The Q&A Archives: Problems With Eugenia

Question: I have a small Eugenia Topiary tree purchased from Home Depot (kept inside). I currently have it by my front door under mostly shade. The leaves are falling off quite rapidly and I am concerned. I was watering it every other day because the soil always looks and feels dry. What's causing the leaves to fall off? Will the plant survive? I see new leaves on the top but the bottom looks bare.

Answer: About the only thing that will bother Eugenia is your water. It is very sensitive to salts so try watering with distilled or reverse osmosis water rather than tap water. The shedding leaves might be due to a difference in exposure to sunshine from where it was growing in the nursery to where you have it now. Eugenia will take full sunshine to bright indoor light but the leaves produced under shady conditions will be stress in the sun; leaves produced in bright sunshine will suffer in the shade. New growth is encouraging. That means the roots are happy and healthy. I think your Eugenia will replace the lost leaves. Watering it every other day might be excessive. Try immersing the pot in a larger pot of water to completely saturate the soil (sometimes air pockets develop near the roots), then allow excess water to drain and let the top half inch of soil dry out before watering again. Use filtered or distilled water and see if that doesn't help your eugenia recover and grow well. Hope so!

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