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oregon
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PLEASE HELP my poor mimosa!

hello,
i started this plant a few months ago https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33786

and now her leaves are wilting pretty badly, and i don't know what's causing it.
please lend your helpful suggestions. i don't want to lose her

[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/244xg76.png[/img]
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Kisal
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What size is the container it's in, what is the soil like, and how often do you water it? I presume you've provided for good drainage? :?:
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oregon
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hello,
thanks for the reply. the soil is a mix of 'garden and bloomes soil building compost' and a standard indoor/outdoor organic potting soil.

soil building compost is very airy and it looks like just chips of wood, so i figure that helps the soil drain.

i water it pretty often, keeping the soil on the wet side, which is what it usually seems to prefer

EDIT: also the plant is in a 3.5"x3.5"x3.5" square pot

EDIT AGAIN: i also have her 6" below two 48" wide spectrum fluorescent bulbs for 16/8
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Kisal
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I recommend that you gently remove the plant from the pot and check to see if it's root bound. Mimosas have two types of roots. They have multiple large taproots, known to be able to break through concrete, and they also form thick mats of fine roots near the surface of the soil. Although your mimosa is small, it is a tree, and that means its root system is as large as, or larger than, the top growth.

They do like moisture, and often grow on riverbanks, but they will grow in almost any area where the soil is loose from having been disturbed. Your choice of soil for the plant was excellent, IMO. They can grow in full sun or part shade, but not deep shade, so you're probably providing sufficient light. The only other thing I can come up with is that the plant is root bound.

A root bound plant will exhibit the same symptoms as an over or under watered plant, i.e. wilting leaves, dropping leaves, yellowing leaves, etc., because the roots are too tight in the pot to be able to absorb sufficient water.

HTH! :)
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oregon
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Wow thanks so much for all the information. I don't really know how to check if its root bound. Should I just transplant to a larger pot and see if that helps?

EDIT: also, do you think it could be vascular wilt? https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_h/h-160.html
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rainbowgardener
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As Kisal said, you take it out of the pots and look at the roots. If it is root bound, aka pot bound, the dirt ball will be full of roots and there will be roots going all around the outside in circles. The roots will be kind of matted together.
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Kisal
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It could be Fusarium, but I would check the roots before looking for disease. My approach is always to check the most common and easiest to fix problems first.

To remove the plant from the pot, just squeeze the sides to loosen the root ball, then hold the container in one hand, with the top slightly lower than the bottom, as you gently tap the edge against your other hand. The root ball should slip right out of the container into the palm of your hand.

The tap roots will probably be encircling the root ball, and if the center portion is tightly matted with the finer surface roots, then it's definitely time to move it to a larger container.

If the plant isn't root bound, just slip it back into its pot. My next step would be to examine it very carefully and thoroughly for insect pests, such as scale, which can appear to be part of the plant. Just little bumps on the stems, for instance.

Only after these steps would I consider Fusarium. Before concluding that that is the problem, though, I would look for some of the other symptoms listed in the article than just the wilting. Also, since Fusarium is a soil-borne disease and has to gain entry through damaged roots, I would think it more likely to be seen in trees growing in the ground. Yours, being grown indoors, in purchased soil in a container, would seem to be an unlikely candidate for the disease. But, that doesn't rule it out entirely, of course. It's possible that the seed was already infected with the fungus when you received it.
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oregon
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okay with your advice i was able to inspect the roots, and i was suprised at how tiny the rootbase was.

the roots went about 3" down but barely spread outwards at all.

i noticed the bottom of the pot was soaking wet, maybe that's the problem?
because the main roots were down at the bottom where it has been wet for a long time.
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Kisal
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Yes, overwatering will prevent the roots from growing properly, making them unable to support the top growth. Also, wet soil like that can cause roots to rot, creating the same result.

Water the plant after it has been repotted, but don't water again until the surface of the soil is dry. In fact, it would be good to dig your fingers into the soil to test the dryness. Water when it's dry about an inch down.

I suggest that you repot the plant in fresh soil. Remove any of the old soil that comes away easily, but it isn't necessary to remove a lot of it. Don't feel that you have go wash the roots clean, for example. You can repot it in the same container, if you like, or a different one. Don't use a larger one, though.

Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes. If the container is in a saucer or other tray, be careful never to allow water to stand in it.

Mimosas do like moist soil, but not soggy soil, so you will want to adjust your watering schedule to prevent future overwatering. You can add some perlite to the soil mix to help it drain more rapidly, as well. An unglazed clay container, rather than one of plastic, can also help prevent soggy soil.

Never hesitate to gently remove a plant from it's container to check the condition of the roots. It does no harm, and can resolve many problems with the plant's health. :)
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oregon
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Okay i have now repotted the plant in fresh soil as you suggested. I'll definitely be more careful of overwatering. As this one began to wilt, i watered it more, which seems like the exact opposite of what i should've done.

I've always been afraid that young plants will dehydrate quickly, so i water them alot.

Do you think this one will survive?
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Kisal
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It's perfectly natural to think a wilted plant needs more water. It's a mistake many gardeners make. Overwatering and underwatering cause a plant to display exactly the same symptoms.

That's why I encourage people to slip a plant out of its pot every now and then and look at the roots. It doesn't hurt the plant at all, and it gives you an opportunity to directly observe any problems with the roots or the soil, areas that are normally hidden by the container. :)
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oregon
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UPDATE: after repotting, the wilting has stopped progressing! The wilted sections of the leaves are now turning white, and no more green leaves have begun to wilt. Plus, if you notice, it has already begun sprouting a new branch on top, so that must be a good sign.

(ignore the fact that the leaves are all folded up, it does that every night)

[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/2prb5oy.png[/img]
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