Ask a Question forum→Polyscias scutellaria is dying

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May 30, 2020 10:45 AM CST
I recently moved and brought my plant with me, it's in the same country so it should be the same climate, but it has taken a big toll, does anyone know how to save it. The first pic is a week old and now it looks like the second. The few leafs left looks to be dying too....
Thumb of 2020-05-30/EmmaTN/5ee32b

Thumb of 2020-05-30/EmmaTN/e49a21

Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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May 30, 2020 10:47 AM CST
Has the light changed?
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
May 30, 2020 10:52 AM CST
No not really, its was on the floor before and on the floor now so it doesn't get direct sunlight
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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May 30, 2020 11:10 AM CST
Your Balfour Aralia (Polyscias scutellaria) appears to be planted in a container without drainage holes. To my eyes, the issue is likely due to excess moisture at root level, which will cause the roots to suffocate.
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May 30, 2020 11:40 AM CST
Okay thank you, so the best thing to do is replant in a different pot? Or does it need less water?
Name: Will Creed
Prof. plant consultant & educator
May 30, 2020 12:51 PM CST
I agree that the pot is not a good one, but repotting it may cause even more stress because Polyscias don't like having their roots disturbed.

Remove the loose soil you added to the top of the original rootball when it was repotted 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.

The outdoor climate doesn't matter because your plant is living indoors. However, the light intensity it receives matters a lot. It should be within a couple of feet and in front os a moderately sunny window. If it is across the room from the nearest window, it is not getting enough light.

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
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