Trying to save my new Silk Floss - Speciosa - help!

Ray777

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I received this Chorisia Speciosa - Silk Floss Tree, shipped here today. The leaves were all wilting or wilted, some looking dead. As the day went on it declined gradually further. When it arrives, the root ball was absolutely drenched and sealed up in plastic. I’m not an expert, but it seemed way to wet.

I finally re-potted it in a gallon pot, moistening slightly with a very dilute liquid fertilizer, in a mix of cactus substrate, perlite and a little pumice. Will these steps help? What else can I do? Perhaps the picture will give a better idea. Thanks in advance for any advice! I am really fond of this species 🙏8D5797C5-9A48-476B-B54F-34B5CD872C29.jpeg
 

Arnold

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Keep it warm in a sunny place and not too wet, look if the trunk its roted or soft, if the damage wasnt very bad it should sprout
 

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All you can do is treat it gently, and hope it springs back. By gently I mean - not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry, not too sunny, not too shady. Avoid any extreme.

The general rule of thumb is never fertilize a stressed tree. I have never encountered a situation where a tree is dying and the cause is lack of fertilization.
 

Ray777

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Thank you all, I have followed your advice. There was an unfortunate further complication. I placed the plant under a sheltered part of the yard, since it was already over watered, and rain was coming. Unfortunately, there were gale winds that drove the rain enough to soak it anyway. I’ve got one more question. Should the trunk be green all the way to the growing tip, if the Silk Floss is healthy? Thanks again guys. At this point I’ll be cautious, and wait and see…🙏😌
 

Ray777

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All you can do is treat it gently, and hope it springs back. By gently I mean - not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too dry, not too sunny, not too shady. Avoid any extreme.
Okay, thank you for that. I am curious, if this idea of mine is right. Since this is a light loving plant, is the sun precaution more a matter of heat? Does keeping it recovering out of the sun still apply if the temperatures are very cool, like the coming day will be 48-56f. Would it be okay under a clear sky then? Just curious, wondering if this is correct.
 

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Okay, thank you for that. I am curious, if this idea of mine is right. Since this is a light loving plant, is the sun precaution more a matter of heat?
Desiccation. If a plant is stressed, particularly if you think the problem might be related to the roots, the last thing you want to do is INCREASE the rate with which the foliage dries out.

Even a sun-loving plant will do fine if kept in bright indirection light for a month.
 

Ray777

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Desiccation. If a plant is stressed, particularly if you think the problem might be related to the roots, the last thing you want to do is INCREASE the rate with which the foliage dries out.

Even a sun-loving plant will do fine if kept in bright indirection light for a month.
Okay, understood. Now I thought that indirect light could be partially shaded sunlight, like through the foliage of a couple few other plants. Could this be a proper

But in my last search it is described as bright sun light reflecting off a surface, and not directly contacting. Is this accurate? And if so how is it accomplished?
 

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Okay, understood. Now I thought that indirect light could be partially shaded sunlight, like through the foliage of a couple few other plants. Could this be a proper

But in my last search it is described as bright sun light reflecting off a surface, and not directly contacting. Is this accurate? And if so how is it accomplished?
In SoCal you can easily accomplish it with shade cloth. Create a little space in your garden with 60% shade cloth and you'll be set. I kept all my deciduous under 30% shade cloth all year, and they never skipped a beat. Just leave your conifers and tropicals out in the full sun.

Otherwise, you can place stressed trees under your bench, or on a north or north-east facing wall. Just keep them out of sun during the heat of the day.
 

Ray777

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In SoCal you can easily accomplish it with shade cloth. Create a little space in your garden with 60% shade cloth and you'll be set. I kept all my deciduous under 30% shade cloth all year, and they never skipped a beat. Just leave your conifers and tropicals out in the full sun.

Otherwise, you can place stressed trees under your bench, or on a north or north-east facing wall. Just keep them out of sun during the heat of the day.
Hey, so I'm just addressing this! lol I am curious, if I get 30% shade cloth, and then for a certain section of the cloth, fold it over once, would that portion be comparable to a 60%? That way I could work with just a single curtain in a small area of the yard, for multiple purposes...
 

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Hey, so I'm just addressing this! lol I am curious, if I get 30% shade cloth, and then for a certain section of the cloth, fold it over once, would that portion be comparable to a 60%? That way I could work with just a single curtain in a small area of the yard, for multiple purposes...
Not in practical purpose. Depending on how cloth holes align/angle of Sun could be much less light transmitted. 60 % would be very maximum getting through, likely much less😖.

How does the Silk Floss tree fare?
 
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Ray777

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Not in practical purpose. Depending on how cloth holes align/angle of Sun could be much less light transmitted. 60 % would be very maximum getting through, likely much less😖.

How does the Silk Floss tree fare?
Well what I'm aiming for is 60% filtration, so only 40% gets through. Just wondering if this will have a comparable effect, so that the part folded over will beat least somewhat like 60% shade cloth, if that makes sense...🤥

Oh, as for the Silk Floss, it's an ongoing story lol I actually had bought 2, which seemed to suffer from being delivered in a cold snap. One was refunded, and with the other, the seller told me it was just dormant (which surprised me, since I didn't think Ceiba Speciosa came from somewhere it got cold enough to go dormant) As for the one pictured in this thread, I can't be certain if it's still alive. I haven't checked the roots. It was reaching for the sun, and at one point suddenly drank up all the water in its pot (trying for a water and nutrient boost to recover?) The other, which is smaller, is also reaching for the sun, and this one has a tiny but healthy leaf sprouting from the growing tip, leading me to believe it's alive. The bigger one has a thin branch that I think has grown, not sure lol. I bought 2 more, and they are doing well!

This leads me to a question... I bought a small Elephant Tree online. Again, it was during the cold snap, and soon after arrival it was totally barren, all leaves withered. I checked the roots and they seemed okay. The seller suggested I give it as much sun as possible. Now this is the opposite of my understanding of how to recover a sick tree, that it should be kept out of direct sunlight. But what I'm thinking is, since all the leaves are gone, and therefore none to burn to traumatize the tree, then sunlight will help to warm, dry, and revive it. Is this an accurate assessment? And even so, does it apply to a Silk Floss? I ask because the Silk Floss trunk is very green. So I'm wondering if the trunk itself photosynthesizes as well, so that a Silk Floss which has lost all leaves, like the Elephant Tree, should still however not be placed in the sun?

Once again, appreciate the pointers!
 

Potawatomi13

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When dormant trees/plants still sense both temp and Sunlight/photoperiod. Unless burningly hot Sunlight, reasonable warmth tells plants to grow. Shading plants normally needing much Sunlight normally not good. Personally do not know Silk Floss. However if knowing this trees normal living environment it should be approximated for best result. Including damp, not wet substrate☺️. Is Elephant tree Baobab? If so leaf loss may be seasonal(coincidental). Some allow Winter domancy with no watering until Spring.
 
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Ray, Nigel Saunders has several videos of basic care of a silk floss tree on his YouTube channel. Maybe that could help.

I think you're overthinking this.

You want to give the tree the most average possible light and heat and water you can until new growth appears. Not too sunny, not too shady, not too wet, not too dry, etc. Morning sun, and late sun=good. Mid day burning hot sun=bad. Dont let it get below 50deg, try to keep it between 55 and 80deg.

Good luck.
 

Ray777

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When dormant trees/plants still sense both temp and Sunlight/photoperiod. Unless burningly hot Sunlight, reasonable warmth tells plants to grow. Shading plants normally needing much Sunlight normally not good. Personally do not know Silk Floss. However if knowing this trees normal living environment it should be approximated for best result. Including damp, not wet substrate☺️. Is Elephant tree Baobab? If so leaf loss may be seasonal(coincidental). Some allow Winter domancy with no watering until Spring.
Thank you very much, for this valuable information. I am pretty sure the Elephant Tree is not a Baobab :) You might well be right about the dormancy. Though no leaves have sprouted yet, the tree seems to be growing, as the roots have risen above the soil surface!
Ray, Nigel Saunders has several videos of basic care of a silk floss tree on his YouTube channel. Maybe that could help.

I think you're overthinking this.

You want to give the tree the most average possible light and heat and water you can until new growth appears. Not too sunny, not too shady, not too wet, not too dry, etc. Morning sun, and late sun=good. Mid day burning hot sun=bad. Dont let it get below 50deg, try to keep it between 55 and 80deg.
Hey! Wish I had caught this earlier. Will check that video out right away. From my experience, I now tend to think the Silk Floss, which at least at this small stage seems delicate, should therefore for now be treated basically like a succulent, almost a xeric watering regimen, maybe just a bit more water. I wonder what you think of this. Thank you for the video reference, and for the guidance as well :)
 

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