FelixR
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:52 pm
Location: London

New Carmona Tree-funny grey spots on leaves

Just got into gardening recently, and bought a small carmona plant, made up of three trees. However i've only had it a week and about a third of the leaves have turned a dark colour and are covered in grey spots. Is this a problem?

Its in a small pot that is kept on a windowsill, however as its winter and as I live in England the natural light is quite dull. (i could have the option of putting it under an 18W fluorescent bulb.) The soil is mainly clay based and it seems to hold the water for a long time. For example i watered it two days ago and its still damp.

A lot of the leaves seem to be falling off. i think about 3-7 leaves fall off every day. I'm quite worried about it, is it sick and what can i do to fix it?

thanks Felix

Rosaelyn
Senior Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:40 am
Location: Brighton, Michigan

Some pictures would greatly help us to diagnose more efficiently, but in the meantime, I can give a few helpful ideas.

Fukien Tea are very specific about liking lots of light. Supplemental light would be a great help - even if it were midsummer, I would still suggest this.

It is also very likely stressed from moving around... warehouse to store to house... This will cause leaf-drop while it adjusts to its new surroundings.

They also do not like to stay soggy. They prefer to mostly dry between waterings. Because they are usually imported from China, Fukien Tea trees very often come in that clay-based soil you described - which is highly water retentive and compacts quickly, creating drainage issues.

Also while waiting for pictures to further help, here are a few things to look at:

* Does it have any rocks glued onto the top of the soil? If so, these should be removed ASAP.

* Does it have drainage holes in the bottom of the pot? If not, this will also be part of your soggy soil problem.

* Does the water easily run out the bottom of the pot when you water the tree? (This is assuming their are drainage holes...) If the water pools on the top of the soil and does not drain quickly, this is a good sign that the clay your trees are potted in is compacting and not allowing water to flow through it properly. This could also mean that even though the soil is wet, the roots are not getting the water they need.

With some more information, I think we can get you moving in the right direction to make your trees more happy. Fukien Teas can be a temperamental species, though.
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland

FelixR
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:52 pm
Location: London

Thanks for all the advice so far- The pot does have two drainage holes. The water sinks into the soil quite quickly but not much comes out of the drainage holes- when left for over an hour, there is only a little excess in the saucer.

Got some photos- sorry about the quality (I'm not sure if i entered them right but there on flikr anways) -one is of a healthy leaf and the other is a leaf with the spots-let me know what you think!



[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/46858795@N02/4298782124/[/img]
[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/46858795@N02/4298034819/[/img]
[img]https://www.flickr.com/photos/46858795@N02/4298047875/[/img]

Rosaelyn
Senior Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:40 am
Location: Brighton, Michigan

The best advice I can give on watering with the soil your trees are currently in is to poke some holes in the top layer of the soil (pencil-size or so). They do not have to be extremely deep, shallow holes are fine. This should make it easier for the water to enter the soil, rather than run off.

Second, it might take some time, but when you water, water the tree until there is a good amount of water coming out the bottom drainage holes. This might take several tries if the soil is very compact, which it looks like it might be.

My last piece of watering advice would be to leave a chopstick in the soil and use this to gauge how often it needs watering. If the chopstick comes out clean, then the soil is dry.

The grey spots on the leaves are normal for a Fukien Tea. The dark leaf you showed in the picture looks like an older leaf. Fukien Tea leaves get progressively darker as they age. The light green leaves are newer leaves, the darker ones are older. It is likely that they are shedding old leaves due to both stress from moving around and changes in the light conditions. As long as there are new leaves growing, I would not worry about this leaf shed too much.

Watering is sounding like the most important step to keeping the tree happy. Second would be making sure you are giving it enough light. Are you supplying any supplemental light for your little trees?
Rosaelyn @}>---'---,---

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees. ~ Hal Borland



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