dying patchouli- help!

greengreen(8)December 17, 2012

i've had a patchouli plant, potted for a few years & now keep an offspring propagated from a clipping inside,
year-round as a houseplant. it has never grown to become as "woody stemmed", nor hardy-looking like its parent plant
but, while rather short- it still got full and bushy this past spring-summer.
now it appears to be dying dropping leaves daily from soil out to tips. i was afraid it was getting inconsistent waves of heat
as it was somewhat near a heat register (and the weathers getting colder) so i moved it from it's lifelong spot
in an eastern-facing window to a southern-facing window.

it is still dropping leaves & i wonder if i should cut it back aggressively (any tips?)
*although the only leaves left are towards the branch ends*
i water it fairly regularly although i make be guilty of letting the soil dry out to much btwn waterings
(blaming the indoor heating for drying out soil faster*).
i read about using diluted coffee for reviving plants. should i try that? though that may only be helpful for tropicals..?
i use Schultz Liquid Plant Food 10-15-10 usually. should i apply another/different kind of fertilizer?

please help, i really like this plant.
any advice would be much appreciated. thank you for reading.

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Please don't use coffee or tea on the plant, they are not tonics, regardless of what you might read.

10-15-10 does have much more P in it than your plant could ever use (in relation to the amount of N), so a fertilizer with a different ratio (ratios are different than NPK %s) would be better. 10-15-10 is a 2:3:2 ratio fertilizer. A 3:1:2 ratio like 24-8-16, 12-4-8, or 9-3-6 would be a better choice because it supplies nutrients in the same ratio as the average ratio in which plants use nutrients.

That said, it's probably not the fertilizer that's at issue. The usual prime suspect would be over-watering, but under-watering could be an issue as well. Some plants respond vigorously to a decrease in light by shedding foliage; and one of the primary symptoms of tight roots is that 'tufted' or 'poodle' look that occurs when foliage is concentrated mostly near apices (branch/stem tips).

It's difficult to tell what might be going on with your plant, so I wopuld suggest that you return to the basics & make sure that you aren't inadvertently limiting your plant by providing unfavorable cultural conditions that ensure significant limitations.

Al

Here is a link that might be useful: About the basics .........

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 5:44PM
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