Flowering Tea tree drying

tsurihaga

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Hi all,
I had this tea tree for a few years now, about 2yrs. It was really healthy and very active in producing new leaves, then a few weeks ago the leaves started to wilt and some supposedly flower buds started to dry up and drop, the leaves too. Not sure if i over watered it, i water at least every 2 days and i check the soil with a moisture meter. Should I change the soil? There’s no sign of infestation either. I live in California.
Need your expert advice.
Hope it's not too late.

thanks.
Mike
 

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0soyoung

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You've got root problems alright.

You say nothing about what your substrate/soil is, how long ago it was potted into what we see now.

Appearances are that the roots are suffocating and not growing. This is a lack of air, or more specifically, oxygen, that can happen for several reasons that all equate to a loss of air-filled porosity - substrate/soil breakdown/conpaction, over-watering, no pot drainage, etc.. Past sins in this regard could have begotten root-rot - a fu.gal infection of dead roots that spreads to killing live roots (does your pot stink?).


At any rate, you are now in a circumstance in which more water is lost via transpiration through the leaves that is being supplied by the roots. The only thing you can change immediately is the relative humidity around the leaves - it need to be raised.
  1. shade
  2. sprinkle/spray the foliage
  3. make a humidity tent
High rH conditions are conducive to fungi. I spray/mist with a solution of 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide in a quart of water. I spray the foliage and inside the makeshift terrarium every few days to nix fungi/bacteria and to assure the rH is high.


Meanwhile, give more detail of what you've done and when so someone might help you.
 

Forsoothe!

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Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you.




<<<<< It will show here.
 

tsurihaga

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Millbrae, CA
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You've got root problems alright.

You say nothing about what your substrate/soil is, how long ago it was potted into what we see now.

Appearances are that the roots are suffocating and not growing. This is a lack of air, or more specifically, oxygen, that can happen for several reasons that all equate to a loss of air-filled porosity - substrate/soil breakdown/conpaction, over-watering, no pot drainage, etc.. Past sins in this regard could have begotten root-rot - a fu.gal infection of dead roots that spreads to killing live roots (does your pot stink?).


At any rate, you are now in a circumstance in which more water is lost via transpiration through the leaves that is being supplied by the roots. The only thing you can change immediately is the relative humidity around the leaves - it need to be raised.
  1. shade
  2. sprinkle/spray the foliage
  3. make a humidity tent
High rH conditions are conducive to fungi. I spray/mist with a solution of 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide in a quart of water. I spray the foliage and inside the makeshift terrarium every few days to nix fungi/bacteria and to assure the rH is high.


Meanwhile, give more detail of what you've done and when so someone might help you.You've got root problems alright.
You say nothing about what your substrate/soil is, how long ago it was potted into what we see now.

Appearances are that the roots are suffocating and not growing. This is a lack of air, or more specifically, oxygen, that can happen for several reasons that all equate to a loss of air-filled porosity - substrate/soil breakdown/conpaction, over-watering, no pot drainage, etc.. Past sins in this regard could have begotten root-rot - a fu.gal infection of dead roots that spreads to killing live roots (does your pot stink?).


At any rate, you are now in a circumstance in which more water is lost via transpiration through the leaves that is being supplied by the roots. The only thing you can change immediately is the relative humidity around the leaves - it need to be raised.
  1. shade
  2. sprinkle/spray the foliage
  3. make a humidity tent
High rH conditions are conducive to fungi. I spray/mist with a solution of 2 tablespoons 3% hydrogen peroxide in a quart of water. I spray the foliage and inside the makeshift terrarium every few days to nix fungi/bacteria and to assure the rH is high.


Meanwhile, give more detail of what you've done and when so someone might help you.
Thank you so much for the very detailed advice. Knowing that its a root problem, puts direction on how to address the problem.

To give an overview:

I repotted this last Aug, using organic bonsai soil mix. Although I have a string feeling I might have compressed the soil too much.
The tree have always been in the shade, and I spray/mist the leaves with water every other day. It also rests on a humidity tray inside our apartment right beside the window with sufficient light(not direct).
At night I leave growing lights on for at least 8hrs.
I think the pot also have enough draining holes.
So far no weird scent is present.
I’d be putting this in a terrarium and spraying with the peroxide solution with the hopes of raising the rh as you suggested.

Would you suggest replacing the soil?

Thanks again.
 

tsurihaga

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Growing seasons around the world vary widely and it is difficult to get a perspective on what someone says when we don't know where in the world they are. If you go to the upper right hand corner and click on your Icon, you can add your location and people will be able to customize advice for you.




<<<<< It will show here.
Thanks for tip Forsoothe! Activated location.
 

Forsoothe!

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I think I'm hearing signs of too wet, too long. When you water every other day, how much water do you use? The pot should not sit in the humidity tray such that the bottom touches the water. No water should be absorbed up through the drain holes. The moisture meter should read "dry" before you water. There might be a problem/incompatibility with your moisture meter and your soil mix. The meter works by measuring the electrical conductivity between the tip and the shaft. If you look at the probe you'll see that the tip and the shaft are different metals. In a rocky mix, it may report zero moisture when the mix is moist if there is more air space between the rocks than the device is designed to measure, so that may be your problem.

You should change your watering habits and stop spraying, too. Calculate the net volume of soil and find a vessel that is from 15 to 20% of that volume, like a pill bottle or whatever you have around the apartment. Use only that volume every 3rd or 4th, or some number of days. Pour the water around the crown of the plant. If the water is immediately absorbed, that is a sign that the soil is still damp and you should add one more day to your watering cycle. If the water rolls downhill and is slowly absorbed, that is a sign of drier conditions. The plant should cycle between wet, dry, wet, dry. That is healthy. Staying dry too long will cause wilting that will disappear within an hour or so after watering. Wilting when you know that it is not dry is very different and bad. Use the calendar to water on any calendar date that is divisible by your number of days, like every day divisible by 3; 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc. Don't worry about the odd days at the of a month, dry an extra day is better than too wet, too long. The volume of your pot and the amount of water transpired by your plant will be very different based upon how the plant is growing: more leaves use more water than fewer leaves. You now have very few leaves so you would give less water, less often than when your plant was healthy. You need to adjust watering to season and interior hH (relative humidity) conditions. Read the attachment on Hydrogen Peroxide and treat your soil one time.

Your plant should have about 16 hours of light per day. Direct sunlight is best, getting closer to the window, like right up to the glass is better. You should be feeding this time of year with Miracle Grow or any commercial liquid at label strength every other week from April through October. Your plant might lose all its leaves as part of the process of getting over this crises. Your response should be to water less and watch for new buds. This is the beginning of the growing season, so you would normally be losing old leaves and getting new buds now anyway.

You live in a closed apartment and the source of diseases/fungi/pests are very limited, so the source of your problem is most likely you and too much water, not from outside coming in. That's good because you can change.
 

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