Houseplants forum: Fragrant Olive issues

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maulydaft
Nov 23, 2011 7:10 PM CST
Hi there!

I live in Toronto and I'm quite a newbie when it comes to rearing the green guys. A couple years ago I purchased a Ficus and with help from sites like this I kept it alive for 3 years. It would still be alive right now, but a friend over watered Sad Anyway, that was the first plant I prevented from dying! Perhaps a bit too confident I bought over $100 worth of plants (on sale too!) and now I'm starting to worry.

The Fragrant Olive that I bought in Oct is starting to have browning on the tips of the leaves, the flowers have all died and there are is white spotting under some of the leaves. There seems to be new flowers sprouting, but they seem to die immediately.

The tree is in a south facing window with full access to direct west light as well. The room is about 67 - 69 degrees (currently).

The card says to water when the top 3" of soil are dry. It's actually hard to stick my finger in that far, so I'm just guessing. It tends to be about 2-3 times per week. But, due to my fear of overwatering, I'm not really sure if I'm watering enough. Should I be letting the water trickle out the bottom to know I've watered enough? (I haven't been doing that)

The card said something about fertilizing so mid Oct I put a couple Micracle Grow 6-12-6 Foodspikes (I know nothing about this stuff, have no idea if it was a good idea to do!)

Lastly, I just noticed some leaves had scary webbing on them, I cleaned it away with soapy water.

Anyone can help out?



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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 25, 2011 9:44 AM CST
Mauldydaft, Can you take a little better photo of the spotting under the leaves? It's no quite clear enough to tell exactly but it appears to be scales developing. They often start under those little soft shells. Try cleaning the leaves of all the white stuff by soaking a cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol & get all those things off the leaves. That's a start. As to too wet or not moist enough --- I'm not good with inside plants so I'm not the best to tell you. Hopefully me posting on here will bring this to the attention of someone who can help you more.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Nov 25, 2011 9:53 AM CST

Moderator

Webbing sounds like it might be spider mites. They make webs. They happen when the air is dry, like indoors in the winter.

They hate to be wet so a twice daily misting will eventually get rid of them.

The white things could possibly be mealies. Get a q-tip, dip it in rubbing alcohol and dab each one of them to get rid of them...the rubbing alcohol dissolves their soft little bodies.

Hope some of this helps!
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!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 25, 2011 11:06 AM CST
maulydaft: Welcome to All Things Plants. I hope you've had time to visit a few of the wonderful forums here and that you enjoy learning and sharing with the rest of us!

I'm not a plant expert ... just lucky enough to live in a warm and humid area where many plants seem to grow well without much assistance from me. Smiling
Osmanthus fragrans is a landscape shrub here in some areas of Florida. I don't grow it but I agree with Ann that the spots on the reverse of the leaves in your photo look like scale insects forming. I'd do as she suggested and use Isopropyl Alcohol (common rubbing alcohol). I use it for scales and mealy bugs by dipping a q-tip in the alcohol and rubbing it on the leaves and stems to remove the critters. The webbing indeed sounds like spider mites. I've heard they are extremely hard to control and they will definitely spread to other plants so hopefully you can get rid of them before they do too much damage. Check your local nursery or garden center for Insecticidal Soap Spray for house plants which works well for a few different pests:

http://www.google.com/#q=Insecticidal+soap+for+houseplants&h...

As threegardeners stated, the browning of the leaf tips is more than likely due to lack of humidity. Misting should help and another way to raise humidity is to place the pot on a tray of moist pebbles. You don't want to have the plant sitting in a pool of water, so as the water evaporates add just a little more to keep the pebbles moist.

If it were my plant the first thing I'd do is remove it from the pot, wash off all soil and re-pot it in a clean, well draining potting medium. The soil you are using could very well be the problem, as well as the frequent watering. Many commercial potting soils are extremely heavy, drain poorly and hold way too much water. In my opinion watering 2-3 times a week is way too often. Once every week to week and a half should be sufficient, especially during the winter months when plants are in sort of a resting period. I never have trusted the sticking the finger an inch or two into the soil to test for moisture because the top layers of soil could be dry while the deeper soil could be very soggy and if you have extremely wet soil around the roots they will quickly rot and the plant will not survive.

Regarding the couple of Miracle Gro fertilizer spikes ... um, that may have been overfeeding, especially in October when plants are beginning to go into a dormant type period.

I'm also wondering about the cool temperatures of the room where your plant is located. Does it get any cold draft from the window? Osmanthus fragrans likes heat and humidity so you might want to try a warmer location in the house.


Here is a link to more information about the Fragrant Olive: http://www.floridata.com/ref/o/osm_frag.cfm

Again, Welcome to ATP!

Lin
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

maulydaft
Nov 28, 2011 2:02 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:Mauldydaft, Can you take a little better photo of the spotting under the leaves? It's no quite clear enough to tell exactly but it appears to be scales developing. They often start under those little soft shells. Try cleaning the leaves of all the white stuff by soaking a cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol & get all those things off the leaves. That's a start. As to too wet or not moist enough --- I'm not good with inside plants so I'm not the best to tell you. Hopefully me posting on here will bring this to the attention of someone who can help you more.


Here's another pic. Sorry it's still not good. Not enough light today. But hopefully it's a little better?
Thanks to everyone for responding!
It's too bad that this room is the warmest in my house! Sad
Thumb of 2011-11-28/maulydaft/a04013
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Nov 28, 2011 2:52 PM CST
It looks like little scales. Plantladylin gave you good advice. I would do what she says.

Welcome to All Things Plants!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~




maulydaft
Dec 22, 2011 7:54 PM CST
OKGreat! I finally found some time to do a more thorough job. I had to use a cotton BALL because there were so many. So I was applying alcohol to the full front and back to a good chunk of the leaves. If I miss some will that be bad? Will be useless unless I get every single one?
THANK YOU!!! You guys are awesome! Smiling :)
Name: Lee Anne Stark
Brockville, Ontario, Canada (Zone 5a)
Perpetually happy!
Forum moderator Tip Photographer I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Critters Allowed Cottage Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Keeps Goats Keeper of Poultry Frogs and Toads Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian
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threegardeners
Dec 22, 2011 8:29 PM CST

Moderator

you hafta keep at it. make it a daily routine if possible. keep the cotton ball and alcohol right beside the plant and every time you walk past, check it over and douse any you see.

eventually you'll win Thumbs up
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Dec 22, 2011 9:34 PM CST
What threegardeners said. You will win! Tops & undersides of leaves, don't forget stems & check nooks & crannies. I have been known to use alcohol in a spray bottle before. That's better for when you've got them under control & you're just battling the baby ones who haven't made hard "shells" yet. They're more vulnerable.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
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sheryl
Dec 23, 2011 7:06 PM CST
All of those adults lay eggs, which then hatch. So, like they said, you really do *have* to keep on it. That's where I get into trouble - I'll do a bang-up cleaning job and then forget about it for a month until I can't help but notice them again... Whistling
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.



maulydaft
Jan 9, 2012 4:19 PM CST
Oh my! Ok! I will keep at it. Damn them! They don't have to worry about moving and jobs and rent. All they do is settle on my Fragrant Olive Leaves! Thumbs down
Rolling my eyes.

Thank you!!!

maulydaft
Jan 9, 2012 6:25 PM CST
OH and now I see some leaves are getting brittle and turning brown! NOW WHAT! Argh! Air too dry? Are the mites killing it? Watering too much? Too little? I think I should have came to this site BEFORE I bought my plants so I could have bought some that were EASY to keep alive! Grumbling
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Image
sheryl
Jan 12, 2012 6:43 PM CST
Hmmm - how about a picture?
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.



maulydaft
Jan 14, 2012 12:28 PM CST
Argh I'm leaving it behind! I just can't take the pressure! :P
Name: Sheryl
Hot, hot, hot, Feenix, AZ (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Southwest Gardening Keeps Horses Dog Lover Cat Lover Permaculture
Butterflies Birds Cottage Gardener Herbs I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Irises
Image
sheryl
Jan 14, 2012 7:07 PM CST
LOL! Easy, now ...
In the end, only kindness matters.

Science is not the answer, it is the question.



Image
dogpack
Mar 17, 2012 9:59 AM CST
One combination I regularly use is a few drops of Basic_H which is a Shaklee product my friend distributes. It doesn't hurt my plants and Edie has used it to water her plants for years. She says she hasn't had any buggs on her plants. I just left her a message so that I can find out the correct combination of Basic H to water for the plants benefit and the demise and prevention of bug infestation. She will be glad to hear from you and tell you about what she is doing. Let me know if you want to get in touch with her and I'll get you connected.

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