This desert rose seems to not want to grow

Matt B

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Inexplicably, this desert rose seems to be hating life. It sits next to two other desert roses which are thriving and flowering, and it just languishes. One of the thriving plants is in the same lava/pine bark/perlite soil mix, and the other is in a turface/granite/lava mix.

The problem plant yellows and drops all of its leaves when I water it, despite the soil mix feeling bone dry. The others are watered three times a week and bloom continuously.

The leaves seem to be different on the problem plant. They are thicker, longer and have a velvet texture, while the others have thin, short shiny leaves. I believe they are two different types species.

I'm including some shots of the problem plant and its soil, and a comparison shot of the leaves of the problem plant and the other. There seems to be loads of mycorrhizae on the pine bark in the problem plant's soil. The fine roots on the problem plant seem to be dry and disintegrating.

Should I try a different soil mix?
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Tums

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Long shot, but could the white stuff actually be root mealybugs or root aphids instead of mycorrhizae?
 

Carol 83

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Maybe add some more soil to the pot, looks like lots of roots exposed and maybe drying out.
 

Matt B

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I took the soil out so you could see the roots. Normally it is filled.

Definitely not root pests. I checked it out with a magnifying glass. Definitely a fungus of some sort. You can smell it, a earthy fungal smell.
 

lehigh4me

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If it were mine I would take it out of the soil for a couple of weeks and let it dry out good. Then put back in the soil and water sparingly for a bit.
 

Tums

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Don't have any experience with desert rose, but I know the feeling. I also have a bunch of succulents that are just sitting there sad and shriveled while the others around them grow. Here's hoping this one turns around.
 

fredman

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I have the same thing with my Portulacarias. Some grow well and some not so much.
I found that recessing the pot in the ground...so the roots can escape works. The tree is weak (for some reason), and just dont recover in the pot. Best actually, is to take it out and put it in the ground until it properly regains its vigor.
 

Mapleminx

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Quick question but how does the Caudex feel? Nice and firm or quite rubbery? As for the stems are they firm or bendy?
 

Matt B

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Firm, not rubbery. I changed a third of the soil with granite chips and no change so far.
 

Mapleminx

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This article mentions some of the more common issues and possible fixes, perhaps it could yield some useful info for this plant?
 

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