Sick looking braided Money Tree - Part 2

vlauz7bMay 15, 2014

Hi Josh (greenman28),

These are the available mix (only Miracle-gro) I found and repotted the tree with the following amount:
Orchid mix (only had course blend) - 4 Qt
so I got Cactus mix (it said Fast Draining) to even it out - 7 Qt,
then I added a lot of Perlite - 3 or 4 Qt.
and also found Hoffman fine charcoal (1/4" - 3/8") - 1 Qt.
Looks like it should work?!
Now it's cross the fingers and hope and hope the tree likes it.

Just curious --- Why is the pot too big is bad?

THANKS again for you help!


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From what I've gathered is if the pot is to big the plant will focus on growing roots and the top won't really grow. Also Ive read some plants like to be root bound. I'm pretty new so I could be totally wrong,sorry if I am. I forgot to add that the pot being to big will also mean it holds more water which in turn means will stay wet longer which usually isnt what you want.

This post was edited by scootsybootsy on Thu, May 15, 14 at 23:41

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, the big pot with a heavy mix will hold moisture for too long, depriving the roots of oxygen.

If the coarse Orchid Mix is too coarse, you might not want to use it. Can you post a pic or describe the size of the bark pieces in particular? That'll really help.

I also recommend that you add a slow-release fertilizer (such as Osmocote) to the mix.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:50AM
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Here are the Charcoal and Coarse Orchid Mix, the charcoal is avg. 1/4 - 3/8", the orchid mix is a range from mainly crumbs to 1/4"-5/8" chips, then 10% you find a big chunk 1+" (which I took out as much as I could when I was mixing to the soil).

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Here is what the final mix looks like. I did put some Osmocote in it, maybe 3 teaspoons. I could see the MG mixes already has a very little bit in there, hope I didn't over do it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:28AM
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As for the oversize pot - generally speaking, how much bigger should the pot be compare to root-ball? When the root-ball is placed into pot, 1", 2" all around?

Mine was 3", which I was surprised. It was growing so much last year, I thought the root would be bigger/longer. The root-ball looked the same as I got it. - should I go find a smaller pot?

Thanks again guys!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:44AM
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Photo Synthesis

A pot that is 1-2" bigger should do fine. I don't think that money trees grow very extensive root systems. My money tree is over 6' tall, and when I first went to repot it, I went ahead and kept it in the same pot that it was already in. Because, even tho it was healthy and growing, the roots were still relatively small, compared to the rest of the plant. What roots it did have were mostly concentrated towards the very bottom ends of the trunks. So what I did was to just raise the plant itself up higher within the pot. Giving them plenty of room to grow, without actually having to use a bigger pot. I had to place a few large stones in the top of the pot, to support my money tree until it could get reestablished and support itself.

Are you "potting up" your money tree (moving the rootball into a larger pot and filling in soil around it), or actually repotting it to a larger pot (removing all of the old soil and replacing it with a fresh mix)? I don't think money trees mind being repotted, just as long as you're gentle and try and minimize root breakage. One trick I use is to wash away the old soil with the sprayer on my water hose. It loosens the roots up and cleans them too, without breaking them. Then just go about repotting it.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:59PM
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I potted up when it first came home last year. But as you suggested, I am going to find a smaller pot.
What do you think about my soil mix?


    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:01AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I can't tell much from the picture of the mix...looks quite black, though. I would have added more Perlite, I think. After watering the plant in, what did the mix look like?

Pachira can grow in small containers, but the roots will become congested for sure. Pachira do grow extensive root-systems, however most are grown in heavy, poorly aerated mixes, and so the roots don't grow much, leading folks to think that they naturally have a small root-system.

Right now, I would just let the plant adjust to the new mix, which will certainly be better than the last mix.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:55PM
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Thanks Josh,
I got a smaller pot, but still have trouble locating the pumice/gravelly mix (will keep looking). I'll wait a week or 2 to see how the tree does. The mix looks dark after watering. If I can't find gritty materials, I'll add more Perlite when I down-pot in the next couple weeks.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Hi guys,
It's been 3 weeks. Tree is still recovering, on average a couple leaves keep turning yellow... 2,3 trunks out of the 5 are doing well, leaves come out looking much healthier and bigger. However, 1 trunk (the one that was drying from top down) is not doing too well, no leaf came out, it now seems to shrivel down the trunk, the very outer layer seems soft half way down, but further down there are 2 tiny green buds.

Anything I can do to stop it from dying?

By the way Josh, the pic of soil mix was taken after watering.

THANKS for helping :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:37AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Snip the drying tip of the trunk off, and hope the shriveling stops there. If there are leaves below, then there's still a chance that the trunk will survive.

Have you fertilized?


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 9:52AM
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Thanks Josh,

Here are some photos, I already cut pretty far down to where the braid starts, it still has a green branch, though the leaves are not developing. It's trying to make green buds, and at the same time the trunk is shriveling almost half way down to the base.

I added Osmocote in the soil, last few times I watered it with regular MiracleGro All Purpose (small scoop per gallon). The 2 trunks that are fine produce good looking leaves finally. Couple leaves are larger than a foot across, and continuing to make new leaves.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:29PM
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shrivel part

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

That shriveled trunk looks like a loss - and I'd remove it.
What you could do is cleanly cut off that healthy leaf above the shriveled part, and put it into some well-draining potting mix, and attempt to root it.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Half way down the braid, the skin was so soft I broke it.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:26PM
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Top of that green branch, still trying to make leaves. Leaf got to about 4" across (see the one with 4 leaves but very skinny), then it would turn slight yellow then fall off.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:36PM
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Base of that trunk is still hard, 2 tiny green buds.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cut off the soft part, and hope for the best :-)


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 1:44PM
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It's 1" diameter at that spot, how do I seal it.
I've heard people use cinnamon, is that powder you buy from supermarket?

THANKS again Josh :)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 2:16PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cinnamon helps prevents rot...yep, the cooking stuff :-)

I wouldn't bother sealing the wound....but you could mix woodglue 1-1 with water to make a sealant. If I'm misquoting Al on that, I hope someone will correct me.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 2:33PM
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