Ask a Question forum: Dying outdoor plant

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dannytrigo
Jan 14, 2017 2:58 PM CST
Hi,

I'm new to the forum and was hoping someone might be able to help identify what this plant is missing. It's and outdoor plant but no idea what it is. It was healthy a year ago, but this last year it got worse and worse. I've fed it with Miracle Gro but it doesn't seem to help. Is it missing something in the soil that isn't in Miracle Gro? Zinc or something? Or is it diseased? I have another in similar condition.

Thanks.

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Jan 14, 2017 3:23 PM CST
Welcome!

I'm not sure what kind of plant it is. To figure that out, we need more information: Where is this plant located (city, state...)? What do the flowers look like? Does it lose its leaves in winter? Please post a photo of the whole plant.

In the meantime, it needs iron.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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dannytrigo
Jan 14, 2017 3:45 PM CST
DaisyI said: Welcome!

I'm not sure what kind of plant it is. To figure that out, we need more information: Where is this plant located (city, state...)? What do the flowers look like? Does it lose its leaves in winter? Please post a photo of the whole plant.

In the meantime, it needs iron.


Thanks. It's in Miami. I have discovered it's an Ixora. I will look for an iron supplement, thanks!
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 14, 2017 4:54 PM CST
So right. Iron chlorosis (when the leaves turn pale but the veins stay green) is pretty common in Florida on plants like Ixora and other acid lovers. Our soil is sandy with pieces of shell in it. It tends to be pretty alkaline, and the pH actually gets worse and worse unless you keep amending the soil with organic materials.

A chelated iron supplement will help that plant short-term, but the long-term solution is to top-dress the soil all around the plant and out a couple of feet with a layer of compost in the spring and fall. Just dump a few shovel-fulls of compost around the plant and spread it out to a thickness of a couple of inches. Don't pile it against the trunk of the plant though.The organic stuff in our sandy soil gets washed through the sand in the heavy summer rains, and then the calcium leaching raises the pH and causes your leaves to look like that.

Watering with well water also tends to raise the pH in your soil, especially in a very dry spell such as we've had this winter when you've been using irrigation water a lot. If your irrigation system runs off a well, you should test the water - you can use a test kit for aquariums, or if you have a pool, your pool water test kit will work fine, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
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Weedwhacker
Jan 15, 2017 8:44 AM CST
I agree with the problem being an iron deficiency and also about needing to change the pH of the soil that the plant is in. The same thing happened to some blueberry shrubs that I planted several years ago (which I thought was going to be a no-brainer, because blueberries grow wild here in the UP; turns out those wild ones are growing in a totally different type of soil than what I have) -- I ended up transplanting them into large pots where I felt it would be easier to manage the soil conditions. Mixing peat and "soil sulfur," as well as compost, into the soil around your plants will also help lower the pH (make it more acidic), and I would also suggest fertilizing with an "acid-lovers fertilizer," such as Mir-acid by Miracle Grow. The change back to being healthy will be gradual, so don't give up too quickly. Smiling
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