My Brazilian Raintree is super sad with some crispy leaves. What am I doing wrong?!

Smjorg

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Sorry in advance if I am posting this thread to the wrong place, this will be my first post here.

I live in Orlando, FL and keep my trees on a West facing, enclosed patio, so they get about 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I recently purchased my second BRT close to three weeks ago. I will try to include as much relevant info as I can from the time I obtained it.

Firstly, when I fell in love with this tree at the nursery, there was mold all over the base of the trunk along with many of the leaves. When I brought it to an employee and was concerned with the mold he said not to worry about it and blasted the tree with high pressure water. This removed a lot of the mold but in the process disturbed the top layer of the soil and even debarked the base of the tree(it seems as if the base is raw). He also took a root rake and heavily raked the top of the soil after I asked him when it was repotted. Typically I see people act rather gently with the rake, whereas this man just went IN. I really liked the tree so I went home with it regardless of my reservations.

The first few days home were fine, and then around day 5-6 the leaves stopped opening in the morning and always look quite sad. One thing I should note is that this tree was not potted with bonsai soil and seems to be mostly the soil I see in nursery pots. Hence I would say the drainage is not that great and it almost always feels damp. I tried letting it completely dry before watering it, which took 4-5 days, but the tree started looking more and more sad. I was so unsure about the amount to water it that I bought a moisture sensor and have now only been watering it when it reads dry. Last things worth noting are I added half a teaspoon of 18-4-10 fertilizer at about week 2, and my other tree had some aphids recently(soaped ‘em’ away but was worried to do so with the weak tree as I didn’t see and aphids on it yet and it is not in the best shape to take on some soap)

So 3 weeks later the poor tree is still sad, the newer growth is all shriveled up, and a lot of leaves are becoming crispy. I’m really worried for my tree! I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong as my other Brazilian is a healthy king and until issues arose I was treating them equally.

I can’t help but feel like it’s the soil, and can’t shake the feeling that I need to repot it into the same pot with bonsai soil to be sure of drainage. I am scared that if I put it through that much stress that it will give up.

If anyone has any piece of advice as to what I could be doing wrong or what I could be doing better it would be very greatly appreciated. Love this community so much just wish my first post was under better circumstances.

I attached a few photos of the tree below

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SWfloirda

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In your last picture there appears to be an aphid. All of mine were looking like that about a month ago and they all had aphids. There are many remedies but I was able to just squish them in place. On BRTs they seem to only like the new growth so there weren't that many. I hunted and squished every day for about a week and they were gone.

I have mine in training pots with bonsai substrate and they're out in full sun. I water every day except mid-November through mid-February when I water about every 2 days, depending on the heat and wind. It looks as if yours is in a bonsai pot but with regular potting soil, you've got in on a balcony and you're a zone to the north so my ritual may not work for you. I definitely wouldn't let them dry completely though.
 

Katie0317

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Sorry in advance if I am posting this thread to the wrong place, this will be my first post here.

I live in Orlando, FL and keep my trees on a West facing, enclosed patio, so they get about 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I recently purchased my second BRT close to three weeks ago. I will try to include as much relevant info as I can from the time I obtained it.

Firstly, when I fell in love with this tree at the nursery, there was mold all over the base of the trunk along with many of the leaves. When I brought it to an employee and was concerned with the mold he said not to worry about it and blasted the tree with high pressure water. This removed a lot of the mold but in the process disturbed the top layer of the soil and even debarked the base of the tree(it seems as if the base is raw). He also took a root rake and heavily raked the top of the soil after I asked him when it was repotted. Typically I see people act rather gently with the rake, whereas this man just went IN. I really liked the tree so I went home with it regardless of my reservations.

The first few days home were fine, and then around day 5-6 the leaves stopped opening in the morning and always look quite sad. One thing I should note is that this tree was not potted with bonsai soil and seems to be mostly the soil I see in nursery pots. Hence I would say the drainage is not that great and it almost always feels damp. I tried letting it completely dry before watering it, which took 4-5 days, but the tree started looking more and more sad. I was so unsure about the amount to water it that I bought a moisture sensor and have now only been watering it when it reads dry. Last things worth noting are I added half a teaspoon of 18-4-10 fertilizer at about week 2, and my other tree had some aphids recently(soaped ‘em’ away but was worried to do so with the weak tree as I didn’t see and aphids on it yet and it is not in the best shape to take on some soap)

So 3 weeks later the poor tree is still sad, the newer growth is all shriveled up, and a lot of leaves are becoming crispy. I’m really worried for my tree! I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong as my other Brazilian is a healthy king and until issues arose I was treating them equally.

I can’t help but feel like it’s the soil, and can’t shake the feeling that I need to repot it into the same pot with bonsai soil to be sure of drainage. I am scared that if I put it through that much stress that it will give up.

If anyone has any piece of advice as to what I could be doing wrong or what I could be doing better it would be very greatly appreciated. Love this community so much just wish my first post was under better circumstances.

I attached a few photos of the tree below

View attachment 464629
View attachment 464630
View attachment 464631
Hi, I'm also in Orlando. Am wondering where you got this tree? If you want to share you can PM me. I think I know actually.

We have several BRT's and yours appears to be under watered and also it's not getting enough sun. They need as much sun as possible. I see you're in an apartment or condo and may not be able to attach something to the railing to extend the tree farther out. It's not drying out because it's not getting enough sun.

I've never had to slip pot a BRT but I have other trees with no problem. It may be the right choice with this tree. Putting it in fresh bonsai soil would be a help. Be very careful who you buy it from though. The only person I buy soil from is a long drive from here but you can order good soil online. Don't buy any from anyone around here.

The reason it's not drying out is because it doesn't have enough sun. If you can't find a way to increase the light it won't matter what you do because it won't live. You can invest in lights and that would do the job! My trees are all outdoors so I don't know anything about lights but most of the people on BN do know about them.
 

Paradox

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Sorry in advance if I am posting this thread to the wrong place, this will be my first post here.

I live in Orlando, FL and keep my trees on a West facing, enclosed patio, so they get about 5 hours of sunlight a day.

I recently purchased my second BRT close to three weeks ago. I will try to include as much relevant info as I can from the time I obtained it.

Firstly, when I fell in love with this tree at the nursery, there was mold all over the base of the trunk along with many of the leaves. When I brought it to an employee and was concerned with the mold he said not to worry about it and blasted the tree with high pressure water. This removed a lot of the mold but in the process disturbed the top layer of the soil and even debarked the base of the tree(it seems as if the base is raw). He also took a root rake and heavily raked the top of the soil after I asked him when it was repotted. Typically I see people act rather gently with the rake, whereas this man just went IN. I really liked the tree so I went home with it regardless of my reservations.

The first few days home were fine, and then around day 5-6 the leaves stopped opening in the morning and always look quite sad. One thing I should note is that this tree was not potted with bonsai soil and seems to be mostly the soil I see in nursery pots. Hence I would say the drainage is not that great and it almost always feels damp. I tried letting it completely dry before watering it, which took 4-5 days, but the tree started looking more and more sad. I was so unsure about the amount to water it that I bought a moisture sensor and have now only been watering it when it reads dry. Last things worth noting are I added half a teaspoon of 18-4-10 fertilizer at about week 2, and my other tree had some aphids recently(soaped ‘em’ away but was worried to do so with the weak tree as I didn’t see and aphids on it yet and it is not in the best shape to take on some soap)

So 3 weeks later the poor tree is still sad, the newer growth is all shriveled up, and a lot of leaves are becoming crispy. I’m really worried for my tree! I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong as my other Brazilian is a healthy king and until issues arose I was treating them equally.

I can’t help but feel like it’s the soil, and can’t shake the feeling that I need to repot it into the same pot with bonsai soil to be sure of drainage. I am scared that if I put it through that much stress that it will give up.

If anyone has any piece of advice as to what I could be doing wrong or what I could be doing better it would be very greatly appreciated. Love this community so much just wish my first post was under better circumstances.

I attached a few photos of the tree below


Get rid of the moisture meter. Get a wooden chopstick and stick it in the soil. Take it out and check it every day and water the tree when it is ALMOST dry, NOT when it is completely dry. Brazilian Rain trees HATE to dry out but they dont want to be sopping wet all the time either.

If the soil is staying wet for days and days, it could be a drainage problem but I have had my post sitting in water for a week while on vacation and the trees didnt flinch so not entirely sure. If you really think it is staying too wet, you could gently remove the soil mass from the pot and see if the drainage holes are clogged.

It needs more sun than 5 hours a day

Dont fertilize while its sick. This isnt being caused by lack of fertilizer.

It could also be freaking out from the change in location since you say you just bought it a few weeks ago.
 
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