Pachira... Again

ManoLeaDecember 30, 2011

Yes, I know, these plants give everyone trouble! I've been searching other posts but can't find anything quite like what I am seeing. I have had mine for a little over a year, my original apartment was too dark for it, so it ended up on the patio for about a year. It received bright indirect light most of the day, but a few hours of direct sunlight. It looks healthy, is in well draining soil though the root ball is not as impressive as I would like. It has never flowered for me, but there is constant new growth.

The thing is, it has white patches on most every leaf. They look white and papery, with brown or yellow edges. These patches start in the center of the leaf it seems, and some spread towards the tips, some towards the base of the leaf. I've attached a picture below.

I'm hoping it is sun damage that will no longer be an issue now that I've moved it inside in a new apartment. I've placed it along the North wall where it gets indirect light from a south and a west window. I mist the leaves daily, only water when the soil is dry. I'm hoping that the indoors will fix it, but wanted to ask if anyone had seen this symptom before and if there was anything else I could be doing to help it.


Here is a link that might be useful:

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Excess light as in sunburn, probably occurred while it was on the patio. The patches won't get better because the cells died.

But I think placing on a north wall will provide insufficient light which will cause the plant's decline.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 3:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I agree. Sounds like sunburn - which mine has suffered as well - and it sounds like the north wall
will be too little light. I'd give it as much light as possible, since it's now indoors.

I've never had flowers on my Pachira, either....although the blooms are spectacular (images online).

When you say 'well draining soil,' what do you mean exactly? Did you mix it yourself?
Or is it bagged soil like Miracle Grow? Also, what sort of fertilizer are you using?


    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 3:30PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I too, think it's probably sunburn, and have some reservations about its new siting possibly not being bright enough. Don't be surprised if the plant sheds most or all of it's leaves in the coming months. A reduction in light triggers a physiological response in all plants, and in many the end result of that response is leaf abscission (shedding).

If you answer Josh's questions, I'm sure he'll have some good advice for you. One thing you can do with this plant, especially in your zone, is defoliate it entirely if it is growing well. This will not only stimulate a fresh of foliage, it will also stimulate back-budding and substantially increase ramification (branch density). Because you had the plant outdoors for a full year, I assume you're in SoCal. If you do decide to defoliate to rid the plant of spoiled foliage and gain the benefits I described, you should probably hold off until the plant is well-adjusted to it's new home & you're sure it has some energy in reserve so it easily tolerates the stress of defoliation.

If you're serious about maintaining your plant in good health over the long term, ask Josh about repotting and root pruning. I'm sure he'll be glad to either fill you in himself or direct you to threads where you can read more about maintaining trees in containers long term.

Best luck - Happy New Year.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2011 at 9:09PM
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