Pachira (Money Tree) Problems
I received this money tree as a gift about 6 years ago.
It started out with 5 braided trunks, about 15" tall, in a 4" pot.
Over time it grew quite nicely, up to about 2-1/2'
This spring I noticed that the new growth at the top of one of the trunks
had become extremely stunted. I had intended to re-pot anyway, and,
when I did, found that that trunk had indeed rotted.
I removed the rotted trunk; the root ball left behind from the other four trunks
seemed extremely healthy...
Unfortunately I had yet to discover this forum, because it would have
helped me to avoid making the following mistakes when I re-potted
the four remaining trunks:
- potting up
- 'wrong' soil = fast draining popular brand mix + vermiculite
- failure to prune the roots
- over watering, due to the nature of the soil
Anyway, I'm sure the more experienced growers reading this can predict what happened next:
Explosive healthy growth for the first few months followed by a return to a "state of continual decline ".
For the last few weeks I've been observing the plant in this state, and it reminded me too much of what I saw from it prior to finding the trunk with the root rot. So, I decided to re-pot.
This time I had the benefit of this forum, and here's what I've done the last few days:
- unpotted the four trunks. no rot, but not a healthy looking root system, at least by my non-expert observation...the thin roots were really dried and spread out (not really a ball), and had become tangled (I suspect due to the fact that I had potted up)...most of the other small roots were also dried out and dead looking...after allowing the unpotted plant to dry out overnight, I unbraided the trunks and cleaned out the old potting medium, then pruned the roots, leaving behind the healthy looking thick and yellow ones , and a little bit of the thin ones...sorry I had not started taking pictures at this point...
- next day made a batch of potting mix based on what i'd seen in a post from Josh: pine bark, lava stone, perlite, Osmocote, little bit of charcoal (to replace what Josh called "wood ash")
- 're-braided' (not exactly) the trunks and re-potted, watered thoroughly, then placed the plant in a spot in my living room that does not get direct sun.
- removed four of the healthiest looking leaves to try to propagate, in styrofoam cups with brand name bonzai mix (bark, lava stone, perlite), and watered...
Current state of things after a few days:
- The plant doesn't seem too happy, but, thankfully, not so sad that the leaves have immediately started turning yellow and dropping. Leaves that were healthy prior to the re-potting seem to still be healthy for the most part, but in general the plant seems stressed
- I've noticed that some leaves now have some black stippling on them (see picture, sorry that my gnarly foot is in there too!), something I had not noticed before the re-potting, perhaps due to stress?
- I also noticed that one of the trunks had several pock marks on them that I'd never seen til now, kind of like a pimple but with a black center...Any ideas what this is?
- I watered again today because the medium had dried. But I still have the plant in a space that does not get any direct sun. Before, I had the plant in a south west facing window which got indirect sun most of the day, and direct sun in the evening...I'm in new jersey and it's been in the 80s recently...I wonder if it would be beneficial to move the plant back to this spot?
- The leaves being propagated seem to be doing quite well.
Anyway, I've attached a pic of the black stipple on the leaves. I have more pics but could not figure out how to post multiple pics. I'm sure I made a lot of mistakes so I would love for anyone to give me some feedback so I don't repeat them. The plant was fairly healthy to begin so I suspect it will rebound, hopefully the root pruning and new medium will have positive results. Any advice or encouragement that anyone would care to give would be much appreciated, prayers too because I really love this plant and don't want to lose it!
Thanks a lot!