Houseplants forum→Burgundy(?) rubber tree help

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babygardener
May 16, 2020 4:21 PM CST
I just got this tiny (I think burgundy?) rubber tree a week ago and I noticed one of the leaves are turning brown on the tip. I'm not sure if it was already there when I got the plant or if I've caused it. The plant is still in its original plastic pot and I've just started to use a grow light at least 5 hours a day.

What could I be doing wrong?
Thumb of 2020-05-16/babygardener/32dfbb

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 17, 2020 8:05 AM CST
You haven't done anything wrong. It looks like it was recently repotted by the nursery or retailer and that may be the cause of the leaf tipping.

Remove excess soil from the top so that the uppermost roots are just barely covered. Then wait until the top half-inch of the remaining soil feels dry to the touch before watering. Keep it close enough to a window that it gets a couple of hours of direct sun each day.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

babygardener
May 26, 2020 10:34 PM CST
WillC said:You haven't done anything wrong. It looks like it was recently repotted by the nursery or retailer and that may be the cause of the leaf tipping.

Remove excess soil from the top so that the uppermost roots are just barely covered. Then wait until the top half-inch of the remaining soil feels dry to the touch before watering. Keep it close enough to a window that it gets a couple of hours of direct sun each day.


I'm not sure if you can see but the tip is turning black and it feels dry. The area is bigger than it was last week. I repotted it yesterday because I thought maybe the pot was too small and tried to check the roots but the entire plant is in a mesh-like pouch so I can't really see anything. There were 3 small leaves at the very bottom but once i repotted it, it fell off with ease. I'm getting worried Sad please help!

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[Last edited by babygardener - May 26, 2020 10:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 27, 2020 7:03 AM CST
Please describe what you did when you repotted.

How much of the original soil did you remove or disturb? Were there roots growing outside the mesh container? How much larger is the new pot or is it still in its original pot? What kind of potting soil did you use?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Chenny
Queens, New York (Zone 7a)
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zhengcl86
May 27, 2020 8:01 AM CST
it looks to me like it was cut off from the mother plant and stuck the stem in soil. Did it have roots when you repotted?

I had the same problem when i got a rubber tree plant from my cousin. We cut it off from a node and stuck it in soil which in the end never rooted and died off slowly. I had my fingers crossed for 3 months and never any progress.

babygardener
May 27, 2020 8:28 AM CST
WillC said:Please describe what you did when you repotted.

How much of the original soil did you remove or disturb? Were there roots growing outside the mesh container? How much larger is the new pot or is it still in its original pot? What kind of potting soil did you use?


The soil came off the mesh without me touching it. There were roots growing outside the mesh container but not as much as I thought. I ended up putting it back to the original plastic planter it came in because I read they liked to be root bound. I'm using the Promix Cactus mix. I feel bad I'm probably stressing it out from repotting it again but it's also stressing me out.. haha
[Last edited by babygardener - May 27, 2020 8:31 AM (+)]
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babygardener
May 27, 2020 8:29 AM CST
zhengcl86 said:it looks to me like it was cut off from the mother plant and stuck the stem in soil. Did it have roots when you repotted?

I had the same problem when i got a rubber tree plant from my cousin. We cut it off from a node and stuck it in soil which in the end never rooted and died off slowly. I had my fingers crossed for 3 months and never any progress.


The leaves didn't have any roots. It's weird that they do that because they're such small leaves. I'd assume it would be too young to even propagate from.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 28, 2020 7:43 AM CST
It is unfortunate that the nursery didn't do a better job of growing a healthy root system before they sold it. That's on them, not you!

Remove any loose soil added to the top of the original rootball as that soil prevents oxygen from penetrating the root zone readily and makes it harder to determine when to water. The uppermost roots should be just barely covered with soil. Then, allow the top half-inch of the remaining soil to feel dry before watering.

The hard part is determining how much water to add at each watering. You want the top half-inch of the soil to get dry again in about a week so you will have to adjust the amount of water you add so that happens. It will take a bit of experimentation and careful monitoring on your part until you are able to make that determination of how much water it uses each week.

Be patient because the plant will put its energy into developing roots somewhat at the expense of top growth.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

babygardener
May 28, 2020 10:52 PM CST
WillC said:It is unfortunate that the nursery didn't do a better job of growing a healthy root system before they sold it. That's on them, not you!

Remove any loose soil added to the top of the original rootball as that soil prevents oxygen from penetrating the root zone readily and makes it harder to determine when to water. The uppermost roots should be just barely covered with soil. Then, allow the top half-inch of the remaining soil to feel dry before watering.

The hard part is determining how much water to add at each watering. You want the top half-inch of the soil to get dry again in about a week so you will have to adjust the amount of water you add so that happens. It will take a bit of experimentation and careful monitoring on your part until you are able to make that determination of how much water it uses each week.

Be patient because the plant will put its energy into developing roots somewhat at the expense of top growth.


It's sorta hard to remove the soil around the rootball. I tried using a chopstick to aerate the soil or move the soil around but theres smth really hard right under the plant and I can't really tell what it is. Maybe its the root ball? I will try to go a little more light handed in watering my plants. Determining how much water is prob my main problem.

Thank you so much for your help!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 29, 2020 8:58 AM CST
It is only loose soil that may have been added to the top of the hard surface of the rootball that needs to be removed. Perhaps there is none. Don't try to remove any other soil and there is no need to aerate the soil.

Proper watering is the key now.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

babygardener
Jun 1, 2020 9:41 AM CST
WillC said:It is only loose soil that may have been added to the top of the hard surface of the rootball that needs to be removed. Perhaps there is none. Don't try to remove any other soil and there is no need to aerate the soil.

Proper watering is the key now.


Should I be removing the plant from the mesh pouch?

babygardener
Jun 1, 2020 5:11 PM CST
WillC said:It is only loose soil that may have been added to the top of the hard surface of the rootball that needs to be removed. Perhaps there is none. Don't try to remove any other soil and there is no need to aerate the soil.

Proper watering is the key now.



Thumb of 2020-06-02/babygardener/eab186

It's spreading pretty quickly :(

[Last edited by babygardener - Jun 1, 2020 11:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 2, 2020 7:36 AM CST
The mesh is not a cause of any problem nor is the original soil used. There is no way to determine how much root damage occurred before you got it and that will determine how well and how quickly it will stabilize and recover.

You can return the plant. Or you can patiently hope it slowly recovers. But I emphasize "patiently" and "slow."
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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