I recently found this forum and I only just signed up. I apologize if this is been discussed before, I did try to search.
A couple of weeks ago I rescued a Pachira aquatica from the garbage room of my apartment building. It was in a massive pot with no drainage and all but one of the trunks were dead (I assume for a while because they were hollow when squeezed).
So I brought it home and repot it in the smallest pot I had on hand (not as small as I wanted tbh) using this potting mix which I had leftover from before: FoxFarm FX14053
(I am unable to post a link because I just joined to forum)
During the repotting process, I got rid of as much of the previous soil I possibly could and a whole lot of dead roots. This left the plant with very little root, so after potting it I dug up this product, which again I had under the sink from way back and fed it a diluted solution in order to encourage fast root growth/recovery: Voluntary Purchasing Group Fertilome 10640 Root Stimulator
However, I immediately regretted that decision because I am not sure it is a good idea to be feeding a stimulator/fertilizer formula to such a sickly plant? What do you guys think?
The plant is in a corner of the apartment that has double exposure (NE) and I also have a grow light pointed at it 24/7. The tiny wispy new growth that was clinging to life on the very top seems to have started to grow slowly over the past week.
Still obsessing about finding a way to facilitate root growth I remembered that back when I grew orchids, one of the best ways to encourage root growth was to keep the potting medium at a consistent moisture level — which goes agains the conventional care instruction for most orchids, but works wonderfully for encouraging root development. I thought perhaps the same thing might apply here, so I dug up a couple of the Hydrospikes I use when I travel and stuck them in the money tree pot to keep the soil at a consistently moist condition.
But again, I am second guessing that decision because it seems like a lot of water is being taken up into the pot; since I put in the spikes two days ago, every morning the 1/2 gallon reservoirs seem to be about half empty. I don't know if this is normal because the soil was on the drier side when I put them in initially or what..
What is the best watering protocol for encouraging root development? Should I take the Hydrospikes out?
I really don't want to end up killing this plant now that it seems like it's clinging to life, so any input would be great appreciated.
PS — it's night time and dark here but I tried to take some pictures which I will post below, let me know if better ones are needed and I shall take some in daylight.