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Avatar for caitisonni
May 22, 2020 3:28 PM CST
Ventura, Ca
Hi again,

I am so glad I found another place that can help. May I please have some advice or input on my Pachira aquatica? I love this tree and want to help it recover.

I have moved it from one spot in the house to another... Was recently relpanted into a slightly larger pot. I can't figure out what is going on. I am hoping its not a virus! Thank you!!


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May 22, 2020 6:15 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Hi,
Welcome!
I doubt you should think virus when you already have 2 reasons for it to be sad: moving it, and repotting it.
Plant it and they will come.
Avatar for caitisonni
May 22, 2020 6:22 PM CST
Ventura, Ca
Thank you,

I hope this wasn't too silly of a concern. I am somewhat of a beginner although I have always loved plants. I am enjoying learning!

I should have mentioned that I moved it and re-potted it because it was struggling. this was a little while ago. I am concerned because there has been little improvement on its happiness. I am glad to hear that it may just take time. I would hate to lose this plant as it was a very special gift. Crossing Fingers!

I had also asked someone to look at it and a virus was mentioned at it has not been in direct sun.
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May 23, 2020 8:47 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Here is something important to learn as a beginner: repotting rarely fixes any plant problems but usually creates new ones. Relocating a plant may be warranted if it needs more or less light, but that has to be determined first. Tell your friend that plant viruses are extremely rare outside of greenhouse environments.

In general, your Pachira likes lots of bright but indirect sunlight. That would be close to a window but far enough away that the sun's rays fall on it directly for no more than an hour or two each day.

Water it thoroughly as soon as the top half-inch of the soil feels dry to your touch. Does the new pot have a drain hole? A photo that shows the pot would be helpful.

With plants, patience is a virtue and instant fixes are rare. It will take a while for improvements to appear after you adjust the light and watering.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for caitisonni
May 23, 2020 10:28 AM CST
Ventura, Ca
Thank you for your response..., I am glad to know viruses are rare outside of greenhouse. This will be a big test of patience for me.

Yes there's a drain hole. I have it in a terra-cotta pot and am making sure that it stays on the dryer side.

I have it on my dresser in my room that is very bright but gets no direct rays of sun. That's why the other advice came back with possible virus..... sunburn didn't seem possible in their perspective.

Are you seeing sunburn from the photos?
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May 23, 2020 11:32 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Zero chance of sunburn.
That typically happens when people decide to let their indoor plants enjoy a little fresh air.. I am guilty!
Plant it and they will come.
Avatar for caitisonni
May 23, 2020 11:33 AM CST
Ventura, Ca
Oh!!! I never would have thought! Thank You!
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May 23, 2020 1:47 PM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
There is no sunburn and no virus. But those are not the only options. The leaf discoloration may have been caused by some root damage done during repotting or by subsequent improper watering. Nothing more exotic than that. Shrug!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for tudes
Jun 9, 2020 12:31 AM CST

Hi Community -

I am so glad I found this forum. A simple Google search didn't show me the results I needed to find. But I saw from the OP discussion here that plant viruses at home are rare and I was super excited to read that.

I have a 15-year-old Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree) that I've kept indoors since it was about 8 inches tall.
It's been through good times and bad and the tree is very dear to me.

It did well, then not-so-well, we moved, then did really well again and now this….
Lately, it started this mosaic-like, almost variegated pattern on its leaves.
My wife suspects it to be mosaic virus…
Lately, she's been getting into indoor plants so lots of variegated plants, pink spotted syngoniums, etc…
So while we don't have a commercial greenhouse, the inside of my house has turned into somewhat of an urban jungle with humidifiers and such.

While all that is cool, my tree is what I value the most.
Can someone look at this tree and let me know if it indeed is terminal mosaic virus?
She's asking me to get rid of it... I don't want to do it.

Please tell me something positive... Thank You! Sighing! Crossing Fingers!

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Jun 9, 2020 7:36 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Welcome! @tudes. Your Pachira does not have a virus, but it does seem to have some other serious problem that is causing it to lose so many leaves.

When was it last repotted and what medium is it potted in?

How do you determine when to water and how much do you give it?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for tudes
Jun 12, 2020 11:05 AM CST

@WillC - thank you for your reply! I was hoping I'd get your insight.
I last repotted it last April 2019... then it started to really thrive. Just had it in Miracle Grow potting soil, etc.
I watered it with water bulbs (once every other week or so), usually when the top was really dry. If anything less water than more. It had fungus gnats before (really annoying) so I was very diligent about not getting the top layer of soil wet.

Recently my wife repotted it in LECA (clay balls) and it just started to recently sit in water, hoping to encourage water roots.

So for now it's not dead, but hoping there's something I can do to revive it.

I also attached a photo of it recently before the leaves started to turn into that variegated pattern and falling off.
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Jun 12, 2020 12:50 PM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Your Pachira is reacting to the repotting and changing of its growing medium. That would do-in many plants, but Pachiras are pretty tough so yours will probably survive. But they do react by shedding leaves, as yours has done.

The gnats were probably introduced when you repotted initially. Proper watering then became a problem because this is a plant that likes damp soil, but so do gnat larvae.

The clay balls should solve the gnat problem, but the plant roots now have to make the transition from soil to water. That will take time and you can expect to see more leaf loss during the transition. Dying leaves take on a variety of color patterns.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for tudes
Jun 23, 2020 4:14 PM CST

@WillC
Thank you for the helpful information.
It seems to have stabilized. Glad I didn't "throw it out."
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