Help! Leaves are turning black on curry plant!

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Mae, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Mae

    Mae Member

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    Last time I posted here, I was recommended to fertilize with an azealea fertilizer since curry plants like alkaline soil. So I bought Azealea Miracle Gro and followed instructions and fertilized. Could this cause the leaves to turn black around the edges. Prior to that I used an all purpose fertilizer one mixes with water. Could the two types of fertilizers used so close apart caused this? I just now watered it heavily in its pot to rid of the remnants of the fertilizer if this was the cause. Could this help? Thanks for your response.
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi, Mae. I'm sorry my [thread=11986]earlier[/thread] suggestion didn't work out and hope your plant will come back for you. Flushing, which you've done, is the thing to do in case of over-fertilization. This could certainly be the case if the application was close to the last one, in particular because we're dealing with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Another thing to remember is to fertilize only when the plant is actively growing.
     
  3. Mae

    Mae Member

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    Junglekeeper, it was my own stupidity! By the way, the plant likes acidity and not alkaline as I had posted. Must have been a senior moment. I should have left well alone.
    It is just when I saw a picture of a two year old curry plant that ws 9 feet tall in Arizona that I started wondering why my plant was so short and small! I will now just leave it alone.
    Do you think that it might do better on the hill side where it will get sun continually?
    Where it is, gets partial shade. The hillside is kind of rocky and clayey although I have a Meyer Citrus just planted last year that is doing well. What do you think? Last year when I repotted this curry plant, it took about a year for it to get adjusted so I am hesitant. My mother-in-law from Sri Lanka says these plants grow wild on all kinds of soil condition in her native land and can't understand why I am babying this plant like this!
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That nine feet tall specimen is on the big side, probably took a while. I don't know that the plant will necessarily want full sun, they do OK with some shade. It is OK to fertilize, just don't overdo it and feed only when actively growing (summer).

    Here is a link to Cal's Plant of the Week. I like his pages because they give plant care in the simplest terms. A good place to begin.
    Murraya koenigii
     
  5. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I don't think it's helpful to compare a tree growing in California with one in Arizona or India. Not only is the climate different but there are other factors such as soil and method of cultivation. It's only natural that they behave differently.

    At this point I would not do anything drastic to this plant. Give it time to recover. I can only offer you what I found(*) on this plant in my earlier research since I have no actual growing experience. However I suggest you try different things, based on your own research or educated guesses, but one at a time and watch to see how the plant behaves. Part of the fun is in getting to know your plant.

    There are some threads over at GardenWeb that may be of interest to you. Search the forums using Murraya koenigii as well as Curry Leaf. I'm sure you'll find some ideas there from other growers.

    ----------
    * (Rutaceae) Z10-12. Ht 20', much smaller (3-5') in container. Full sun. Min temp 13C/55F. Frost sensitive. Protect from wind. Rich, moist, well-drained, acid soil. High drought tolerance. Susceptible to iron chlorosis. Slow grower. Native to India, Sri Lanka.

    My Murraya paniculata likes the same soil conditions. I use a thin layer of coarse bark mulch on top to keep the surface roots cool. The tree seems to prefer filtered sun rather than full sun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015
  6. Mae

    Mae Member

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    Eric and Junglekeeper,
    Thanks for your prompt and thoughtful responses. I will just leave plant alone for time being. I have searched and even posted the same question on the Garden Web and googled for information but there really is not much on this particular plant, especially when it comes to particular symtons.
     
  7. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Mae,
    I have a curry plant in my house for over 10 years and I do not have any problem. I have propagated it for three other people, two have no problems while the third can never keep it alive for more than a year. I live in Alberta and the plant was at a south window when I was living in Edmonton. Since moving to Brooks slightly over three years ago, it is by the east window. I'm afraid I cannot tell you what's wrong with your plant but this is how I keep mine growing. It likes slightly acidic soil so I fertilize it with MiracleGro perhaps once a month, often less frequent. Our water is alkaline and the plants do show herring bone symptoms. That's when I buy Coke for watering (I dilute Coca Cola Classic (1:1))
    Each time I repot, I make sure I retain some old soil. When the plant gets to three feet high, I head it back to the ground and it always reprout. I also find that like other members of the citrus family it does not like wet soil so I keep it on the drier side. Hope this helps. When I have time, I'll try to post a picture of my plant.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  8. Mae

    Mae Member

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    Dear Thean,
    Thanks for your unusual reply! Coke, huh? That is different! I'll have to try this sometimes. But right now I just watered it throroughly to get rid of the fertilizer and let the plant rest a bit. I should leave well alone for now. I am hoping it will survive and be much stronger when warm weather rolls around. I keep it outside since we have good California weather and so far we do not have freezing weather.
     
  9. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Mae,
    After you drench the soil, make sure it is well drained. Curry leaf hates wet soil. Attached is a picture of my plant. I head mine back every two to three years to ground level. I believe this caused the plant to remain juvenile as it has never bloomed while my brother's blooms often. This plant was headed to the ground last April. It produces three suckers and I removed two to get this single stem. It is slightly over three feet.
    Peace
    Thean
    CurryLeaf.JPG
     
  10. Mae

    Mae Member

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    Dear Thean,
    Wow! Your plant looks healthy! This is the same type of plant I have. I did let the soil drain but it is still wet and is not drying properly because we are having a lot of much needed rain in Southern Calif. It is protected from the rain being close to my front door where the roof shelters the plant from the elements somewhat. Let's say it is not getting more water. I hope this is OK. Thanks for posting the pictures! Keep up the healthy plant.

    Mae
     
  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi, Thean. That's a nice looking tree. What's the humidity level in your house? It must be fairly high as I don't see any brown leaf margins. Was it raised from seed or were you able to find one from a local source?
     
  12. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Junglekeeper,
    The RH in the house is relatively low around 50%. This is to be expected in Alberta especially the bald Prairie. I raised this and the one I gave to my brother from seeds that my sister-in-law sent me from Sydney, Australia. I have propagated some with air-layering to give to three other people. The most troublesome pests I have so far are spider mites and my wife. The former I can control but the latter I cannot and I cannot say anything either as she cooks very delicious curries. If I catch the spider mites early, it's easy to wipe them out with powerful jets of water (with spray bottle). Three to four treatments a week apart is all it took. If I had been sleeping and there are too many, I head the plant back to the ground and start afresh.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Thean, you're lucky to have an RH of 50%; it's been in the low 30's here in the last little while. I don't think this tree would have been happy here. Spider mites are a nuisance too in my plant room. I find them difficult to control when it involves delicate plants.
     
  14. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Junglekeeper,
    Wow, RH 30's is a bit low for Vancovour, isn't it? In my case, I think with all the doors and windows tightly shut, (trying to reduce heating bill) and the steam generated from cooking is keeping my RH higher than yours.
    I turn every leaf upside down and squirt jets of water from the hand sprayer when I find spidermite. It's a pain in you know where but the smell of curries spurs me on. As I do not use soap, just water, it takes a few rounds since there is always the possibility that I'll miss some and those in the egg stage.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  15. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Somewhat surprising when we're known as the wet coast with rainforests and all but not so when considering the chapped lips and skin.
     
  16. BabyBlue11371

    BabyBlue11371 Active Member

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    Thean,
    The MiracleGro you use is it regular or the type that is acidifier? like for Rhody Azaleas?
    I have the MiracleGro for Rhody/ Azaleas I use it for my Citrus. would be very easy to feed my Curry tree seedling that when I feed my citrus trees..
    Thanks for any info/ help..
    Gina *BabyBlue*
     
  17. ramguru

    ramguru Member

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    Hello All
    I came upon this thread while searching desperately to figure out what is going wrong with my curry leaf plant. I have a similar symptom as Mae in that the leaves have suddenly started to turn black over the past week. Upon further inspection yesterday I noticed that there was a serious infestation of ants running up and down the stem with a cluster at the base of the plant.
    Reading up threads/forums online I have understand that ants are a symptom of something else like aphids or mites that secrete sweet serums. Further inspection today revealed something alarming. There seems to be a huge number of eggs/pods of some kind which the ants seem to be visiting. I am not sure what the pest is and how to treat it.. Any help or directions would be greatly appreciated.

    I am going to follow Thean's advice of spraying it with water from a squirt bottle. I also have neem oil and read that it could be used as well. Has anybody tried this with any luck and what proportion and how was it used.

    thanks again

    P.S. This is my first post and I tried attaching a few images, not sure if it came through.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Your tree has a serious infestation of scale. The ants are farming them for their honeydew (secretions).
     
  19. ramguru

    ramguru Member

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    Thanks Junglekeeper. Any ideas on how to get rid of scale?
    Both pesticides and non-pesticide recommendations would be great. I donot want to lose my plant! :)
     
  20. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Insecticidal soap is safe for most plants - don't know about this one. I've used it against spider mites, scale, and aphids. Adult scale should be physically removed before spraying as the soap is not particularly effective against them. Treatment will have to be repeated over (possibly many) sessions for eradication.
     
  21. ramguru

    ramguru Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I went to my local orchard supply store and got some recommendations and bought a bottle of Neem oil spray. I put the plant in a shaded spot far way from all other plants in my back yard and have given it a generous spray. Per recommendation, I am going to wait 24hrs and then use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to completely wipe down the plant and give it another spray.

    I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope to see the plant recover. Thanks again junglekeeper.
     
  22. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    You're welcome. Please report back on how effective neem oil is against scale.
     

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