Browning on undersides of leaves

By | 2018-10-04T17:43:35+00:00 October 4th, 2018|1 Comment

Hi Claire!

I am on the facebook group pretty regularly but I didn’t know if possibly you could help me pin down my issue here.

I purchased the plant 6 weeks ago. 7 feet tall, 3 trunks together. Its my 3rd one so I feel definitely more confident than I did with the first. I bought her at the local nursery.

She is in a corner window, east/ south sun. There are some trees in the way but I think she gets a good amount of morning sun and some afternoon over the top of the corner of the house. Her soil was hard as a rock when I got her. My moisture meter read 1. I watered thoroughly until it all drained out into a bottom tray. I have the plant sitting on top of a tray with rollers on it, and that tray sits inside a watering tray that catches it all. So no water is it ever sitting in. I do that because I don’t have the time or back to haul her out for a watering every week. Works good. I aerated the soil as much as I could with the meter.

Iwaited another week and watered the same way.  She was at 1:2 when i did that time. I also took her out on the porch in late afternoon sun on the back porch so no direct sun- a d because I’ve been finding tiny webbing in crevices and diligently wiping and misting, I decided to hose her down, spray with a diluted dawn soap, let it sit for 20, then hosed her down and brought her back in. It was about 90 degrees that day, my soap mix was maybe a tad heavier with soap than it should have been.

The hurricane came and we left for the mountains. We returned home, and I immediately saw the dark browning on the underside of the leaves. Badly on 3/4, the rest kinda sprinkled throughout. On some it starts on the border, on others more inward. I lost 2 leaves from the bottom, 1 was significantly yellow and brown and black. It almost looked burned. The other one was brown where the leaf meets the stem, as many others are too.

I was kinda confused. Did I water too much? No, I used my meter. Is it getting sun? Yes I think it’s getting a good amount. Enough that I don’t think it’s the issue. Is it soaking in its water? Not at all. The thing that has concerned me from day one is that the soil is like so firm I had to reallllly puncture it throughout several times. My others are t like that. I did take it out of the pot one day before the last watering and it slid right up and out cause the soil was so seperated from the pot. The roots looked fine. Everything was dry. No mush, no funk. And surprisingly not even alot of excess roots like I thought thered be. I didnt detangle the ball, I just cleaned off the outside soil and gave it new extra soil, leaving the old soil in with the roots. I am almost scared to death to water it again because I’m afraid the black/ brown spots will just spread. The upper leaves are pointing straight up so thats good.

Funny though, one trunk ia doing better than the other 2 so that kinda leads me to think it may be a root problem. Maybe the plant was SO dry when I watered it, it shocked it? I mean tbat soil was hard!

Or possibly I burnt the leaves with the dishsoap? i really Hope that’s the case! If it’s a fungus or bacteria I will feel so defeated:(

I went back to the nursery and they are so dismissive, they say automatically I’m overwatering, that theres no way the tree could have mites, and I need to not worry so much about my tree. Well I spent alot of money on it so I will worry! But I won’t be spending money there again!!

By | 2018-10-04T17:43:35+00:00 October 4th, 2018|1 Comment
  • Edit

    Thanks for the question and the photos - this does look strange. It doesn't look like typical root rot from a fungus or a bacteria. It could be that the soap shocked the plant or caused damage along the veins. It doesn't look like a sunburn, which would be tan damage to the top of the leaves.

    I would flush the pot with water to remove any soap or salts. Then I would remove heavily damaged leaves and continue with proper care, it sounds like you know what you are doing, just need to overcome this problem. Please let me know how it goes, as I have not seen this particular issue before! Good luck!

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