Identification: Help! my plant is unidentified and dying

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by mattjsolomon, May 10, 2008.

  1. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    I inherited a plant (which is unidentified) that I have had for 6-7 weeks. It receives mid to high lighting and I water it once per week. I re-potted it about 3 weeks ago. Within the last 2 weeks the leaves at the bottom of the plant started to turn yellow and fall off. I am not seeing new growth and worried I am going to loose my plant..... Please HELP!

    Thanks,
    Matt
    Charlotte, NC
     

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  2. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    It may be adjusting to the chance from where ever it was to where it now is. Barring that, you may not be watering enough, depending on sunlight and species. I, for one, would say Ficus Benjamina, however I suspect that to be incorrect. Check the soil and keep it fairly moist. The amount of sunlight looks quite good, considering, so just keep an eye on how the soil dries, and you'll discern a pattern shortly. Also make sure it's not anywhere particularly close to a vent, as that can be quite bad...
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    my first thought is ficus ben, as well. they tend to be finicky and drop leaves for just about any reason...being moved, repotting, blast of chilly air, not enough water, too much water.

    the leaves seem off for a ben...maybe some type of citrus? a closer pic of the leaves would be helpful.

    when you repotted, did you use the same type of soil? are there drainage holes in the bottom of the new container? when you watered it, did you do so thoroughly? by that i mean, did you water enough so that the water came out of the drainage holes?

    larger containers like that, if watered properly/thoroughly, shouldn't need to be watered more than every couple of weeks - being that there's more soil, if it's all moistened properly, it will take longer to dry out. water when the soil is dry down a couple of inches.
     
  4. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  5. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    Joclyn,
    Thanks for the fast response.
    I added potting soil purchased at Lowes and the pot does have drainage holes I test the soil a couple inches before I water it. I do not always water it as thoroughly as you mentioned.
    I have added another picture.
    I hope it helps.

    Let me know what I'm doing wrong.

    Thank you,
    Matt
     

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  6. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    It's near the front door, where I have other plants doing very well.
    Is this an issue?
     
  7. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    I added a few more pictures to help you.

    What are your recommendations to saving this tree???
     

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  8. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Let it be where it is. It really looks like Ceylon Cinnamon to me as well - try taking off one of the yellowed leaves, crushing it, and taking a sniff. That will tell you right away, since cinnamon trees have highly aromatic leaves.

    If it is a cinnamon tree, then you do need to give it quite a bit of water, thoroughly, as suggested above. Other than that, it's just undergoing some grumpiness from being moved and it should improve fairly soon.
     
  9. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    any time you move a plant (take home from store, from anothers house as well as move it's location within your home) it stresses and will need a period of adjustment to get re-situated. it's not unusual to see droopy leaves and even some that will die off. when you do something that disturbs the roots (repotting whether you are splitting it out or just moving to larger container) the plant will be even more stressed and will need a longer period of time to get adjusted.

    usually, plants get re-situated within a few weeks...some can take a month or more.

    ficus benjamina and jades are two plants that are very touchy to changes in their circumstances.

    thanks for the close-up of the leaves. i don't think it's the ficus ben. i have no idea what it would be either.

    do you have the tree in basically the same lighting it was in in its previous home? by that i mean brightness level as well as type of exposure (north, south, east, west).

    western exposures tend to be hotter because the sun is hotter in the afternoon - if it had southern before and now has western, that could be part of the problem. also, just the brightness level can also be an issue - this tree may do better in a situation where it gets less direct light.

    i would try to duplicate the previous location as much as possible.

    as for the leaves...did you see any die off before you repotted? had there been any new growth before the repotting?

    it might be that the soil has air-pockets in it and that is causing the roots to not get enough water. tap the planter against the floor to make sure all the soil is settled down.

    if you're not watering thoroughly, that could also cause the die-off.
     
  10. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Also check for Spider Mites. Shake a branch over blank white printer paper.
    Look for tiny brown or reddish specks. If they move you've mites! You may
    also find fine webbing on the underside of the leaves or at the branch tips.

    HTH
    Chris
     
  11. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    I did not see any leaves die off before I repotted, but I did not see any new growth either. I have not seen any new growth since I have had the plant.

    I don't know the sun light it was getting before I had it.

    I gave it a good watering today and I can dim the shades so it does not get as much direct sun light.

    What else can I do??
     
  12. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Just give it time - you've done everything you can do for it.
     
  13. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    Do you think it could be a Cinnamomum?
     
  14. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    no sign of mites.
    any other ideas?
     
  15. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    I do think it could be cinnamon - but you're in a better position to say than I am! All you need to do is crush one of the yellowing leaves and see if it smells of cinnamon.

    And on closer inspection it seems to be behaving like my cinnamons when they're grumpy - we had a big windstorm recently and it disturbed them (poor muffins!) and they've now got a few leaves looking like the ones in your second set of photos.

    And here's another question - what is the humidity like in your house? This is a tropical tree, it might be feeling a bit dry if you've less than 50% humid.
     
  16. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    The humidity in charlotte, nc is about 50% this time of the year. I don't the % in my house.
    Any suggestions?????
     
  17. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    to add humidity, you can place a dish on the top of the soil and keep it filled with water. you could also mist the leaves every couple of days.
     
  18. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    I crushed up some dead leaves and it doesn't smell anything like cinnamon...
    Any other suggestions?
     
  19. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    The leaf venation is really striking. Also, the leaves appear to be opposite. That would seem to make for a short list of possible plant families. Certainly not a ficus.
     
  20. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    yes, the leaves are absolutely striking!! definitely not a ficus and i have no idea what it is, either.

    just throwing out some thoughts: eucalyptus? euphorbia? some kind of citrus?
     
  21. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    If the leaves are opposite, none of the above. Melastomaceae?
     
  22. AlexandraNS

    AlexandraNS Active Member

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    Ok, I did a little research about three-vein leaves and there is a BIG chance that your plant is Ceanothus leucodermis! And it is a shrub, not a tree. I have attached a picture with leaves that have the characteristics of your plant. Leaf venation in two species of Ceanothus. C. leucodermous has glaucous leaves with three main veins from the base
    You might find interesting to check this page about leaves : http://waynesword.palomar.edu/termlf1.htm
    Scroll all the way down and you will see the leaves similar to your plant.

    Also here are a couple pages with some detailed pictures of Ceanothus leucodermis:

    1) http://www.researchlearningcenter.org/bloom/species/Ceanothus_leucodermis.htm

    2)http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?query_src=photos_index&enlarge=0000+0000+0702+0150


    I really do not know how to take care of this plant but here is also a page with and Index of Species Information that could be useful : http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/cealeu/all.html

    I hope Im right and I hope you can take care of it and see it bloom.
    If you come to a conclusion it would be nice if youd let me know. I am curious myself, because it is a beautiful plant but it seems that you cannot really have it indoors. (or maybe you can I hope you can hehe) :D


    Good luck!!!
     

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  23. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Ceanothus leucodermis isn't in general production outside of California,
    therefore it's extremely unlikely to be in Charlotte, NC.
    The THORNY shrub is a Chapparal plant that wouldn't survive
    normal greenhouse production practices. It's only grown by
    specialty producers in the native plant trade.

    Regards
    Chris
     
  24. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    For plants with that type of distinctive triple venation, there are literally thousands of species here in Ecuador. Ceylon cinnamon is the one that matches most closely to this tree, for both the venation, colour, and contexture of the leaves.... In my humble opinion, anyway. I grow cinnamon trees, and this looks very much like mine.
     
  25. mattjsolomon

    mattjsolomon Member

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    Since I gave it a good watering on Sat the leaves have perked up, but the dead leaves continue to fall off.
    I have put a plate of water on top of the soil to add some humidity.
    Any other suggestions?
     

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