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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:49 pm

Help carmona microphylla - leaves wilted, brown and dropping

Hi there,
I really hope you will be able to help and that I will be able to save my tree.
Over the last few weeks, my carmona started losing its leaves, slowly at first, but since last week the leaves are turning brown and dropping dramatically. The handful of leaves that are left appear wilted and I really fear that my tree is dying!
I have had it for just under a year, and it is my tree's first winter. I haven't changed its watering habits and only water when it's dry, either by watering the soil or using a humidity tray.
It is placed on a table in front of an east-facing window, and I have recently moved it away in the kitchen (still in front of an east-facing window) where I believe the temperature is a bit more constant. I live in a one bedroom flat and only have 3 windows: 2 east-facing ones and 1 west-facing one (unfortunately the latter is a bit in the shade because of large trees).
I am in the UK and it's winter here, but I don't think it could have been cold, since I have a baobab on the same table and it is doing fine
I repotted it in may last year, in a mix of potting soil and clay beads (similar to cat litter) for drainage.

I have tried to attach a few pictures of my tree and the soil. Hope it did it correctly!




If you have any questions or would like to see my tree, please let me know.

Thank you so much for any help you can provide!

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Green Thumb
Posts: 660
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:37 pm
Location: Just East of Zone 7a

Hi Zim Zam and welcome -

I don't think it's getting enough light with just available light, especially at this time of year. That could be one issue.
You've moved it. They don't like to be moved but this tree looks like it's in real distress.
You wait till it's dry to re-water. They don't like to be dry, even for a day, believe me I know. While learning about them I made many mistakes including some of the above ones.
The thing that puzzles me is that you've had it almost a year in the kitchen and it's just started to act out so it's not kitchen fumes.
Are you feeding it currently? It does have drainage holes in the pot's bottom, right?
One last thing, if it got a chill, even for an hour or two that could be the problem. I had Aphids on mine early on and took it outside to spray it just long enough to wet the leaves thoroughly, and it reacted very similarly to what yours looks like. Which reminds me, it doesn't have Aphids on it does it? Is there any stickiness on the leaves?
If all this sounds like I'm thinking out loud, I am. Trying to cover all the possibilities.
See what you think of my reply and give me some feedback. The good news is that they have a nice propensity for re-growth if you correct what you've erred at previously. :)

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:49 pm

Hi Len,

Thank you very much for your quick reply and for welcoming me to the forum.

I have only moved the tree since it started failing, in the hope of finding a better spot for it. I used to keep in in my living room, so yes, kitchen fumes can be excluded.

I do usually feed it pellets - although I have removed most of them since it started losing its leaves to prevent root burn - and yes, it does have a drainage hole at the bottom.

I have been advised to stick a chopstick in the soil for 3-4 mins and see if it comes out dry or not before watering. Hopefully this will help with the watering!

I have also looked at fluorescent / grow lights and found the following at a very reasonable price: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Energy-Saving-Pendant-Hydropnic-Supplied/dp/B002S0OCIG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=lighting&qid=1263857795&sr=8-1
(is it ok to post links to third-parties websites on this forum? Apologies if it's not!)
I do not know if you have any knowledge of artificial lighting, but any feedback is welcome :)

Once again, thank you so much for your help!

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