering so you're sure the entire soil mass is saturated and at least 10-15% of the total volume of water applied is exiting the drain? Did you recently bring the tree indoors? What is the condition of the roots? - did you do a full repot or just pot up?

Al


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Hi Al,

Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate it. Let me attempt to answer your questions best I can:

1) Fertilizer: Miracle Grow acid loving fertilizer. The last time I used this was around August 2009 at the regular dose. I think I have only used it a few times.

2) When I water, I give it enough to ensure that the entire soil is covered. I am not sure what percentage of water escaped through the bottom, but usually a lot.

3) The trees were brought indoors around the end of November 2009.

4) I have potted these trees once about 1 and 1/2 years ago so I am not sure about the root condition right now.

Thanks,
Dustin


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 27, 10 at 21:04

I'll kind of make comments as I go down your list of comments.

Container culture is much closer to hydroponics than it is to growing in the ground. Your soil provides very little in the way of nutrition, and what nutrition it does supply is incomplete - or 'spotty'. Your safest bet is to proceed as though your soil provides NO nutrition and as though you need to provide all nutrition. No fertilizer applications since 8/09 is assurance of deficiencies. Some plant nutrients are mobile; that is to say the plant can borrow them from one place and move them to another. It is normal for plants to 'pull' the mobile nutrients from old parts, then shed them, in the process of reallocating nutrients to organs that are newly forming. IOW, the plant steals nutrients (mainly N, but P, K, and Mg, too) from old leaves so it can make new leaves. The immobile nutrient (mainly the micro-nutrients, + Ca) deficiencies show up in newly emerging organs because the plant cannot relocate them - they need to be in constant supply in the nutrient stream.

It's important that you use a soil that allows you to water as I described. When you water in small sips, dissolved solids (salts) from fertilizers and your tap water accumulate in the soil. As they accumulate, it gets increasingly difficult for the plant to absorb water and the nutrients dissolved in water. When salt levels get too high, water is actually REMOVED from plant cells by osmosis in the same way that curing salt pulls moisture from ham or bacon. This can cause chlorosis and other symptoms.

Diminished photo-intensity can also cause the symptoms that you see. If individual leaves are unable to adapt to low light, the plant absorbs the mobile nutrients from the leaves for reallocation. As the flow of a growth regulator (auxin) through the abscission zone at the base of leaf petioles slows and stops, an abscission layer forms and leaves fall. You could be seeing signs of that as well.

Root-bound conditions also tend to cause the loss of lower and interior foliage, often leaving trees with foliage in tufts or pompons on the ends of branches. I'm pretty sure that your tree would be at least marginally affected after 1-1/2 years if you did a full repot (which includes removing all or most of the soil and root pruning), and substantially affected if you only potted up. Dr. Whitcomb (Plant Production in Containers II) has done considerable research into how being rootbound affects growth. He says that a negative effect starts to appear as soon as the root mass will remain intact when you lift the plant from its container. He says that the plant should be immediately bumped at this point. Of course, he is talking about plants that are to be sold, and we cannot continue to bump plants into larger containers w/o root-pruning ans expect no negatives. He said that once a plant becomes root-bound, its growth is permanently impaired, unless you go in and fix the roots.

30-10-10 (I assume that is what you are using) is ok. It acidifies because the urea the N in the fertilizer is derived from acts as an ammonium salt. The N in 24-8-16 by MG or Peters is also derived from urea and will also acidify. The N:P ratio is the same (3:1), but it supplies K in a more favorable ratio to N, so I would make it to be a slightly better choice, It allows you to keep the levels of TDS (total dissolved solids) and EC (electrical conductivity, both, a measure of the soluble salts in the soil solution, at the lowest levels possible w/o creating deficiencies - a good thing.

I think if you get your plants into a soil that drains freely and stay on top of light issues and fertilizing (at least every 2 weeks at half strength when the plant is growing well - not so often during periods of high/low temps or while the tree is taking a winter's rest.

It's hard to be specific w/o the ability to see the trees, but I hope you found something helpful in what I offered.

Take care, D.

Al


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Thank you everyone and Al for your help.


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Al or anyone,

One of the tree was placed in the garage w/o any light. Could this be one of the contributing factor for the tip drying up? I thought that keeping the garage as dark as possible will help the tree go into dormancy. Is that not true, and do I need to provide light?

Thanks,
Dustin


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Hello:
I am sure your guavas problem is lack of day light. Guava trees are not adapted to spending 2-3 months in the dark! I mean, your tree might not die, but it will not like its life very much. Also, when you take it out of the garage, it might drop all of its leafs, because it has been in low light (no light?) conditions for so long...

I would take it outside gradually, allowing it to get some sun light in the morning and then a little more, and a little more until it gets use to full sun again.

In zone 8 you should be able to leave your tree outside for the majority of the winter. I would bring the guava in only when there is a freeze predicted. Guavas are able to handle temperatures as low as 30F in a pot just fine. Well, at least that has been my experience.

My guavas are now planted in the ground (south side of house) and I don't even protect them until temps are predicted to drop below 28F or so. Usually temps around 28-29F do not even cause leaf damage on my trees.

Good luck!


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

mostro,

Wow I had no idea guavas could be that hardy. I will definitely try your suggestion next year with one of the guava trees I have (leave it outside and bring inside only when a freeze is coming). That way if it doesn't survice, I won't lose everything. May I ask what vaieties you are growing?

Thanks,
Dustin


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Al,
I would like to repot and root prune the guavas this summer. Could you tell me when is the best time to do this for the guavas (how about other tropicals)?

Thanks,
Dustin


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RE: Guava leaves turning yellow indoor

Hello again:
All of my guavas are seedlings I grew from various fruits I've eaten over the years. Currently I have a white pear-shaped type, a red round type, and a somewhat oval-shaped red type. They all appear to be equally cold hardy, but I never leave them uncovered below 27F...

My oldest tree is four years old and my other two are just two years old. They are all fruiting... Other guava trees I've had were planted in the tropics, so I have no idea what kind of cold hardiness they might have had.

Good luck with your tree...


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