Variegated Foliage forum→Variegated pachira aquatica

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West Texas
amandas0160
May 25, 2020 4:07 PM CST
Anyone ever seen a variegated pachira aquatica? Just picked this guy up at my local lowes and noticed the variegation. Are these guys rare?
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 25, 2020 4:16 PM CST
Hopefully its true variegation and not a virus
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West Texas
amandas0160
May 25, 2020 6:26 PM CST
@Gina1960 is there any way to know for sure? Should I keep this one away from my other plants?
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 25, 2020 6:44 PM CST
There isn't really, except that plants that suddenly become variegated that were not variegated before are always suspect. And it the plant exhibits other properties like wonky malformed leaves and such. I would quarantine it for a bit and make sure it is not 'fragile'...and does not show a lot of funkiness in new leaf production. I think that you may also be able to send a specimen to your local Extension office and they can test for it
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Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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tofitropic
May 25, 2020 10:47 PM CST
A good catch that is.. Hurray! . There are several form of variegated Pachira on the market, with patch of white, or yellowish color, and also marbled form. some with disfigured (wrinkled) leaves. I use to have two form, now only left with one marbled typed. It is somewhat expensive now in my country, so I am reluctant to buy a replacement.... Lucky you.
If the variegation are stable, grafting to normal plant is the common way to propagate it.
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 26, 2020 5:30 AM CST
That's good to know Tofi. There has been a rash of plants from big box stores here infected with Mosaic. Especially Monstera adansonii. If you have a large collection, you have to always be suspicious
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Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
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tofitropic
May 26, 2020 8:51 PM CST
Yes indeed, and with the rush of people collecting house plant just like this time, especially variegated aroid, many seller are selling those virus infected plant, with high price. Most of them are even never aware of it, so do the farmer here with little knowledge of virus infection on plant, it always cringed me seeing anthuriums, or philodendron with wrinkled variegation that is obviously mosaic infection sold with rocketing price. and the worst is that, virus infection symptoms are not always obvious,..... just like "corona"... ones should always beware.
West Texas
amandas0160
May 27, 2020 9:06 AM CST
I snapped some more photos of the plant. It's currently sprouting lots of new leaves, but I have it quarantined in a room behind closed doors just to be on the safe side. Thoughts? Your feedback is so appreciated! I am hoping I continue seeing growth and that it's not mosaic Sad
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[Last edited by amandas0160 - May 27, 2020 9:10 AM (+)]
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
May 27, 2020 9:54 AM CST
I don't grow pachira, so I am not sure that the wonky leaves are normal...the variegation looks like true variegation close up. I will defer to Tofi on this one
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West Texas
amandas0160
May 27, 2020 10:31 AM CST
Quick update, just received this information on a post- White areas don't grow much since they can't photosynthesize, so they stay smaller than the mint and dark green areas of the leaf. That's leading to the uneven shapes. Thumbs up
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
May 27, 2020 12:42 PM CST
Ah that may be true for pachira but it is not true for other plants like variegated Monsteras, philodendrons alocasias and the like (aroids)
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Name: Tofi
Sumatera, Indonesia
Peppers Vegetable Grower Butterflies Garden Procrastinator Roses Bookworm
Tomato Heads Tropicals Salvias Plays in the sandbox Frogs and Toads Fruit Growers
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tofitropic
May 27, 2020 12:49 PM CST
There is great opportunities that this is a non viral sport. and I would really love to keep it, since mosaic infection usually more wrinkled and showed "mozaic" pattern more diffusely rather than patched, (but not always... So ones never can be so sure) .
There are several way to be sure of virus infection on plants, but the definite one is lab-test, such as PCR or electron microscope, but it's too much hassle and amazingly high cost.
The less complicated is microscopic/histologic section, by simply slicing as thin as possible (or by microtome if you happens to work in lab) and simple staining with dye (such as gentian violet or giemsa if you have access on that), some virus shows inclusion bodies microscopically, (but again.....not always)... and even this is still too much hassle,... because it can only be done in lab, unless if you have microscope and some chemicals.

The other simple technique if to investigate infection is by incubation test. Crush some variegated plant material and apply them to healthy plant (non variegated plant, and preferably wounded), repeat several time over period of several weeks. If within several weeks or even month the non variegated plant become variegated, then that most definitely virus
The last simple way is watchful-waiting, viral tends to go bad on plants overall-health, and most becoming more dominant, resulting complete variegation, after some time. So if your plants stable for few years, it should be OK. (remember that there are also stable viral-variegated plants such as variegated-Abutilon striatum that is available and it is stay stable).

For me, even though I am working in a lab I prefer to just watchfull and wait style. Mean while, I will keep that plant separated, away from pest (virus can be transmitted by insect, such as aphids) and use sterile tool before and after pruning.

Chimeral variegation like this, is somewhat non stable, so we have to keep the variegation on the proportional side. Sometime in the future, plant can go all green or all white, if that happens, we should prune and toss away those that too are much green/white, and keep the branch that is proportional.

I wish you a great journey with this one, and would love to see the update in the future.


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