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Avatar for lmocal
Jun 13, 2020 3:43 AM CST
Thread OP
Los Angeles, CA

I have a loquat plant that I planted from seed 3 years ago, but very recently the leaves started dying (turning brown and shriveling up). My plant is forked at the very base, so it has two skinny trunks (each about 3 feet tall) with large leaves growing directly off from both trunks.

This plant has always been in a container. I have re-potted it in larger planters twice now - it started out in a little terracotta pot. When it outgrew that, I moved it to a 10" diameter glazed ceramic pot for 2 years. I re-potted it in a large resin planter (18" diameter, 16" deep, with two 1/2" drainage holes in the bottom) about 2 months ago. It had been doing really well in this new, bigger container. It grew a few inches taller and some small branches started growing out at the top for the first time, so I was really happy to see it healthy and growing.

Then 2-3 weeks ago, some of the leaves started getting brown patches on them. I have a few other smaller loquat plants in containers that have had brown patches before, but only affecting 1 or 2 leaves at a time. Those brown patches hadn't seemed to affect the overall health of the smaller plants, so I wasn't concerned about my big plant at first. I removed several browning leaves a week ago, and decided to water it less frequently because I thought I might be overwatering it. I live in Los Angeles - it's been dry with temperatures in the 70s-80s, so I had been watering it every 2-3 days. We just had a heat wave with temperatures ranging from 90-100 for 4 days, and my 3-year-old loquat's condition went downhill quite a bit faster during this time. Almost all leaves are affected now, so I am very concerned. I have put a lot of time and care into it, so I want to save it.

Today, I inspected the trunks and leaves for pest activity and did not see any insects, scale, or white powdery mildew. I dug up the plant, so I could look at the roots. The larger roots are mostly cream-colored, but there are many thin, dark brown roots along the bottom. I hadn't watered the plant in a couple days, but the soil was still moist in the lower 2/3 of the planter. I use a Miracle Gro potting soil, but I mix in used coffee grounds to help the soil go a little further and because worms love the coffee grounds. I figured making the soil amenable to worms would be beneficial because they would help fertilize the plant. While digging the plant out, I did notice a few worms in the container (~5 or 6).

I know this is a long post, but I wanted to give as much context as possible. I am really an amateur gardener, so I would appreciate any information/advice you can give me! Thank you in advance!


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Avatar for oneeyeluke
Jun 14, 2020 1:01 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
Watering every 2 or 3 days has caused your plant stress by locking out the oxygen in the roots and bursting the tissue cells. It's used up all the space in the container as well as nutrients. You can up-pot 2 inches into a larger container. I wouldn't put it into a very large pot because it will raise the water volume and won't dry between waterings. Keep the container size as close to the original size for the best results.

The leaf browning is caused from excess water, and when given in excess, this can cause veins at the edges to burst, which leads to browning.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
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