Droopy Pachira aquatica in 3:1:1

true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)April 30, 2013

Hi,

Last year I planted our 7 year old pachira aquatica in Al's 1:1:1: mix.
The root system was pitiful, close to non-existent.
After the initial shock the plant responded well, and had more leaves sprouting out than I could ever remember. Thanks Al.
In the winter I gave it less water, every 3/4 days, as the top of the earth looked wet. It is in a North facing room, very bright and cool. There is no heating in the room. The temperature in winter hovers around 54- 59ðF.
From March I watered it daily.
The trunk is 3 feet tall. The first 2 feet is wooden, followed by a 10 inches green stem.

The leaves look beautiful and green.
My question:

Why are the leaves droopy?

This post was edited by true-blue on Fri, Nov 1, 13 at 11:21

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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Here is the photo of the whole plant.
There is smaller Pachira just behind the big one :)

Any comments, recommendations will be appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 11:32AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!

Those leaves are droopy because they're new and still growing/tender...at least that's how mine are at first. When you say 3:1:1, do you mean 5:1:1....?

Also, it doesn't need to be watered every day. Check it every 2 - 5 days, instead.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 5:48PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the prompt response.
I'm sorry I meant the gritty mix. 1:1:1.

I was under the impression that the gritty mix needed watering everyday.
Also the leaves are last year's leaves, not this year's.
That was why I was concerned.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:08PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!
Is there something on top of the Gritty Mix in the pic?
The Gritty Mix definitely does not need to be watered everyday.

Hmmm, guess I was wrong about the leaves. They don't look as though they've "unfolded" and hardened off.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 1:08AM
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The Ficus Wrangler

I'm wondering when you first noticed that the leaves were droopy? I wonder if you let the soil dry out more between waterings if that would help. Pachira don't much like wet roots.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:06PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Josh: Those are pine wood chips. I couldn't find the size Tapla had recommended. So, I was forced to break them down by hand one by one. It took me an hour, very mediative :)
The top is bending and I'm trying to straighten it with a bamboo stick. It's too heavy.
I think both you and theficuswrangler are right. I will change the watering schedule and will water every 3- 4 days.
And will report back,
Thanks so much.

Bob

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:34PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Bob!
So the bark in the mix is the right size? 1/8 to 1/4 inch pieces? And that bark is just mulch for the top?

Pachira are notorious heliotropers, so I turn mine whenever it begins to lean toward the sun. The next stage will be to prune the tree to alleviate some of that weight.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 12:31PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Josh thanks so much for all the explanations. I still have some other questions to ask.
Yes. That's no mulch. Its just pieces of pine mulch, which decided to stay up. I have to repot/ remix at one point.

I wasn't aware of the heliotroper habit of Pachiria, thanks for letting me know.
Correct me if I'm wrong, the top is bending because of the weight and the heliotrope habit of Pachira. Is that right?
To correct that I have to prune the plant and turn the pot regularly?
As of now, I attempted holding the top of the plant straight with bamboo sticks.

How do you recommend pruning that, at what height?
What will the pruning do, in the over all shape of the plant?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 5:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Pruning shortens the plant and brings the foliage down lower...and sometimes it will encourage branching, but that's not a certain thing. When I prune, I get a single new stem from the cut.

Turning the plant will also allow for more uniform foliage...the classic umbrella canopy for which potted Pachira are known.

Here's mine hanging out under the western eave on the front of the house. I'm transitioning it to outdoor light.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 12:48AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Josh, that's a beaut. What a graceful, elegant plant. From what I see the "branches" are evenly distributed in the top part of the plant, which seems to be around 2 feet.

However, in mine the branches are in the top 2 inches :(
By pruning you mean I remove the top 2 inches, i.e. all the leaves?
Wouldn't the plant die?

Is there a way to coax it to leaf/branch from below?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2013 at 3:59PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks!

Typically, I'd say prune it so that there are two healthy leaves below the cut. However, that wouldn't improve the situation much, given how the foliage clusters toward the top of the tree. When I've pruned this way, hoping for branches below the cut, I've always been disappointed. All the foliage you see in the pic is last Summer's growth. I pruned about 20 inches off, which was quickly replaced by two feet of new growth.

That's why I'm going to do a "hard chop" this year...chopping all the foliage off, leaving only a length of bare trunk. Even if I only get one new branch, it will at least be a shorter plant (which is so much easier to manage during the Winter).

One Spring, I put my Pachira outside before there was enough shade, and every leaf burned off. So I know the plant can survive without any leaves...but it's always a risk. If the tree is healthy, it should tolerate the chop.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 2:52PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks Josh for sharing your experience and sorry for my very late response.

The fact and matter is if I follow your suggestion, I need to chop the top stem around 6 inches.

That means all the leaves will go.

From what you say, there is no guaranty if the plant will leaf at all. So, I'm not sure if I want to go with it :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 4:01PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks Josh for sharing your experience and sorry for my very late response.

The fact and matter is if I follow your suggestion, I need to chop the top stem around 6 inches.

That means all the leaves will go.

From what you say, there is no guaranty if the plant will leaf at all. So, I'm not sure if I want to go with it :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 4:26PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Hey true-blue,
Are your pachira's top leaves still droopy? Have you got any new growth? I have one that has been acting a bit like yours, except it has 2 branches instead of one. It's got about 15" of woody stem, then it splits into 2 green stems about 16" and 24". Mine isn't doing the droopy thing, but it got chilled the winter before last, and just didn't want to do anything after that - no new growth, and very slowly, leaflet by leaflet, dropping the old.

I repotted it about 6 weeks ago into a gritty sort of mix. It had very small, weak root growth, but now it's starting to take off. I would like to cut it back after it gains some strength, to give it a prettier shape, but like you I hate to cut off all the leaves. I think I'm going to try air-layering the 2 stems, then if the cuts don't pop out new growth (which they probably will, pachira is very tough), at least I'll have some rooted cuttings

By the way, looking at greenman's plant by the door, what looks like the trunk is really a branch, and all the leaves coming off it are not on branches, but on leaf stems. Those are what are called palmate leaves, with a number of small leaflets arranged like fingers on a palm, then each leaf (with its little leaflets) attached to the branch by a leaf stem.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:24PM
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The Ficus Wrangler

Woops, forgot to say something. A plant's response to light is called phototropism, not heliotropism. (Heliotrope is a specie of flowering plant sometimes used indoors, and apparently quite poisonous to dogs and cats.)

All plants are phototropic to a greater or lesser degree, and turning the plant should be part of your regular plant care. Professional plant techs are taught to rotate each plant 1/4 turn at every service.

Is your plant sitting on the floor? If it's not, why don't you try putting it there, so the upper part might get more light. I still suspect the droopiness is due to insufficient light.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 7:41PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've always said heliotropism, or turning toward Great Helios the sun god ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   May 17, 2013 at 8:18PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi ficuswrangler,

Thanks for the botany lesson, about the palmate leaves. One learns a lot on this site :)
As you said phototropism is when plant stems lean towards light, but when plants track the light, it is called heliotropism. So Josh, which term did you mean?

As for your questions:
1) The leaves are still droopy, but a healthy vibrant green.
2) No new growth
3) Last year, when I put it in the 1:1:1 mix, it was incredible. It was leafing more thanI can remember.
And I watered it on a daily basis, till end of November.
4) I don't think light is a problem. It has always been in this room. The plant is facing a north window at the window level . It receives late afternoon sunlight.
5) I have a smaller Pachira in the same room. Actually on the second photo you can see it. The pot, is behind the bigger plant.
The smaller pachira is shedding it's old leaves and growing new ones.

As Josh recommended, I'm watering every 2-3 days.
The egritty has a musty, stale smell. I think the problem is that I overwatered from February onwards.
However, I have an Osmanthus, a spider plant, the small Pachira, a Meyer lemon and one Acacia Farnesiana all subjected to the same watering regimen.
And they didn't suffer at all. They are healthy and vibrant. So that's somewhat confusing. Why this one decided to droop?

Here is a link that might be useful: Tropisims

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 4:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I meant turning toward the Sun, which was the original term...later renamed phototropism, to clarify a turning toward light...not just the sun. I use the terms interchangeably. If I were on a growing under lights forum, I'd probably indulge the term phototropism.

Have you fertilized? My two Pachira are putting out new growth and I'm fertilizing once a week, watering 2 - 3 times a week.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 2:53PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks for the precision.
Actually I use slow released fertilizer.
And thanks for the reminder as it is around 4 months since I added fertilizer. It probably is because of that.
I'll report in a week and see if it is feeling better, so to speak :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 5:24PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

I'm going to post some more about the pachira.
First I'm going to ask about the soil. Then I'm going to post some pictures of the root.

Soil:

I got tired of the Pachira's constant moping. So I decided to check the soil and roots and see what I am doing wrong with this plant, that is so unhappy.

I took the plant outdoors. It had been three days since I'd watered it.
I was surprised to see, how the turface was still moist.
I understand now, why you insisted to water it twice a week when indoors.

Here is a picture of the soil. The blue stones are aquarium gravel.

I hope the tape measure gives a sense of proportion.

Do you think the soil with more pebbles (more like the ones in the picture, not the gravel obviously) is Ok?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 7:10PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I don't know if the root system is ok or not.
It is much better than what it was last year, (unfortunately, I didn't take a photo last year, to compare with this years).

However, these roots haven't got the healthy white tinge of healthy roots. What do you think?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 7:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Whoa, very few roots there.
One would expect such a canopy to show more roots...and I think we now know why the roots weren't able to supply moisture to keep the foliage turgid. The roots are healthy, though, so that's a good thing. There should be enough there to support a recovery...but give it due time.

The first thing I notice in the mix is that the bark is much too large. The bark should be smaller. The gravel/stones are also quite large, seeming to be 1/4-inch or larger.

I would add coarse perlite to the mix, and I would replace the volume of bark with pieces 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Now is a great time to work on Pachira. I'll attach a pic of my current mix - screened fir bark, coarse perlite, scoria (red lava rock).

Josh

    Bookmark   June 3, 2013 at 8:16PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Well the roots were even worse last year.
But I'm relieved that at least they're ok.
So, the problem is my mix.
Though, I'm curious. If the mix is extra large, then wouldn't everyday watering compensate for the large bits of wood and pebble?
It is only two months since I have had this problem.

I have to go to home depot and get some 1/4 inch hardware mesh.
Then re-screen the mixture and add corse perlite to the mix,
I am not sure if I can find 1/4 inch granite. I don't have a car and honestly I don't have the place to have a huge bag of stone in my yard. Can I replace it with perlite?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 8:07PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sure thing.
And be sure to rinse the perlite so you're getting the large pieces rather than the fine dust. Re-use the pebbles that aren't too large, as they will give weight to the mix to help hold the roots and plant in place while it grows new roots.

The former mix was most likely clogged by the Turface migrating down between the larger bark, which would have caused the overall mix to hold too much moisture. As the particles become more uniform in size (to around 1/8 of an inch), the drainage properties of a mix increase.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 11:47PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Great. That's a relief.
I actually found a 1/4 inch garden sieve and ordered it, online. Phew.
From what I see in your picture the mixture is much more on the smaller side and is quite homogenous and is actually quite lovely to look at. It's really what a good soil should look like.
The only thing I actually screened was the turface.
And for bark I use Shultz Orchid Mix. It has western fir bark, horticultural charcoal and a naturally occurring volcanic rock. I hope that's fine.
I have to do a lot of screening this week.

I had some other questions:
1) Do I need to add gypsum, to this mix?
2) Do I need to add Gypsum every year, as it will wash away?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 7:10AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello! Thanks!
Yes, I use fir bark that is sometimes packaged as "orchid bark." The charcoal and volcanic rock (pumice / scoria) won't hurt a thing.

I'm attaching another pic...it's the mix I used prior to the current mix, but it is very similar. Notice how the particles are a bit large - and yet they are fairly homogenous. A coarse mix, as you note, does require more attentive watering...but it also drains and dries well. We only get into trouble when the particles are too differently sized (the small lodging between the large), which results in the overall mix taking on the drainage characteristics of the smallest particles.

No gypsum is required as long as you are using a complete fertilizer, such as Foliage Pro.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 4:22PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I see what you mean now. It is the lack of homogeneity in the soil, which has circumvented a reasonable root growth for the Pachira.

I'm sorry to repeat again, but that soil just looks amazing.

I have a big container of gypsum sitting on my deck. So unless you think it's absolutely necessary to use Foliage Pro, I prefer to use that.
In that case, do I have to add gypsum every year, or no?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:00PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I see what you mean now. It is the lack of homogeneity in the soil, which has circumvented a reasonable root growth for the Pachira.

I'm sorry to repeat again, but that soil just looks amazing.

I have a big container of gypsum sitting on my deck. So unless you think it's absolutely necessary to use Foliage Pro, I prefer to use that.
In that case, do I have to add gypsum every year, or no?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, yeah, add gypsum 1 Tablespoon per gallon of mix, and then when you fertilize, add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Epsom Salt per gallon of water. If I recall correctly, you'll want to add gypsum each year (or re-pot in a mix with refreshed gypsum).

I really like working with these coarse mixes. The Perlite is jarring to the eye, but the bark and the red lava rock look great I think.

Here's my back up Pachira (rooted cutting from the top of my tree), in a 1-gallon nursery container of 5-1-1 (bark, perlite, potting mix). I have no idea where I'm going to squeeze this one in the Winter!

Josh

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 12:24AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thank you so much Josh for all the info.
I honestly don't think the white is jarring. I think it gives novices like me an exact idea how a good soil should look like.

The moment I'll get my sifter, I'll get to work and post the new pictures.

As for that small Pachira it looks really healthy and happy.
Don't worry, you never know, anyway winter is still several months away :)

Bob

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 9:22PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Just an update. I got my sifter today and boy it was an eye opening experiencing.
I had a small Pachira (actually theyâÂÂre two) non-drooping and small.

So, I thought IâÂÂd sift itâÂÂs gritty mix, as it was/is in a much smaller pot.
I was in for a surprise when I realized that the bark was just to big. So, I have to forget my orchid mixture.


Now, I have to find another source for the pine bark fines, I think the pet store has some. Hopefully that will work. I'll start with a small sample and see if it is the right size.
I was forced to be creative, as I couldnâÂÂt replant it in the same old soil. So, I screened some Perlite and mixed it with already screened Turface.
Here is the result. What do you think, as a temporary solution?

The problem was that it had no anchorage. As I watered the whole mixture came lose and the plants fell apart. So, I was forced to cover the surface with some pebbles.
Here is the Pachira with an Oxalis in the background.

Any thoughts, insights will be appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 7:47PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I had another question about fertilizer.
I used Miracle Gro Shake _N Feed for Containers 19-6-12.
However, checking it I realized that it has none of the micronutrients necessary for plants.
I've gone all the trouble for my plants, might as well go all the way and get Foliage Pro.
Is Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 sufficient for all the plant needs or should it be used in combination with another fertilizer?
Could it be used for flowering plants, such as Jasmines?
Do you use it as a Foliage spray (like fish emulsion) or is it added to the root zone, like powdered fertilizers?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 8:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good morning!

That is eye-opening, isn't it?! Okay, so now we're on the path to a better performing mix - be on the lookout for bark small enough to work. Just monitor the watering until those plants grow more roots....they really should have a much larger root-mass, and that's what we want to see happen.

The stones on the mix will prevent drying to some extent, so it might be better to situate one or two larger stones rather than all those stones. I'd also recommend a watering can with a fine gentle tip that will allow slow and even watering without disturbing the mix.

The fertilizer above is fine if used with a supplement for the missing micro's, as you note. I just find it easier to use Foliage Pro because it's a single fertilizer, and makes life simple. It absolutely will work on a variety of plants...I use it on everything I grow in containers, from maples and conifers to peppers and succulents. Foliage Pro is a liquid used to water the root-zone primarily, although there are directions on the bottle for foliar application (I haven't used it for that, since it works well enough via the roots).

Josh

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 11:45AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

I finally got around to pot up the droopy Pachira.
It was both expensive and laborious, but fulfilling in the end, i.e. if I got it right.
I got a small bag of reptile bark (4 quarts) and aquarium gravel.

It was very time consuming and frustrating to screen the fir bark, and not very economic. Of a 4 quart bag, I could use two only 2 quarts for the gritty mix. the screened wood chips are at the top.

I screened it afterwards on a mosquito net, to get rid of the dust. I don't know what to do with the bigger particles.
The stones where much easier to do, and weirdly it didn't contain any dust.
Here is the final mix:
:
Here is a photo of the plant in the mix:
.

I tried finding Foliage Pro. But the shipping to Canada is 50$ for the 1 gallon container. I found one on ebay and the shipment was refused. I've been emailing suppliers the whole morning but haven't got any positive response yet. So, it will be slow release fertilizer, gypsum and epsom salts, for the time being.
The plant is currently outside and is looking as miserable as ever, under the rain. I suppose if it is going to make it, it will take a month to see any sign.
So Josh are we on the right track?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:16PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I forgot to post a picture of the whole plant.
We removed several of the top leaves.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:32PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Now that looks like a huge improvement! Well done!
Yes, repti-bark isn't very economical...so keep looking for bark, and then stock up if ever you find a good source. If there are hydro-shops (cannabis growers) in your area, they ought to be able to order Foliage Pro. It costs about $20 for a quart here in California.

That big bark that you screened out makes a great top-dressing / mulch for containers during the Summer, and you can also mix it into a batch of 5-1-1.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 2:49PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

It's all thanks to you and your patience. It has been an immense help.

That's good to know about the bigger particles, it seems 5-1-1 is less labor intensive :)

I was wondering is it Ok for the plant to be under rain? We're receiving something around 20 mm of rain today.
Tomorrow there will be possibility of showers, etc.

I found other dyna-grow products, but they don't have the right ratio:
Dyna-Gro Liquid Bloom - NPK: 3-12-6

Dyna-Gro Liquid Grow - NPK: 7-9-5

Dyna-Gro Mag-Pro - NPK: 2-15-4

Dyna-Gro Pro-TeKt - NPK: 0-0-3

This is the closest alternative I found:
Flora Nova:
Guaranteed analysis
Total Nitrogen.............. 7.0%
Available Phosphate ....4.0%
Soluble Potash ...........10.0%
Calcium .......................4.0%
Magnesium .................1.5%
Sulfur........................... 2.0%
Chelated Iron.............. 0.1%.

But I'll keep looking.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 3:22PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Rain is perfect for this plant :-)

If the other Dyna-Gro products are available, the Foliage Pro ought to be available for order....the only question is whether or not the vendor *will* order it. Could be a minimum order required.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 5:53PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I know. I contacted them, Dyna-gro's Canadian distributor and a couple of other hydroponic companies. No response yet.
We'll see tomorrow :)

Anyway, Lady Pachira will have rain till tomorrow morning. I just sprinkled a little gypsum at it's foot.
I'll keep you posted.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 7:54PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Just a short update.
I finally got the foliage pro today. It feels great,as if I have a magic wand or something!
I found it throughout a Canadian supplier the week before.
I'm going to fertilze the Pachira tomorrow.
It has been one rainy June. Torrential showers everyday.
The Pachira is still drooping, but I see new growth.

I'm thinking of thinning the leaves a bit more, what do you think, or should I fertilze first and wait for a couple of weeks?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Fertilize first, and see how the plant reacts.
Good score on the Foliage Pro :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 2:56PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I fertilized today. I opted for 1 tsp in a gallon of water, every week. I hope it's all right.
I'll wait a couple of weeks and if I see no reaction, then I'll proceed to some clipping.
I'm so happy with foliage Pro. Sometimes you search and search and you can't find some product. And then one day you do a small research and you find it right away :)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 5:07PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Just a new update.
I'm posting a new photo of the Pachira.

If I'm not mistaken, the leaves are slowly rising, compared to the June 11 photo. So, the combination of the new soil and Foliage Pro seems to be working :)

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:57PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey!
That does look better! Keep up the good work :-)
Nice new growth at the top, too.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:59PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks to you Josh :)

I'll post another picture in a couple of weeks, to follow it's progress.

It's heart warming to see, a plant recovering.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 1:52PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Just wanted to do another update.
Here is a side by side comparison between the plant, approx. a month after transplanting.
Quite impressive, don't you think so?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 4:20PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Impressive, indeed! Developing a nice umbrella canopy!
Are you fertilizing regularly?

Josh

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 5:44PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Yes. Josh, religiously every week :-)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 8:43PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Haha, perfect!

Josh

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 9:00PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

I was wondering if you would recommend using Pro -tekt in conjunction with Foliage Pro for Pachira.
It might help with some of the still floppy leaves.
If so, what dosage do you recommend?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 5:58PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey!
I've been using Pro-teKt this Summer for my hot peppers and my Citrus, and then I use the leftover solution for my Pachira. I've been mixing it at the recommended rate, or close to it - about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon per gallon. On the bottle, the recommendation is to add it every time one waters. I haven't been that faithful...but I'd be very interested to see the results.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 9:14PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,
I'm going for the 1/4 every week watering.
Here are some photos of the Pachira. The top leaves are amazing, bursting with life, the bottom leaves, well, they're much better, but I assume soon the Pachira will lose them...

Here a better view of the top leaves:

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 9:15PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, True Blue!
Time for an update :-) How's the Pachira?

Josh

    Bookmark   October 19, 2013 at 7:53PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh. Sorry for the late reply. I was busy raking leaves and planting bulbs :-)

The Pachira is indoors now and doing fine considering it had a fierce encounter with a squirrel when the latter decided to hide a bagel or what not in the pot, early September.

I didn't have the heart to tell you about it at that moment, I was so mad at the squirrel and myself when I saw the destruction. Mad at myself especially, as September is when theses guys start hiding their stash.

Anyway to cut a long story short I had to repot the plant and didn't take any photos. There was no point in showing an R rated movie of mangled roots. But I have to say I still was impressed by the root ball, it had doubled and it looked quite healthy.

See for yourself...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 5:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sorry about the squirrel episode! But doesn't look to have done any real harm. And I'm very glad to hear that the roots have put on mass and vitality. A healthy root-system is exactly what you want....healthy foliage is sure to follow. Your leaves are looking thick and vibrant, and no more drooping! Well done!

Josh

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 8:07PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Thanks Josh.
I'm back to feeding it 1/4 tsp foliage pro and 1/4 tsp pro-tekt per gallon at every watering.
I'm also using your system of using a wooden skewer to check when to water...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 6:26AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi Josh,

Hope you're having a fine spring. Ours is still far away, as of now, we're in a middle of snow storm ;-)
I just wanted to post an updated. The pachira is doing fine and the new are must less droopy and there is new growth so everything is well.

I'm adding a couple of table spoons of white vinegar to my water as my water is quite alkaline. (ph 7.5-8.5).

I had a question about the skewer method to test when one has to water.
How many inches do you shover your skewer in the soil?
How long do you keep it in before you pull out to check for the humidity?

I normally push the skewer in 4- 5 inches, leave it in for 15 minutes. However, with this method sometimes I can go without watering for 10 days. As the stick is still humid. Is that normal?

Thanks a lot,

True.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 4:35PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey! Glad to see the plant still thriving!

Push the skewer all the way to the bottom of the mix, if you can, and leave it for 15 minutes, yes. That should be long enough to get a good read. I'd personally water the tree regularly, since it's in a free-draining mix. 7 - 10 days isn't so unusual. Give it a nice thorough flushing this weekend, perhaps, and then fertilize at 1/2 strength after.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 11:22AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, True!
How is the tree doing?

Josh

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 4:25PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Sorry Josh, I never got the message. The plant is amazing. It's got quite tall, If I get around to it, I'll post another picture :-)

1 Like    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 10:28AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks! No worries...the message notification system was spotty at best.

So, will you be pruning this Summer, and possibly rooting the top of the cutting?

Josh

    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 10:55AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

I am not so sure about pruning it yet. I sort of like it's tall, majestic, albeit a bit bent stance. (The canopy seems to be a bit heavy for the greenish top stem.

I've got a smaller one already, so I won't be rooting any. I've got enough the way it is :-)

I pruned the smaller one a couple of days ago, inspired by one of your posts. I want to see how it will develop and if I like it, then I might lop the big one next year.

They develop really nice woody trunks.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 11:04AM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Josh as promised here is a photo of the Pachira.
As you can see the stem has bent under the weight of the canopy. I need to get a taller bamboo stick to straighten it, ....

- Bob

1 Like    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 11:45AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

It looks great! What a turnaround!

I assume you're "aiming" the tree toward the light so that it will naturally straighten itself?

That's what I have to do with mine - aim the bend or lean *away* from the window/light source so that it pulls itself toward the light and naturally straightens.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 7:01PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Yes. It is my pride & joy :-)

The leaning started in September when it was outside. I tried the method but the top stem is quite wobbly and is now forming another bend in the other direction. I am of the mind to get a tall bamboo and attach it firmly.

- Bob

1 Like    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 10:53AM
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