stph
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Help! Sick coffee plant.

I have a potted coffee plant that seems to be covered with some kind of white fungal growth. Is there some kind of natural spray I can make at home to fix this? I don't want to use any chemical sprays.

Thank you!

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Jess
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Hi stph :D

Is the growth on the stems and under the leaves? Could be either wooly aphid or mealy bug. Any chance of putting it ouside for a while? Predators such as spiders will get rid of them. Also try a hose set on high pressure and give it a blast from that. Should shift a few. Another one to try maybe before the other two is a rubber glove and rub them off then use the water to clean. Once you have got rid of them scrape the top inch or so off of the top of the pot as any you haven't spotted may overwinter in the soil. If all else fails try neem oil but also check your plant and make sure it is otherwise happy and healthy. Plants usually manage to fight off pests but it may be stessed for some reason (needs feeding, overwatered, wrong position etc.)

stph
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Hi Jess.

Thanks for the advice. I'll try cleaning it again - I had this problem once before when it was a very sad coffee plant I rescued from my husband's office. After I cleaned it with water the first time, it got happy and started putting out new leaves but now the mould is on the new leaves too. On the stems and on top and under the leaves. It's particularly concentrated where the stems meet the leaves. It is currently outside though I will have to move it back inside once it starts getting colder.

Anyway, I'll clean it again and scrape off the soil and let's see what happens. Thanks again!

stph
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Coffee plant update

I didn't get around to cleaning the coffee plant as suggested and then a big ol' typhoon hit Tokyo and did it for me! The plant sprouted some new little leaves and then the disease came back. I have been spraying the plant with a mix of apple cider vinegar and water which seems to be keeping the bugs at bay.

But now! Something has been munching on my morning glories and I finally found the culprits! Little black and white wormies on the underside of the leaves and one big monster caterpillar fiendishly the same purplish colour as the stems. :twisted: Why are my plants one big infestation? I guess because there are no natural predators like birds - I live in Tokyo, you see. How can I get rid of the wormies? And the monster?

Also, little black spots are eating my lemon balm. :roll:

I don't want to use chemical sprays (although I'm tempted to just nuke the plant). My morning glories are so beautiful!

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Jess
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Haha! The joys of city living. No predators to help you out.

I will start at the end and work up. The Lemon balm has rust. They are prone to it and mine gets it every year. It will not kill the plant and tends to only affect it at certain times of the year. I just cut it back but you could resite it where it doesnt get so much sun and doesn't dry out too much. Not much else you can do about it unless you want to use nasty chemicals or dig it up.

Caterpillars...Firstly the purple one. Check and see what species of butterfly/moth it might be. On another thread the caterpillars they wanted to kill were swallowtails! You may decide it is worth a few holes to help conserve a particularly rare/beautiful specimen. If not derris dust is organic and kills caterpillars. It has to be reapplied if it rains and looks like someone has attacked your plants with talcum powder but should do the trick.

Glad the typhoon helped your coffee plant but I still think yuo need to change the soil on the top. This will also give it a fresh nutrient boost to help it fight the pests.

stph
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Any idea what derris dust is in Japanese?

Off to Google 'caterpillars'!

:lol:

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Jess
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stph wrote:Any idea what derris dust is in Japanese?
Off to Google 'caterpillars'! :lol:
:shock: Not a clue! Hadn't thought of that. :roll: The active ingredient is rotenone. Maybe you could look for that on the label....would it be in Japanese? Can you read Japanese? Was letting you know any of that any help at all? :roll: :lol:

ignorantmonkey
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

stph wrote:I have a potted coffee plant that seems to be covered with some kind of white fungal growth. Is there some kind of natural spray I can make at home to fix this? I don't want to use any chemical sprays.

Thank you!
Hi!...One question: Where you got that plant? You know where I can buy seeds? Thanks.

Rcuenca
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

Hello, I'm new here and I have a sick coffee plant too. My plant used to have flat facing up leaves and over time I noticed them starting to curl downward. I read somewhere it said it was thirsty so I water it more now for over a week and the leaves are still curved down. Do I need to flood my pot? And I'm only watering about 3cups of water every other day.
I've put my plants outside today under shade and misted the leaves...hope to hear something soon, thanks!

Rich

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applestar
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

Mine visibly droops when thirsty, and I water when it does, not before so as not to cause root rot. It was thirsty this morning and I watered, so not so obvious now, but they look like this:

Upper leaves have already started to perk up...you can see the leaves hanging down more on the lower branches in the photo to the right.
image.jpeg
My tree is nearly pot bound with only about 1-2 inches of space between the root ball and the side of the pot. Look at the trunk diameter vs. the size of the pot. How big is your plant and what size pot is it in? Notice I cut leaves that yellow and fall into strips or crumble up crisp dried ones to use as mulch to help keep the soil mix from drying out, and to feed the worms living in the soil.

If you are not sure how much water it needs, it's a good idea to saturate and let water drain out of the bottom of the pot and fill the catch tray. Leave the pot sitting in this to soak it back up as needed for no more than 2-3 hours, then completely empty the catch tray, making sure to eliminate additional water that may come out of the pot. I do this once a month or so, but just water in between.

Where you live and current season / weather / climate / growin conditions will make a difference, too. Right now, mine is in the house in the family room, but it will go outside once the weather warms up, and then it will need to be watered once a day or every other day.
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Rcuenca
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

image.jpeg
Thanks for replying. My tree is about 9 mo., 2' and a trunk size of about a pencil in a 12" x 8" clay pot. Kept indoors at all times in SoCal weather. I flooded my pot since the initial planting and will do so every month like you advised.
I will post a picture once I figure out how to do it here, but there's some similarity with the leaves on your tree but mine are all down almost curled...I did some reading and found that I have scales and I've picked them all off. I hope that helps...

Tattooedjuliet
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

I'm having a problem with my plant as well. I've had it for almost 3 years with no problems until about 2 weeks ago. It has spots on it, that are brown. They are not very dark, but they go through the leaves entirely. It is still producing new growth.
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applestar
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

I don't know this one -- not something I've seen on my coffee plant so far. @Tattoedjuliet, Could you describe where you are from and the conditions you are growing your plant in? I'm noticing the intensely dark color of the leaf.... These details may provide clues for what's going on.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Tattooedjuliet
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

I'm from Cincinnati Ohio, and the plant is being grown indoors, indirect sunlight. It's been a super healthy great plant since I got it as a seedling. This is the first problem I've had. The leaves have always been a very intense color. Is that uncommon? I am not really experienced in gardening at all, and this is the first plant I've kept with any success. I don't want it to die. I'm really worried. It was a gift from my family when I bought my business.
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imafan26
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Re: Help! Sick coffee plant.

Treat coffee like gardenia. They need a rich acidic loam that is well drained. So do not let it sit in a saucer of water or the roots will rot. Most coffee lives in the mountains under the canopy of larger trees, they get a lot of rain but they don't sit in a pool of water. The leaf litter provides them with nutrients and the soil in high rainfall areas are usually acidic. They also like a lot of micros especially iron and magnesium. So choose an acidic fertilizer with micros.

For me that means I plant in peat lite ( 60% peatmoss, but I will add a handful of vermicast if I have some) and fertilized with citrus food or Miracle grow for acid loving plants. Follow label instructions for how much and how often to use it. A two year old coffee plant should be about 6 ft tall. The pot is too small. Repot into a 14 inch container. and the final container should be about 20 inches. Make sure you take the plant outside or in a tub once a week to really flush the soil of salts. Coffee is not salt tolerant. While you are at it hose down the dust off the leaves and check for pests. Coffee, like gardenia is a favorite of sucking pests like aphids, mealy bugs and scale. You can usually tell they are around because the leaves will get sooty mold. Put out ant bait to control the ants and if the plant is small you can manually wipe the leaves or you can use insecticidal soap sprayed under the leaves, then hose it off with a jet of water from a hose. Healthy leaves are shiny and they are understory trees so they like dappled light and protection from the wind. Because they come from places with high rainfall, they don't like to dry out and will wilt if they get too dry. They also don't have a lot of problems with mildew for the same reason unless they are not getting good air circulation. They can get other types of fungal and bacterial diseases especially if they have damage to their leaves or bark.
This reminds me, I got another coffee plant a few months ago and it is time to pot up. I hope I can find it in my jungle.

BTW, like Fukien tea, coffee can be weedy here. the berries drop and the seedlings pop up all over the place.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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