Thursday, 15 November 2012

How to care for False Aralia Plant

I recently got this plant from a friend and sort of forgot about it. I was watering it and "taking care" of it but I don't like to bring a plant into my house until I've done some research to make sure I take care of it correctly from the beginning. And of course the one time I do it the plant starts to die so now it's time to do my research and see what I'm doing wrong.

Leaf drop. Dizygotheca likes to stay put. Moving it to a new location may cause its leaves to drop. Shedding leaves may also indicate that humidity is too low. Mist the plant every morning or stand the pot on a tray of wet pebbles. Misting also helps to prevent spider mites that may invade this plant.

Pruning. False Aralia is slow-growing and doesn't need pruned unless you want to control its height. Over time, it will drop its lower leaves, revealing a single tree-like trunk. If you want, you can keep it short and shrubby by cutting it back each year. Don't be afraid to prune it to 6 inches (15 cm) from the soil level. Spring is the best time to cut it back. New offsets will grow from the base of the plant.

Repotting. Repot in spring only when it has outgrown its pot, but use the smallest container that will hold its roots. It grows best when its roots are confined. Taller plants should be potted in a heavy container to prevent toppling.

Origin: South Pacific Height: This Pacific Island native can grow to 20 ft (6 m) in the wild, but indoors this tree will slowly reach about 6 ft (1.8 m).

 Light: Bright light, no direct sun. Water: Water thoroughly and allow top 1 in (2.5 cm) of soil to dry out between waterings. Wilted leaves are a sign of overwatering.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity.

Temperature: Warm 65-85°F, 18-29°C. Do not expose it to temperatures below 60°, which can cause leaf drop. Soil: Any good potting mix

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer (such as 10-10-10) diluted by half. In fall and winter, feed monthly.

Propagation: Seeds or stem tip cuttings. Take stem tip cuttings in spring. For best results, dip cut end in hormone rooting powder before inserting in moist potting mix. Cover with a plastic bag to raise the humidity around the cutting. Keep it warm and out of direct sunlight.

Info Source 

So it looks like the firsts things I need to do is put it a little closer to a window and mist it more. I'm thinking maybe because it was moved that is the first reason why it's a little sad. We'll see how I do!

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