Ask a Question forum: Yerba mate dying I could use some help, please

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Name: Basil Gray
Northeast US (Zone 6b)
BasilGray
Jul 31, 2015 2:16 PM CST
I bought a yerba mate plant from the Logee's green house a few weeks ago and it looked very happy and healthy when I brought it home. After the first week it dropped a leaf here and there, but other then that it looked fine. but this last week and a half its dropping more than half of its leaves. That was fine at first because I could have tea, but it's a problem now, I mean looking at it, it looks really sad. I really don't want to lose it (I lost the self heal plant I got there the same time I got the yerba mate, but the tea tree looks fine) (I can't upload a photo of it, but the leaves look a little yellow and then they drop off the next day)
Our water has a lot of salt (that's what is wrong with my avocado tree) but I've been trying to water it with bottled water or with city water from family members in town (we're on well)
Should I be giving it a fertilizer? (I have plenty of that with chickens, sheep, rabbits, and a compost pile for veggie and coffee grinds).
I should mention I repotted it after I got it and it gets lots of afternoon sunlight
I have it next to lime, tea, and some little clemetines (I grew the clemetines from seed) and I'm pretty positive none of those are allopathic
Any ideas and help would be much appreciated
Basil






Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 31, 2015 4:18 PM CST
Very hard to advise you without seeing a picture of your plant, Basil. But a couple of bits of advice to try:

First, any plant that is in distress should be moved to a shady spot, or at least put one of the bigger plants between it and the window.

Second, the most common problem with newly potted plants is over-watering. The only way to really tell if drainage or too much water is the problem is to carefully slip the plant out of the pot and see if the lower levels of the pot are soggy. IF the soil is wet, you can soak away some of the water with an old towel - just set the plant upright on the folded towel and let it wick the water away (thanks Rick! for this method).

You should definitely not water that baby with well water. Is there any way you can collect some rain water?

A plant that has lived its life in a greenhouse, then is shipped to someone's home where there is most likely air conditioning running will have some trouble adapting to the drier atmosphere. So spraying your new plants with a mist of water occasionally will certainly help them adapt until the weather cools enough so you can let the more moist outside air in.

Further thought, if your night temps are staying warm, you could try putting it outside in bright shade for a week or so, too. But check the above first. If it begins to recover - growth of new leaves is the best indication - you could gradually move it out to a little more sun. Gentle morning sun first.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 31, 2015 4:28 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jul 31, 2015 4:25 PM CST
It really is an injustice when a plant is grown in perfect greenhouse c-onditions that mimics only the best tropical warm, humid areas, and then expected to do well in the average home humidity. They usually don't, needing an adjustment period often a month or longer. It is distressing to say the least. I hope your plant comes back to you, Basil. Baby it and spoil it for a time and I bet it will. But yes, watch the over watering. We sometimes tend to over love our new plants to the point of drowning them. Welcome!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Basil Gray
Northeast US (Zone 6b)
BasilGray
Aug 2, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Wow thanks for getting back so quickly (any other forum I've used in the past its taken weeks for people to try answering a question)
I'll try uploading a photo again but it just gave me random letters and numbers
The soil isn't wet enough to use a towel or anything (I tried that)
We hardly ever use the AC (it just doesn't seem to get hot enough I think we used it once this year) and where I keep most of my tropical plants I have in a room with the windows open so its warm and the humidity level reads 55% at a minimum (its usually 65%)
I did just move the few in the house outside today and I put the yerba mate in the center with all the taller plants giving it shade and because its supposed to rain tomorrow evening it could get some not well water
The thing is I've gone to their green house in the middle of the winter and brought home plants and they have never had a problem and our house humidity is more 40% in the winter
Name: Basil Gray
Northeast US (Zone 6b)
BasilGray
Aug 2, 2015 8:21 AM CST
Thumb of 2015-08-02/BasilGray/aedf64
Oh hey there we go
yeah more of the leaves fell off since I took the picture
If you look at the base there looks like new growth, but I bought it like that and hasn't grown since I brought it home
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2015 9:53 AM CST
Hm, two things from looking at the picture. It looks like the plant may be planted too deep? The new shoots are coming up from under the potting soil instead of off the stem of the mother plant as I would expect. Maybe gently smooth the soil away from the plant's base a bit and see what's under there?

Also, is the base of the pot sitting in water, or is that just a shiny tray you have it sitting on ? Very few plants tolerate what we call "wet feet". If the tray is there to supply humidity as well as to catch run-off from watering the pots, try putting some pebbles in the tray to hold the bottoms of the pots up out of the water. You can buy bags of pebbles or glass beads at craft stores, and I got nice ones at IKEA for a couple of bucks, too.

Did Logee's ship these plants to you? If they were in a box, traveling in a truck in the heat of summer, that may have given them a bit of a shock, too. Most often a healthy plant will recover, but a week or so in the shade rather than straight into full sun might have helped when you first got the plant.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Basil Gray
Northeast US (Zone 6b)
BasilGray
Aug 2, 2015 11:16 AM CST
The yerba mate is on a different tray then the humidity tray
I'll try digging in the pot to see what it looks like under the soil more
I actually drove to the green house because it's less than 2 hours from my house and I prefer to choose my plants then get what ever the send to me
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 2, 2015 11:26 AM CST
Ooh, lucky you. If I lived less than 2 hours from Logee's I'd be broke all the time. (but have tons of lovely exotic plants)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 2, 2015 11:49 AM CST
I agree with Elaine that your Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) looks to be planted a bit too deep in it's pot but it doesn't look unhealthy so hopefully it will acclimate to it's new surroundings and put on lots of new growth real soon.
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